Commencement is one of the most memorable events in a person’s life. Eager graduates donning caps, gowns and ear-to-ear smiles, ambling proudly up to the podium to receive their well-earned diplomas, symbolic of the end of a long but worthwhile journey that creates great anticipation for what the next significant phase of their lives holds for them. Add in the powerful ingredient of a moving keynote speaker, whose message resonates inspiration and hope, and chances are you’re attending a Vanguard University commencement.
This year, Vanguard University graduates will have the opportunity to hear first-hand the testimony of a man who has led a Spirit-empowered life of Christ-centered service and leadership, which happens to be Vanguard’s mission. Reverend John Bueno is a veteran missionary who has dedicated his life to supporting the ministry of education to needy children in El Salvador through El Salvador Schools and Latin America Child Care (LACC). Bueno and his wife Lois, served as a pastor for 28 years in El Salvador and created a school for the needy children in San Salvador that grew to 22, 000 students in 37 campuses. His ministry provides schooling, clothing, meals, and medical care for thousands of needy children in Latin America. And these are just a few of the many successful programs and initiatives in the area of service and ministry that Pastor Bueno has spearheaded.
As the father of four Vanguard alumni – Robert Bueno ’84, MA ’94, Steven Bueno ’87, Ronald Bueno ’90, and David Bueno ’93 – Bueno regards Vanguard University as a leader in Christian education in a more meaningful way than your average commencement speaker might. “My four sons all graduated from Vanguard. Since Vanguard had a great part in the formation of my sons, it is very gratifying to return to the school and express our appreciation.”
In fact, two of Bueno’s sons are still connected to the Vanguard community as glowing examples of the same faith and dedication their father possesses. Through Enlace, an El Salvador-based organization his sons founded that equips church leaders with the ability to develop sustainable solutions to poverty, they have taken what they learned from Vanguard to impact lasting sociocultural change. Anthropology Professor Jamie Huff ’95 is still involved in this organization and continues to take students on missions trips to assist with battling poverty in this region.
The greatest lesson his children learned from Vanguard? “A sense of community,” says Pastor Bueno. “Relationships that were formed at Vanguard lasted throughout their ministry.”
For more information regarding all Commencement events, please visit the website at vanguard.edu/commencement.