Vanguard University Welcomes and Commissions 10th University President

IMG_1109February 5-7, Vanguard University hosted multiple inaugural events leading to the inauguration of the university’s 10th president, Dr. Michael Beals.

Events began on February 5 with an inaugural worship service. On February 6, Vanguard held two inaugural lectures, a VIP inaugural dinner and a student party. These special events brought together the Vanguard University community to celebrate with Dr. Beals as he would soon ceremonially accept his position as the university’s 10th president.

On February 7, Vanguard University held the inauguration ceremony at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church. Ringing in the 10 o’clock hour, Vanguard’s University Concert Orchestra played Dan Goeller’s arrangement of Jesus! What a Friend for Sinners. Following the orchestra, Vanguard’s University Concert Choir and Women’s Chorus sung the reprise of Allen Pote’s, Sing to the Lord a Jubilant Song.

With the church’s organ pipes glimmering in the window’s sunlight, the orchestra played William Walton’s Crown Imperial Coronation March, and the processional commenced. Family and friends led the processional followed by Vanguard’s past presidents, delegates from other universities, denominational leaders, the board of trustees, faculty and the program participants. Dr. Beals followed at the end of the line wearing his beloved smile as he made his way to the stage. Dr. Beals, along with Vanguard University’s faculty and the visiting delegates, were dressed in traditional academic regalia: a wide array of colored caps and gowns.

After a prayer and some greetings, everyone joined in a couple hymns of praise before Board of Trustees Chairman David Oddo, MBA stepped up to the podium. Oddo invited Dr. Beals to the stand and proceeded in giving him a presidential call followed by two symbols of office: a presidential medallion and a Bible from the faculty and staff.

Following the presentation of the presidential symbols of office, various community members presented commitments on behalf of the faculty, students, staff and alumni of Vanguard University. After the prayer of dedication, Dr. Richard Mouw, a professor and mentor of Dr. Beals while he attended Fuller Theological Seminary, gave the presidential charge. Dr. Mouw charged Dr. Beals to bless the Vanguard University community and commended him for being “a gifted intellectual leader” and “a wise administrator.”

After a final word of congratulations and an embrace between Dr. Mouw and Dr. Beals, professor Sheri Benvenuti, Ph.D., stepped to the podium to give the presidential introduction. Dr. Benvenuti described Dr. Beals’ humble, virtuous character and his heart for people. She said: “… he loves people more than power. And above all, he loves God more than anything.”

Now at the pinnacle of the ceremony, Dr. Beals came to the podium and gave his presidential address. To begin, Dr. Beals thanked the many attendees who hold places of influence and importance in his life. With beyond the horizon as the inauguration theme, Dr. Beals spoke of the history of Vanguard University that shaped and placed it in the position it stands today; ready to look “beyond the horizon.” “We are poised at the fulcrum of possibility,” he said.

Nearing the end of his speech, Dr. Beals said: “Beyond the horizon a voice is calling us to live out our unique identity.” Throughout his address, Dr. Beals detailed Vanguard University’s identity as a community of truth, service and academic excellence. Knowing this identity, Dr. Beals committed to uphold the character and calling of Vanguard University in his role as the University’s 10th president.

To learn more about Vanguard University’s new president, Dr. Michael Beals, click here.

Juniors Party Like Senior Citizens at Bingo Night

imageJuniors turned senior citizens took their “pills” or rather, candies in medicine cups, and scratched out their bingo cards with prize-winning hopes on February 4 at 9:30 p.m. in The Cove.

Dressed as elderly folk, juniors packed The Cove eating pizza and snacks while the “nurses”, Student Government Association (SGA) members, picked numbers from a bingo ball cage. Junior Program Director Corrine Meekhof and Junior Senator Daley Pennington planned and coordinated the event.

One of Meekhof’s goals for Bingo Night was to create an event for the juniors to enjoy while also making them proud to be a part of their class. When she heard students of other classes wishing they were juniors so they could go, she knew she’d met her goal.

Turnout for the event also showed Meekhof’s goal was successful. Event workers had to bring in more tables and chairs from the patio as juniors filled The Cove. Meekhof and Pennington said they were thrilled by the turnout. The event exceeded expectations and succeeded in getting students who don’t normally attend class events to come, Meekhof said. “I was stoked that there were so many athletes and commuters,” Pennington said and mentioned that they rarely show up to these events.

Not only did Bingo Night provide food and fun, there were also prizes to be won. Seven very exciting prizes were up for grabs in these bingo games. Prizes were labeled as: “The Starving College Student”, “The Body Builder”, “The Coffee Lover”, “The Happiest Day on Earth”, “The Sports Fanatic”, “Junior Senior Banquet” and a costume contest winner. Prizes included a wide range of items, from gift cards to Disneyland tickets. Regardless of winning or losing, it was apparent that everyone enjoyed a great night of food, laughter and bingo.

To learn more about SGA events, click here.

