Decade of the 1960s Reunion Weekend Begins on Friday, June 21, 2013

Vanguard University Decade of the 1960s Reunion Weekend

The “We love SCC!” video may have been made in the 1980’s, but we still love it! And on Friday, June 21, another group of our alumni will gather at Vanguard University to participate in the biennial Decade of the 1960s Reunion.

Most 1960s graduates proudly called their university Southern California College, although some of them attended the university when it was still called Southern California Bible College. The university’s name was officially changed to Vanguard University of Southern California on July 1, 1999.

The group of 1960s alumni has been meeting together for over a decade. The Reunion was created to help them stay connected with each other. It occurs every other year and is currently planned by two alums, Vonnie Franks and Sharon “Smitty” Saalinger. During this weekend-long event, June 21-23, alumni will spend time together in fellowship, stay overnight in the dorms, dine on lunch in the university’s new Veterans Courtyard of Honor, have an old fashioned Saturday night sing-along, and share meals in the on campus café.

Click here to view a schedule of the weekend’s events. To register for the Decade of the 60’s Reunion, click here.

You can visit for photographs of the event, coming soon!

Vanguard University Hosts Cyclists at Start of Sea to Sea’s Nine-Week Bike Tour to Reduce Poverty

Partnership between Vanguard University and Sea to Sea marked by common desire to serve others by alleviating poverty

Costa Mesa, CA, June 17, 2013 – Vanguard University announced today that it is an official bike tour sponsor for Sea to Sea, a nonprofit organization dedicated to ending poverty worldwide. Cyclists embarking on the bike tour across the United States will depart from Vanguard University after a brief stay on campus.

The 3,900 mile bike tour is sponsored by the Reformed Church in AmericaPartners Worldwide, and World Renew – an agency of the Christian Reformed Church in North America. The most recent bike tour, held in 2008, sent over $1.5 million to local, national and international agencies fighting poverty. The fundraising goal for this year’s bike tour is $2 million.

“After the amazing experience of the 2005 Sea to Sea bike tour, I felt called to promote awareness of the needs of the poor, says Claire Elgersma, steering committee chairman and cyclist for Sea to Sea. “This year, 35% of the proceeds will go to local programs that assist those in poverty. We hope that partners like Vanguard University, who are also dedicated to serving the poor, will continue to ride with us until poverty is eliminated.”

According to Sea to Sea, nine million people die worldwide each year because of hunger and malnutrition. The Census Bureau, which defines poverty as those living with an annual income of less than $23,283 for a family of four, reports that 15% of the United States population were living in poverty in 2011. The World Bank, which calculates the threshold for dire poverty in developing countries as $1.25 per day of consumption (versus income), projects that the population share of extreme poor in developing countries will be halved by 2015, down from 29% in 1990 to 12% in 2015.

“We’re delighted to be able to sponsor an organization like Sea to Sea that is dedicated to making a positive impact in the world,” says Mike Beals, dean of spiritual formation at Vanguard University. “With our students seeing first-hand the impacts of global poverty in places like East Africa, South America, and the Middle East where they serve on missions trips each summer, we recognize the great need to support an initiative like this. We look forward to being able to partner with Sea to Sea now and in the future to help reduce poverty.”

After dipping their tires in the Pacific Ocean on Sunday, June 23, the cyclists will officially start the bike tour to end poverty from Vanguard University on Monday, June 24 and end in New York City nine weeks later. The bike tour will make stops in Phoenix, Rehoboth, Colorado Springs, Iowa City, Grand Rapids, Ancaster, Toronto, and Montreal.

For more information about the Sea to Sea Bike Tour, click here.


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. Ranked annually by U.S. News & World Report as one of the top 10 colleges in the west since 2010, 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.

The Sea to Sea 2013 Bike Tour is a nine-week, 3,900-mile cycling trek from Southern California to New York City designed to raise awareness and funds in support of those living in poverty around the world. The tour is hosted by the Reformed Church in America, Partners Worldwide, and World Renew – an agency of the Christian Reformed Church in North America.

Vanguard University Professor Kristen Howerton speaks at TEDx ChapmanU Conference

Vanguard University Professor Kristen Howerton at TEDx ChapmanU conference

Photo by TEDx ChapmanU

Kristen Howerton is a psychology professor at Vanguard University; a marriage and family therapist; the author of well-known blog, Rage Against the Minivan; and a social media aficionado. She contributes to several online publications and print magazines including the Huffington Post and OC Family.

Kristen was invited to speak at this year’s TEDx ChapmanU conference, an independently organized TED event, which occurred on Tuesday, June 4. At the conference, she spoke about the benefits and dangers of social media in today’s technology-centered world.

“We’ve found diversions for ourselves that become central, that can keep us from reaching our goals or connecting with other people,” she said about the costs of technology. “We value the distraction over relationships and it causes us to put our lives on hold… Our life is not in [our phone]; it’s out here. It’s not online.”

Watch a video recording of Kristen’s speech below.

