Gallery Reception to Display Photography Student Projects Highlighting Stories of Community Members

Vanguard_Photo_Library_004Don’t just read the story, see the story! Vanguard University’s photojournalism students have captured the heart of the message “your story matters” by using photography.

Join Vanguard University’s photojournalism class for a gallery reception on Wednesday, April 24 that will feature student photography in their “Your Story Matters: A Photography Student’s Perspective” projects.

The reception will be held in the Great Commission Hall at Vanguard University starting at 6 p.m. This is a great opportunity to view student photography and see community member’s stories while enjoying refreshments.

Photojournalism Professor Chauncey Bayes challenged his photojournalism students to grab their cameras and find the untold stories of individuals in the Vanguard community. After weeks of photographing their chosen individual, each student developed picture stories describing the life of the person they chose.

One photojournalism student, junior communications major Kristen Achziger, captured the story of a Vanguard student who started a motel ministry to reach homeless residents in one of Costa Mesa’s smallest motels. The student, junior sociology major Jenna Marek, founded the ministry to focus on building relationships with these residents and inviting them to church. When describing how she found and chose Marek, Achziger said: “It was completely by accident, but it was a great accident.”

This project was a great opportunity to create artwork for a “higher purpose… To use our art for something greater,” Achziger said. She described the project as an opportunity to document the stories of many unique individuals of the Vanguard University community. Excited for attendees to experience the impact of these snapshots, Achziger said: “Photography is an especially powerful tool in sharing peoples’ stories.”

To learn more about the Department of Communication at Vanguard University, including courses like photojournalism, visit

The 2013 Spring Classical Concert Provided an Afternoon of Rich Classical Music for the Community

SpringConcert_MG_2980The hand-and-hand work of Vanguard University and St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church created a masterpiece on Sunday, April 21 at the 2013 Spring Classical Concert.

The 2013 Spring Classical Concert was the final event in Vanguard University’s weeklong Celebration of the Arts (COTA). A continued favorite among the community, the concert intertwines the musical talents of the Vanguard Concert Choir and Concert Orchestra with the St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church Sanctuary Choir. This year’s concert had a great turnout with close to 500 people in attendance.

From the partnering in volunteer work to the combined choirs and orchestra on stage, the Spring Classical Concert was a shared success.  Chelsea Belardo ’04, the Special Events and Volunteer Coordinator, said the concert is a “long standing tradition” that she remembers from when she was a student in Vanguard’s Music Department.

Featuring classical music and classy attire, this year’s concert provided the community with the look, feel, and sound of a professional concert. “It was nice to see a daytime concert treated so well,” Belardo said. Seeing the choirs and orchestra in their black-and-white attire was one of many highlights for Belardo.

Listing some other favorite features, Belardo said she “liked the partnership between the church and Vanguard” and felt that on the stage, throughout the setup and during the show, every aspect of the event “melded so well together.” Belardo also enjoyed seeing so many faculty, staff, students and parents attending the event and showing their support.

For more information about the concert, visit the event page by clicking here.


Witness the Color Barrier Destroyed in Baseball through a Vanguard University Professor’s Biographical Work and the New Movie “42”

According to Vanguard University’s Professor of History, John R. M. Wilson, Ph.D., the new movie “42” accurately reflects the life of baseball player Jackie Robinson.

As the author of a new biography about Robinson, which is found in the Library of American Biography series, Dr. Wilson can attest to the historical accuracy of the new movie “42”. His book, Jackie Robinson and the American Dilemma, is a fairly brief biography on Robinson’s life that was designed for collateral reading in college history classes. Recently released, “42” focuses on 18 months of Robinson’s life and captures the historic breakthrough in the world of baseball during his 1947 season with the Brooklyn Dodgers.

Dr. Wilson emphatically praised the movie’s accuracy saying, “it’s great educationally, emotionally and historically.” Similar to someone who has read a popular book before seeing its movie version, Dr. Wilson said he could see a lot of things coming, which he was thrilled about because it meant the movie was keeping pretty close to historical fact.

In describing numerous specific details from the movie, Dr. Wilson believes it captured Robinson “quite well.” Being an avid baseball fan since the age of about seven, Dr. Wilson knows a thing or two about players and the game. He has written close to 55 articles for the American National Biography, most of which are about baseball players.

The invitation to write one of the biographies that would print in the Library of American Biography was a great honor to Dr. Wilson. The book was an opportunity to intertwine his love for baseball, his passion for history and his Christian faith, while writing about an amazing historical figure.

In the book, Dr. Wilson provides a survey of Robinson’s life with an emphasis on how important Robinson’s Christian faith was to him. Dr. Wilson said the movie incorporated moments reflecting Robinson’s commitment to his beliefs and he hopes that more than just Christian audience members will pick up on those moments.

Read the Department of History and Political Science’s news post to learn more about Dr. Wilson and the book by clicking here.

Vanguard University Adopts Military Tradition to Honor Graduating Student Veterans

In celebration of the class of 2013 Vanguard Veteran Graduates, Vanguard University will hold a Veteran’s Challenge Coin Ceremony on April 25.

Adopting a military tradition, Vanguard University will present each graduating student veteran with a unique challenge coin at the Thursday evening event. The event will take place in the Veterans Courtyard of Honor from 4:00 to 5:30 p.m.

Military members use challenge coins for recognition, morale and pride.  The tradition of carrying challenge coins dates back to World War I when a coin saved a serviceman from execution after escaping German captivity and finding himself in allies’ hands who did not believe he was an ally until they saw the coin.

The coin was a gift from the lieutenant of the man’s squadron. The lieutenant ordered bronze coins for all the men in his squadron to serve as symbols of pride for the men because they carried the unit’s insignia on them. Today, the coins are popular among members of every military branch.

Vanguard University’s challenge coins will honor student veterans and provide two challenges for them as they begin their next season of life. The first challenge is pictured on one side of the coin by a U.S. flag and the flag of whichever branch the student veteran served. This side’s challenge is to “Act Justly, Walk Humbly, and Love Mercy with Commitment, Honor, and Excellence.”

The other side holds the Vanguard University logo with the values of “Truth, Virtue, and Service” imprinted on it. These values serve as another challenge for student veterans to remember as they enter the next chapter of life.

To RSVP for this event, click here.

For more information on the event, click here.

The Lewis Wilson Institute’s Spring Seminar Dives into Vanguard University’s Rich Heritage

Teachers often ask: What’s the context? On Friday, April 12, Dr. Greg Austring, the Associate Professor of Intercultural Studies, Religion and Ethics at Vanguard University, put the Vanguard community in context as he described the University’s spiritual heritage at the Lewis Wilson Institute (LWI) Spring Seminar.

Pulling from his recently completed Ph.D. dissertation, Dr. Austring’s lecture focused on the “urgency of missions and missions outreach in early Pentecostalism,” LWI Director Dr. Derrick R. Rosenior said. The seminar’s topic was: “Early Assemblies of God Missionary Preparation: The Influence of Harold Needham and the Newly Established Southern California Bible School (Vanguard University).”

Describing Vanguard University’s religious and historical context, Dr. Austring helped attendees to better grasp the heritage they acquired when joining the Vanguard community, Dr. Rosenior explained. Dr. Austring described the Vanguard University founders’ dedication to training missionaries that inspired them to start the Southern California Bible College, which eventually became Vanguard University.

Vanguard’s identity “is part of a broader Pentecostal movement,” said Dr. Rosenior. Overall, Dr. Rosenior felt the lecture was interesting, informative and very useful for putting “Vanguard in context.”

For more information on the LWI Spring Seminar, visit their website.

Click here to learn more about Vanguard University’s history.