Lions Protect the Pit and the Mound Homecoming Weekend

Homecoming Bball '14With victories on the court and in the field, the Lions defended their territory Homecoming weekend. Vanguard University’s men’s and women’s basketball teams and the baseball team succeeded in defeating all opposition that came their way on February 1.

Sweeping the dust off their feet and home plate, Vanguard’s baseball team swept the Arizona Christian University Firestorm. The first game ended with the Lions winning 4-2 and the second closed out with a 2-1 final score. With these victories, the Lions add two more wins to their undefeated record.

The basketball teams faced Hope International University’s (HIU) Royals showing them that they may be royalty, but there’s only one king of the jungle.  Final scores were 72-69 for the men and 88-71 for the women. Fans packed the Pit for the games. The women’s team remains the undefeated No. 1 team in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA). And the men’s team continues their winning record moving to a 19-2 overall record.

The men’s basketball team battled to the last seconds and into over time after an HIU player sunk a running three-point shot with 15 seconds remaining. Yelling, jumping, shouting and clapping roared through the gym as VU fans cheered through the tension and excitement. Sinking a couple three-pointers and making some crucial free throw shots, the Lions came out victorious. The student section stormed the floor, danced and shouted: “You wish you were a Lion.”

To find the Vanguard Athletics’ write-ups on these games and others, click here.

This week! Presidential Inauguration of Michael J. Beals, Ph.D.

This week, February 5-7, 2014, Vanguard University hosts the inauguration of its tenth president, Michael J. Beals, PhD.

President_Beals_Convocation_1The three-day inauguration ceremonies will kick off Wednesday, February 5, 2014 and will feature academic lectures by prominent theologian, Miraslov Volf, PhD. The festivities will conclude Friday, February 7, 2014 with Richard Mouw, PhD, mentor and friend to Dr. Beals, who will speak the inaugural charge to the president.

CLICK HERE for a full schedule of events!

Dr. Beals became Vanguard University’s tenth president on August 1, 2013. In keeping with the tradition of many universities, Vanguard chose to give its new president some time to settle in before holding the inauguration ceremonies. Since August, Dr. Beals has focused on building the strategic vision of the university to promote Christian higher education in a way that is meaningful, relevant, and impactful.

“In a climate where higher education is being challenged each day, presidents of private, Christian universities must be innovative, resilient, and forward thinking,” says Dr. Richard Mouw, former president of Fuller Seminary and professor to Dr. Beals. “Dr. Beals has long exhibited these qualities, making him the ideal person to foster Vanguard’s mission. I am delighted to be part of this ceremony and wish the best for Vanguard in this time of renewal.”

Dr. Beals is a two-time graduate of Vanguard University, receiving a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Christian Education and Psychology and a Master of Arts (MA) in Church Leadership. Dr. Beals earned a second MA at Fuller Theological Seminary in Biblical Studies and Theology. He was awarded a PhD in Christian Ethics from Fuller where he has served as an adjunct faculty member since 1999. Dr. Beals has served 31 years in the local church, most recently as the senior pastor of Mission Hills Community Church in Rancho Santa Margarita. In addition, Dr. Beals has been actively involved in teaching outreach and community development work in Kenya, South Africa, Namibia, Cuba, Guatemala, Mexico, China, Israel, Switzerland, France, England, and Scotland.

Presenting the inaugural lectures will be Miroslav Volf, PhD, founder and director of Yale Center for Faith & Culture and the Henry B. Wright Professor of Theology at Yale University Divinity School. Recognized globally as one of the premier theologians of our time, Dr. Volf will present on Christian Universities and the Crisis of Humanities. Both lectures are open to the public.

Click here for a complete schedule of events and locations.

Four Vanguard University Students Serve at Local Assemblies of God Church: His Place

Screen shot 2014-02-03 at 11.58.40 AMFeatured in a detailed OC Weekly cover story, His Place is one of many local Assemblies of God (AG) churches that Vanguard University is partnering with to provide student internships. Pastored by a former drug addict, His Place may look a little different than some of the other AG churches.

After God brought him out of a life of addiction, Pastor Joe Furey began a new journey with God at the center. Furey took the reigns of Huntington Beach’s His Place in 1996 after “more than two decades of expertise in drug rehab,” the article states. Furey’s testimony speaks directly to many of the church’s members who have come from similar backgrounds.

Before a life-altering night at the age of 29, Furey had lived hooked on cocaine as a dealer, even after marrying and having children. When his wife decided to take their children and leave him until he was clean, Furey really hit a low place. In that place, God clearly spoke to him and from that point on he committed to changing his life.

Years of rehab, sharing his testimony at various churches and really living as a new man in Christ propelled Furey to the position at His Place. To read about the full story, read the OC Weekly article by clicking here.

Four Vanguard University students have joined Furey in his mission through the newly formed AG internships. Gaining work experience and learning how to serve God’s people are just a couple attributes of this internship. The interns are Christine Correa, Bodie Kuljian, Jonathan Vazquez and Tony Do. To learn more about the new AG internships, click here.