The Global Center for Women and Justice Wraps Up 10th Anniversary Celebration; Looks to a New Decade of Initiatives

007  vanguardThe three-day anniversary celebration of the Global Center for Women and Justice (GCWJ) started with a hopeful message from Sandie Morgan during chapel on Thursday morning, September 19.  Addressing a few hundred eager Vanguard students, Morgan told them she was inspired early on by her father’s advice that she can do anything she works hard to do.  Her father would be proud.

The momentum of Morgan’s sentiment expressed at chapel earlier that morning continued into Thursday evening as dozens of people gathered at the Newport Lido Theater in Newport Beach to view Girl Rising.  Directed by Academy Award nominee Richard Robbins, the documentary tells the stories of nine girls from nine countries who each face extraordinary circumstances to achieve something many Americans take for granted every day: life, liberty, and justice.Panel

Following the documentary, Morgan explained to the audience that when she first viewed Girl Rising she was disappointed that she did not have the opportunity to discuss her feelings and reactions. In order to prevent anyone from feeling as she did, Morgan setup a panel to allow the audience to share their thoughts and feelings as they processed the sobering content of the film. The panel included Morgan and two experts: Cory Trenda, senior area director for WorldVision and Ruthie Hanchet, GCWJ board member and expert in child protection and children’s rights. Dr. Andy Stenhouse, dean of the Graduate and Professional Studies (GPS), moderated the panel.

A more festive mood came on Friday evening, as Vanguard students, faculty, staff and administrators congregated in the rotunda of the Heath building to celebrate the GCWJ’s inception ten years earlier.  With the help of Assistant Vice President of Development and alum Justin McIntee, four visually rich panels, each displaying messages about the key components in the Center’s evolution, were unveiled. Attendees also enjoyed cake and other treats as if attending a birthday party for a very special friend.

115  vanguardOn Saturday, September 21, the last of the celebratory events took place at the Balboa Bay Club’s Grand Ballroom.   With KOCE-TV/PBS SoCal’s Ed Arnold as emcee, approximately 300 guests attended the More Priceless than Diamonds luncheon.   Community leaders such as Kathleen Eaton of Birth Choice Health Clinics, and politicians such as Congressman Ed Royce, Mayors Keith Curry of Newport Beach and Bruce Whitaker of Fullerton, attended the luncheon.

Set against a beautiful white, luminous backdrop that evoked images of innocence and purity, keynote speaker Ernie Allen, founder and president/CEO of the International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children (IMEC), spoke about the sobering reality that child trafficking for sex has been on the rise locally and globally since the proliferation of the Internet. Allen is a world leader in the fight against child abduction, sexual exploitation, sexual violence and human trafficking.

Allen dispelled five myths about trafficking: the somewhere else myth, somebody else myth, victimless crime myth, street crime myth and women’s issue myth. Trafficking is a pervasive issue that is not limited to any specific region, area or type of people; it’s everywhere. Allen also talked about the need to “attack the demand” for such an “easy, low risk, extremely profitable and re-sellable” commodity.107  vanguard

Overall, the GCWJ’s three-day anniversary celebration was a success in numbers and in impact. In total, the Center raised $75,000 in proceeds from ticket sales, sponsorships and the live auction held during the luncheon. GCWJ Director Morgan encouraged attendees at all the events to get involved. “We are not the same. We all need each other,” she said.

To read the OC Register’s article about the GCWJ’s 10th anniversary celebrations, click here.

Endowed Scholarship Event Connects Students and Donors

VU Scholarships-13-031Hors d’oeuvres, violin strumming and members of the Vanguard University community filled Scott Courtyard on Thursday, September 12, for the Endowed Scholarship Event.

At the event, many students were able to meet the donors who provided their scholarships and thank them. According to Vanguard student and scholarship recipient Kristen Achziger, Vanguard University’s president, Dr. Michael Beals, gave an inspiring message about having a “posture of gratitude.” President Beals thanked contributors and shared some of the history of past Vanguard students.

Achziger, a senior communications major, received an Alumni Endowed Scholarship. “Thank you doesn’t begin to cover it,” she said. Looking back on the event as a whole, she said: “It shows me what it’s like to serve Vanguard students when I graduate and become an alumni.”

To learn more about Vanguard’s endowed scholarships and how to participate, click here.

