December Seniors Celebrated at Black and White Party

BlackWhitePartyOn Dec. 5, Vanguard University hosted a Black and White Party to celebrate, recognize and send out the December graduates.

About 75 sharply dressed seniors gathered with faculty and staff in Needham Courtyard Thursday night. The evening began at 8:30 p.m. with mingling and desserts. As the night went on, special speaker Dr. Michael D. Wilson, Vanguard’s Acting Provost/ Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Undergraduate College, gave an encouraging message to send out the graduating seniors.

Following his message, Director of Alumni Relations Joel Gackle prayed for the December graduates. The spring graduates gathered around their fellow seniors and extended their hands in prayer and blessing over them. Also, the Alumni Relations Team gave the December graduates fleece blankets with Vanguard University embroidered on them.

Looking back on the event, Senior Class Program Director Tommi Ploneis said it was a fun, classy and special event. “For some it was their last Vanguard moment,” Ploneis said and added that some students will choose not to come back to walk for graduation in May. Whether it was their last moment at Vanguard or just the last for a while, the final prayer was a special moment where all the seniors came together in support of the December graduates, Ploneis said.

Dressed in poinsettias, candles and pinecones, Needham Courtyard had a classy Christmas feel for this formal university event. While students, faculty and staff mingled over coffee and desserts, guitarists lightly strummed in the background. A photo booth for seniors to commemorate their time together added a special touch.

To learn more about Vanguard’s Alumni Relations, click here.

Global Center for Women and Justice and Veterans Resource Center to Host a Brunch and Spa Day for the Women Veterans Network

Screen shot 2013-12-10 at 1.11.02 PMWith more than 40 RSVPs maxing out its capacity, Vanguard University’s brunch and spa day for the Women Veterans Network (WVN) will host many women veterans for a time of rest and relaxation. Vanguard’s Global Center for Women and Justice (GCWJ) and the Veterans Resource Center (VRC) will host the event in Smith 101 on Dec. 14.

Massages, manicures and free childcare are just a few of the services that will be provided. The event will create a peaceful place for women veterans to recoup during this busy time of year. Catered by Stonefire Grill, attendees will have the chance to relax, enjoy some free food and fellowship. “This event is designed to bring together veteran women in celebration of their service to the US military,” GCWJ Coordinator Alexis Miller said.

The Women Veterans Network (WVN) is a project funded by the Employees Community Fund of Boeing California. Through a grant to Vanguard University’s Global Center for Women and Justice in tandem with its Veterans Resource Center (VRC), the Women Veteran Network uses innovative ways to provide services to veterans as they transition from military service to civilian life and employment. Since January 2013, the Women Veterans Network has hosted a variety of educational, professional, and social event for women veterans in Orange County.

To learn more about the GCWJ and its upcoming events, click here.

Vanguard University’s Concert Choir and Orchestra Spread Christmas Cheer at Annual Christmas Fantasia

Courtyard of HonorChristmas carols, cheer and crowds of people filled Segerstrom Center for the Arts on Dec. 3 and St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church on Dec. 6 for Vanguard University’s Christmas Fantasia.

The annual event features Vanguard University’s concert choir and orchestra along with other members of the music department. Students prepare for months in advance to put on the Christmas spectacular for the community to enjoy. Not only is it a special evening for Vanguard University friends and family, it is also a night to celebrate the generosity of sponsors investing in students and the university.

Thankful for the many contributions that sponsors provided, Associate Vice President for Development and Campaign Management, Justin McIntee said: “The proceeds raised from sponsorships support students with scholarships and other educational resources through the Vanguard University Fund.” McIntee said he wanted to thank sponsor Terry Walker, CEO of US Rigging and foundation board member, for giving an even greater amount of money than past years. Courtyard of HonorWalker’s sponsorships totaled $84,250, compared to $53,000 in 2012, providing our students with more resources to develop their talents at Vanguard.

Looking back on the event, McIntee said his highlight for the evening was listening to Presenting Sponsor Barry Meguiar share with over 225 guests at the reception, how excited he is about Vanguard University’s President, Dr. Michael Beals’ vision for the future. These sponsors support the university’s direction and help to provide the funds necessary to move in that direction.

Another concert attendee, Teresa Dovel, the coordinator/administrative assistant of music, said the concert went very well. She added that “as far as the students are concerned and their enjoyment of it, it was a success.” Having been a Christmas Fantasia attendee for many years, Dovel said it was as beautiful as always.

Courtyard of HonorA highlight this year was the performance of “Star of Wonder” by Professors Kenneth Foerch, Greg Glancey and James L. Melton, Dovel said. For the surprise performance, the professors dressed up as famous 80’s and 90’s performers Kenny G., John Stash and Yanni.

To learn more about Vanguard’s music department, click here.

Theatre Student’s Two Plays Selected as Top Finalists for the Region VIII Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival

magi_match_final-01Taking the stage, Elizabeth Hofeld’s After Her and The Little Match Girl are top finalist plays for the Region VIII Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF).

The festival will take place in February 2014 at the Los Angeles Theatre Center. Hofeld’s plays will be performed as concert readings at the festival. Depending on the performances, the plays could be considered for further competition at the national level.

“It is pretty extraordinary to be selected,” Hofeld said. It was exciting to have the work she poured so much time, effort and heart into be recognized and considered good by professional writers, she said. “These stories have taken a lot of time and effort to write, so it’s just thrilling that they’ll get a chance to breathe in front of an audience and get so much more exposure,” she added.

Looking forward to the festival, Hofeld said she is excited to receive feedback and constructive criticism from some of the top playwriting professionals from around the country. She also looks forward to meeting other student playwrights and experience the learning environment that KCACTF provides, she said. Planning to graduate in December 2014, Hofeld is a double major in Theater and English with an emphasis in Performance and Creative Writing.

Selected as one of the top six 10-minute plays from the KCACTF Region VIII, After Her is a play about an elderly couple’s relationship as they deal with the wife’s decline into the stages of Alzheimer’s. It is based on the real-life story of Hofeld’s grandparents.

As one of the three one-act play finalists to be presented at the festival, Hofeld’s The Little Match Girl tells the story of a little girl selling matches on Christmas eve and the encounters she has with people from around the town. This adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen’s short story shows how the spirit of Christmas is greater than poverty, Hofeld said.

To learn more about Vanguard’s theatre department, click here.

Lions Pass, Set and Dance with Students at Special Olympics Event

DSC00861Smiles, laughter and pure joy filled Sioux City’s Tyson Events Center on Dec. 2. The day before competition for the 2013 National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Volleyball National Championships, Vanguard University’s lady Lions joined with the NAIA and other tournament teams to host a Special Olympics volleyball clinic for students in the area.

Whether it was coaching volleyball skills, having a dance party or doing a conga line around the entire gym, the team tried to make every student feel welcome and enjoy their experience. Players started with teaching how to pass, set and hit. Based on the students’ interest and ability, some players broke into smaller groups and continued to work on the basic skills while others focused on individual students.

With interest waning and some students lacking the physical ability to really participate, the team busted out their powerful mini-speakers and created a dance circle to try to incorporate the students who had been standing or sitting on the side. It was a hit. After impressive dancing from players and students, a conga line was formed that grew as players and students circled the arena.

Looking back on the event, junior defensive specialist Ashli Bellinger said: “It was just awesome to see their faces light up.” The chance to work with the students held special significance for Bellinger because she plans on working with special needs individuals through counseling and therapy in the future, she said.

Unable to make it to the playoffs, the Lions volleyball team reached the end of their long and successful season on Dec. 5. To learn more about the team and their performance at the tournament, click here.