Vanguard University Local Outreach Prepares for City Serve 2013

Mark your calendars for City Serve 2013! This fall, Vanguard University’s annual community service project will take place on Saturday, September 14th.

Vanguard University City Serve community service This September, Vanguard students will be working with local churches, nonprofit organizations, and businesses to complete service projects throughout Orange County like painting and repairs, playing with youth, and visiting local senior citizen centers.

Students will be divided into service teams assigned by dorm halls and will spread out around the community to participate in a variety of service projects for the purpose of blessing and loving our neighbors. The goal of the event is two-fold: to expose Vanguard students to the needs around the community and to foster relationships that will help students, faculty, and staff to participate in continued service. This 1-day event is merely an introduction to the vast amount of service opportunities around Orange County.

This year, Vanguard University’s Outreach ministries is ramping up their involvement with Alumni and asking graduates of Vanguard to participate in service projects in their own communities on the same day as the undergraduate City Serve event. Vanguard’s Outreach ministries is excited for City Serve 2013 and can’t wait to share more information with incoming and returning Vanguard students. Check back later this summer for more details on how to sign up, and watch the video below to see a recap of City Serve 2012!

For more information, please visit:
Have a question? Contact

City Serve 2012 Recap from Vanguard University on Vimeo.

Vanguard University Student Teams Make an Impact in China

Liberal Studies major Anna Hernandez said it, almost as a joke: “I want to go to China.” But the more she said it out loud, the more the thought seemed to stick with her.

She had wanted to teach English in China since her freshman year at Vanguard University, but the idea had been placed on the backburner as she studied, worked, and spent her summers at home. During her junior year, however, an opportunity to take the trip appeared. “I was late to apply,” Anna said about the application process, “but every door opened for me to go. Every one. It felt like God wanted me to go.”

Vanguard University has sent teaching teams to China each year since 2004. This year, Dr. Mike Wilson, associate provost and dean of the college, led the trip.

Dr. Wilson first came to China in 1984 where he was an Instructor at Jiangxi Agricultural University for two years. After spending an additional year in Hong Kong, he returned to the States and came to Vanguard, where he currently teaches Chinese History. This summer was his fourth time leading the Vanguard Teaching Team.

The trip to China was the first outreach trip of the summer and started only three days after the spring semester ended. A total of eight students on the Vanguard Teaching Team packed their belongings during finals week in order to fly out of the country on May 12. For Anna, packing in such a short timeframe was hard, but it was even harder to leave the country on Mother’s Day. Still, sacrificing in order to help others was well worth it.

Dr. Mike Wilson of Vanguard University teaches cultural differences in dining etiquette to Chinese students

Dr. Mike Wilson teaching cultural differences in dining etiquette to Chinese students

The students boarded a plane to Shanghai and then another to Beijing. Once landed, the team spent three days in Beijing to tour the area. Dr. Wilson said these days of touring gave the students “a chance to acclimate to the culture and bond as a team.” After a pit stop in Beijing, the team took another flight to Xi’an and then a bus to Hanzhong. All together, the flights and bus ride amounted to nearly 21 hours of travel time.

Once in Hanzhong, the Vanguard Teaching Team spent ten days teaching English to non-English majors at Shaanxi University of Technology. The team lectured in classrooms, gave demonstrations, and spent time developing relationships with many of the Chinese students. “It’s always amazing to me how quickly we can connect in the span of a week,” Dr. Wilson said of the cross-cultural friendships that were made on the trip. “We felt really close to a lot of [Chinese] students who helped us.” Anna was humbled to see God’s love for people, and His desire for us to build relationships with others.

Anna Hernandez from the Vanguard Teaching Team with a group of Chinese students

Anna, center, with a group of Chinese students

Before the trip, Dr. Wilson hoped that his team of students would have their minds broadened by their experiences in China. Anna had a similar wish: the desire to see God’s hand at work in a different culture. Both of these dreams were fulfilled. Dr. Wilson recalls that during group debriefs, each student shared incredible stories of God at work in China. In one such debrief, a student turned to Dr. Wilson and said, “I see why you keep coming back.”

At the end of the trip, Dr. Wilson was glad to see that the team had become “extremely bonded.” The group’s only complaint about the trip was that it was far too short.

“I want to go back,” said Anna when asked if she would consider taking another trip to China. “I would definitely recommend students to take a missions trip if they can. [They] don’t even have to go very far.” Even reaching out to a community in one’s own country is a great way to be a model for Christ.

Vanguard China Teaching Team 2013 at the Great Wall

Vanguard China Teaching Team 2013 at the Great Wall

Each summer, Vanguard University Global Outreach sends several groups of students to countries all over the globe in order to “lead the Vanguard community to deeply value and relentlessly pursue a life of faith in action.” This summer, a total of eleven teams will be given an opportunity to live that mission out internationally. Besides China, other countries the teams will visit are Tanzania, Peru, Mozambique, the Middle East, Ireland, Honduras, Fiji, Ethiopia, the Dominican Republic/Haiti, and Australia. For more information, visit: