Puppy Party Provides Relief from Finals Stress

dogs help Vanguard University students study and de-stress

Students were invited to pet puppies, eat food and de-stress in the Tower’s Patio on Dec. 10.

With the stress of exams and final projects piling high, Vanguard University’s Counseling Center and Diversity Programming collaborated to create a stress relief event for students. Therapy dogs, massage therapists and stress balls greeted the more than 200 students (and a few faculty members and staff) who attended the event.  BARK Reading Dogs brought eight trained therapy dogs and two massage therapists from the California College of Physical Arts helped loosen students’ stiff necks and shoulders. Vanguard-student-pets-dog

The Counseling Center and Diversity Programming had a table with brochures on stress, anxiety and test taking tips, and stress balls for students to take. There were also refreshments, fruit and cookies. Based on social media and word of mouth, Coordinator of Disability Services Kerry Kimble said: “Students were very happy, pleased and Dogs-reduce-Vanguard-students-stressextremely thankful for such a fun and relaxing event.”

To find out more about Vanguard’s counseling center, click here, and for diversity programming information, click here.

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.

Michael J. Beals to be Inaugurated as Vanguard University’s Tenth President

 Inaugural lecture given by internationally renowned theologian, Miroslav Volf, to bring perspective on the value of Christian education today

Costa Mesa, CA, December 10, 2013 – Vanguard University today announced that two internationally renowned theologians will be featured speakers at the inauguration of its tenth president, Michael J. Beals, PhD.

The 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.

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 Miraslav 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.

For a complete schedule of events and locations, please visit www.vanguard.edu/inauguration.



Vanguard University (VU) is a regionally ranked, private, Christian university of liberal arts and professional studies.  Located ten minutes from Newport Beach and an hour from Los Angeles, Vanguard equips students for a Spirit-empowered life of Christ-focused leadership and service. Vanguard is committed to academic excellence, boasting small class sizes that are designed to cultivate lasting professor-mentor relationships that enhance the learning process.  The U.S. News & World Report ranked Vanguard a top 10 regional college in the west for 2014 and The Princeton Review ranked Vanguard a 2014 “Best in the West” regional college.  Accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), Vanguard offers more than 30 degrees and certificates through its undergraduate, graduate, and professional studies programs.