2013 City Serve Blesses Community through 18 Different Outreaches

IMG_2236With a record 700 participants, this year’s City Serve stretched its reach to even more areas of need in Orange County. On Saturday, September 14, Vanguard University students, faculty and staff experienced the joys of serving their community and seeing God work through their service.

This year, participants were able to choose from 18 different outreaches. Outreaches varied from working with specific organizations to providing wax and water for surfers at local beaches. Providing free parking for people at the beach, dancing with residents at a convalescent home, planting trees in a local park and packing boxes of food for families in need are only a few examples of the service teams did.

Along with an overall greater number of participants, this year’s City Serve had the largest number of faculty, staff and administration participants. Vanguard University’s President, Michael Beals, and his wife, Faith, joined a group that helped with event preparations, cleaning and maintenance at Krochet Kids’ facility.

After finishing their service projects, participants came back to campus for a lunch at the school. Many participants returned with stories of not only the impact they were able to have on the community, but also the impact the day had on them personally. “My favorite part of the day was getting to stand near the entrance to the café as teams returned and hear their stories,” said Kayli Hillebrand, associate director of outreach.

One group’s story came from service they did outside of their assigned task. While passing out promotional flyers for Convoy of Hope’s upcoming service event, one group of students came across a single mother and her two barefooted children. After speaking with the mother, giving her a flyer and encouraging her to come to the event, the students began to leave.  Feeling God prompting them to do more, they turned back and asked the mother if they could buy her and her kids shoes and some toys. The mother was surprised and very grateful as she accepted the gifts. “I’m not sure who was touched more – the mom or our students,” Hillebrand said.

“My heart for this event has always been for our campus to grasp how simple loving our neighbors can be,” Hillebrand said. “Our city has so many phenomenal opportunities to partner with the Lord and the body of Christ in bringing about change for His Kingdom and I hope that our campus will dive in with both feet.”

To learn more about City Serve, click here.

Vanguard University Receives Mayor’s Award from City of Costa Mesa

On Tuesday, September 17, Costa Mesa’s Mayor Jim Righeimer presented the Mayor’s Award to Vanguard University President Michael Beals.  President Beals accepted the award on behalf of the university.IMG_1590-small

Before presenting the award, Mayor Righeimer mentioned Vanguard’s U.S. News and World Report ranking in the top ten of the 2014 Best Regional Colleges – West category. He also said that when choosing a recipient for the award, the council looks for people and organizations like Vanguard that have made a real impact on the community.

Upon receiving the award, President Beals thanked the mayor and the city and assured everyone present that Vanguard would continue to be an active member in the community. He told attendees about Vanguard’s recent City Serve, a day where hundreds of students went into multiple areas of the community to meet needs and serve others.IMG_1609-small

After the meeting, President Beals said he is “grateful that the mayor and the city recognize the importance and impact of Vanguard on this city.” As neighbors, Vanguard and the City have partnered on many initiatives. The partnership has been “powerful,” he said.

To see other Mayor’s Award recipients, click here.

New York Times Bestselling Author Donald Miller Speaks at Late Night Chapel on September 12

DonaldMillerCardAt 9 p.m. on Thursday, September 12, the seats of Newport Mesa Church filled.

Highly sought after national speaker and New York Times bestselling author Donald Miller spoke at Vanguard’s first “Late Night” event of the year. Some of Miller’s bestselling books include Blue Like Jazz, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years and Storyline.

“Understanding Self and Story” was the topic for the evening. Miller encouraged students to discover what it would look like for them to live a meaningful life. He spoke of the obstacles that would keep them from their passion and how to overcome them.

A lot of Miller’s points dealt with the issue of identity. He told students not to identify with their failures or their successes. He described times when writing became less fun and more challenging because his identity was in his past success. This identity caused a need to meet the expectations he assumed people now had for his writing. When he finally stopped worrying about impressing people and just got back to writing the way he knew and enjoyed, he found success again.

Dealing with another area of identity, Miller described the origin of people’s fear of rejection using a simple diagram his friend created. He talked about each individual’s self becoming suppressed from a young age by shame and then the individual creating a personality to hide the shame. He described shame to include any characteristic or action of an individual that, in reality or just in the individual’s mind, will cause society to reject them in some way.

After describing the obstacles and giving personal examples of how he overcame them, Miller reminded students to find what is meaningful to them in life. What are their passions? He challenged students to just jump: to take the first step toward what is meaningful for them without fear of change or what people will say and think. Stop worrying about what other people think and be yourself even if some people reject you because of it, he said.

To view the chapel calendar, click here.