Theatre Department’s Production of Narnia Sold out by the Final Show

narniaDue to word of mouth, the Vanguard University Department of Theatre Arts’ production of Narnia sold out by its final show.

From Sept. 20 to Oct. 6, the land of Narnia and its many creatures inhabited Vanguard University’s Lyceum stage. Created from C.S. Lewis’s The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, the musical revue, Narnia, was written by Jules Tasca, Thomas Tierney and Ted Drachman. Vangda Eggington directed the show.

Looking back on the show, choreographer and actor Bretlyn Schmitt said she enjoyed the experience, the challenge and the result. Crafting dances to capture the various scenes challenged and stretched Schmitt, she said, “I prayed about it a lot.” As a junior performance directing major, Schmitt has choreographed four other shows at Vanguard and multiple others in high school.

Detailing her dance-forming process, Schmitt said: “Each one kind of evolved from a materialized idea.” She took inspiration from the time period in the book and the time of year, which was Christmas in Narnia. Schmitt said the dark magic song and its aggressive dance were her favorite.

Describing the show, she said: “It’s very magical. It brings out the childlike essence in a lot of people.” It was fun to see college kids just being kids again, she added. Nine-year-old Margaret Martin, who attended the theatre department’s summer acting camp, said: “I loved it, and on top of that, it really made me want to go back to the summer camp.”

Along with creating the dances, Schmitt played the role of the White Stag, which represented the Holy Spirit. Finding a way to play an animal character and make it believable is no small task.  As weeks of practice went by, Schmitt said it was very impressive to see the actors grow and capture the nuances of their characters.

Another important part of the show went beyond entertainment. As in Lewis’s book, the musical revue clearly displays the Christian message. Schmitt said being at a Christian university allowed them to really develop that message through the script and characters.

“It was a great way to start out the season, and we are excited about the next four shows,” Theatre Manager Bill Hughes said. The theatre’s next production, Dancing at Lughnasa, opens on Oct. 25.

To learn more about upcoming shows, click here.

Bloomingdale’s Presented “Fashion Your Future” Event for Vanguard University Students

Bloomingdales1The Bloomingdale’s Fashion Your Future event reached its maximum capacity with 30 Vanguard University students rsvp’d and in attendance at the South Coast Plaza store on Oct. 8.

The event featured a fashion show and a Q&A session with Bloomingdale’s human resources manager, Linda Ceccato. It provided a great opportunity to learn interviewing tips from a hiring professional and to see how to dress for success. “It was really great to have a visual of what someone should look like when they go to an interview,” Employer Relations Coordinator Nicole Toro said.

Four of Vanguard University’s resident assistants (RA) walked the runway as the models for the fashion show. Bloomingdale’s presented two main looks for job interviews, very formal and semi-formal, and informed students of which look was appropriate for certain types of interviews.

For the very formal look, the RAs modeled business professional suits. For the semi-formal look, the lady’s look was a nice blouse with a nice skirt, and the guy’s look was a sports jacket with slacks. The weekend before the event weekend, the RAs went to Bloomingdale’s to be fitted for the outfits.

As a whole, the event taught students how to successfully market themselves to employers, Toro said. Ceccato told students how to look the part, speak as strong as their resumes speak and how to prepare going into the interview, Toro said. Ceccato encouraged students with little work experience to get involved on their campus and start volunteering.

She also told students to practice mock interviews. Toro said students are welcome and invited to setup mock interviews with the career services center. Practicing in front of a mirror was also encouraged. “You might be communicating something funny with your body that you don’t even realize,” Toro said.

Looking back on the event, student Selah Cosentino said: “I was just so engaged the whole time.” The event was very well planned and provided many helpful tips and networking, she added. As a senior business administration major looking to work in HR, she said it was great to hear Ceccato’s advice and get her business card for continued communication.

At the end of the event, Bloomingdale’s provided goody bags for all attendees, which included free samples. Cosentino said her bag was filled with expensive perfume samples that she gladly wore to work the next day. Grateful for Bloomingdale’s’ generosity and seeing the event as a success, Toro expressed a desire to see it become an annual event.

To learn more about what Vanguard’s career services has to offer, click here.

Legacy Family Event Celebrates Families with Multiple Generations of Vanguard University Alumni and Current Undergraduate Students

VU_AlumniLogo_RGB_SmallGenerations of Vanguard University alumni and current students gathered in the Towers Lobby for a legacy family reception and pinning ceremony on Oct. 5.

This year, one legacy family donated a $500 scholarship to be awarded to a randomly selected legacy family student. The winner, Sherayah Limon, is a freshman studying communications. Her parents, the Reverend Ed Limon ’90 and Angela Limon ’91, are Vanguard alumni.

The eight families in attendance made up a “really fun group,” Heather (Rachels ’02) Clements, a legacy family alumna and the assistant director of alumni relations at Vanguard University, said. Attending Vanguard University became tradition in these families because of the “life-changing experience” the first generation had, Clements said.

Vanguard University President Michael Beals attended the event. President Beals warmly greeted families, introduced the pinning ceremony and drew the winning name for the $500 scholarship.

In addition to recognizing and honoring these special families, the event provided an opportunity for alumni, wearing their legacy family pins, to present a pin to the current student in their family. Director of Alumni Relations Joel Gackle said his favorite part of the event was having the opportunity to celebrate these families that are “so uniquely tied to Vanguard.”

To learn more about Vanguard’s alumni relations, click here.

Military Advanced Education (MAE) magazine Selects Vanguard as a Top Military-Friendly University for 2014

MAEsVanguard University has been selected as a top military-friendly university for the Military Advanced Education (MAE) magazine’s 2014 Guide to Military-Friendly Colleges & Universities.

The MAE staff evaluates all of the schools’ survey submissions with a strict set of criteria. They are continually improving their selection process in order to provide service men and women with the best information to help them make the right choice in furthering their education, MAE said.

The Military Advanced Education magazine features an annual list of the top military-friendly colleges and universities in its December issue. Vanguard University is also featured at in the top 20% of the nation’s schools for “delivering the best experience for military students.”

“As a veteran I am proud to represent this school and continue to share the benefits of attending this school with the veteran community,” Samantha Sanchez, the veterans resource and outreach coordinator, said. As part of the Vanguard veteran community, Sanchez experiences the university’s mentorship, guidance and education first hand. Vanguard University gives veterans “a tailored experience that allows them to excel well beyond graduation,” she said.

To view the military friendly schools’ profile for Vanguard University, click here.


Special Speaker Series Discusses Creative Worship in the Contemporary Church

BlueLikeJazz1Hosted by Vanguard Professor Sarah Scott, the Creative Worship in the Contemporary Church speaker series features five different worship and creative arts leaders. Presentations are during Scott’s morning class from 8:30 to 9:20 in the basement classroom Heath 009. The next event will be on Oct. 10, featuring visual worship illuminator Stephen Proctor.

The first presentation took place on Sept. 24, with church technical arts expert Mike Sessler. Sessler is the Technical Arts Director at Coast Hills Community Church in Aliso Viejo, Calif. He specializes in using technology in the church to help create environments for worship.

On Oct. 10, Proctor, a curator of visual worship, will share his experience with creative worship as an illuminator. Proctor works to use projection and media to create moments of wonder and astonishment in worship. He has worked with artists and authors such as Gungor, All Sons & Daughters, Beth Moore, Travis Cottrell and Glenn Packiam.

The following week, on Oct. 17, Jefferson Denim will speak. Denim is an actor, musician and worship leader. He is the Director of Music and Arts at Mount of Olives Lutheran Church in Mission Viejo, Calif. He worked as a full-time actor after receiving his degree in Theatre Arts from UCLA, switched to being a full-time musician and then started his career in ministry work.

On Oct. 29, Brian Wurzell, the Worship Pastor at Hillside Community Church in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., will speak. Years of leading worship at camps, conferences and churches prepared Wurzell for his role in helping churches shape their creative ministries. A worship leader from his core, Wurzell loves people, music, artistry, and church ministry.

The last speaker in the series, Cari Jenkins, will speak on Nov. 12. She is the founder of the 11:29 Project, which focuses on fostering sustainable and thriving leaders around the world. Jenkins uses her 20 years of local church experience and her many gifts to help leaders root themselves in Jesus and take the Kingdom of God into their spheres of influence.

Because space is limited, individuals wanting to attend any of these presentations should contact Professor Scott by email. Her email is