run for mercy

Student T-Shirt Contest

(Pictured above: 2015 Run for Mercy)

Nathanael Harrington’s ’15 story is certainly not what he had originally planned. Nathanael began his Vanguard experience as a freshman in the fall of 1998. He continued his studies until the spring of 2001. From 2001 until 2013, Nathanael served in the National Guard, and it was at this point that his life took another turn. Nathanael was diagnosed with Huntington’s Disease, an incurable that causes breakdown of the nerves cells in the brain.  The disease is inherited, with no cure. Nathanael returned to Vanguard, and completed his degree in May 2015.  He and his wife, along with their four children are fighting to help raise awareness of the disease – and pray for a breakthrough in research.

We want YOU to design the t-shirt that all race participants will be wearing. This is a unique way to play a part in celebrating and honoring this amazing alumni family.

 Contest Details:


5K Run For Mercy


All submissions must follow specific guidelines:

  • 1 color front design
  • Include content – Vanguard University, 5K Run for Mercy, 2016


All files must be vector and submitted in Adobe Illustrator form. Please also submit font files. Email submissions to by November 24.


Entries will be pre-juried by a panel of staff experts. Winners will be notified in December and shirts will be distributed at the 5K Run For Mercy on Saturday, January 30.



OC Register

Jeff Motske

Jeff Motske ’88
 graduated from Vanguard with a Business degree and reputation as a dedicated star baseball player.  He is currently the president of Trilogy Financial Services in fountain Valley.  He grew up living in the Orange County area and has continued to raise a family in the area after graduation as well as quickly gaining rapid success in his own financial business.  His success has only grown, both professionally and personally.  With coaching his children’s sports teams, playing on a softball team with his dad for 30 years, keeping up regular date nights and family times, Motske has definitely made an impression within the community of Orange county as achieving the balanced life.

His secret?  Jeff Motske says that he has a game plan for every day and challenges himself with the question – “What did I do that was productive today?”

In the OC Register article, Jeff Motske is an example of balance, motivation, and commitment
in every aspect of his life.

Read the full length article in the OC Register- News.


Vanguard is Coming to Denver!

To our Alumni in the Denver area- we are coming and would love to see you!  On Wednesday, November 11 the Alumni Relations office invites you to join us for dinner and a Denver Nuggets game.  It will be a great opportunity for you to bring your entire family and catch up with fellow Alumni!

We will be eating dinner at 5:30pm and watching the game at 7:00pm located in a special meeting room at the Pepsi Center.  The cost is $10 per person, but tickets include dinner and the game.  We would love to see you and anyone else that you would like to bring.  However, space is limited so we need an RSVP by November 5 to or register online at:—denver-alumni-event?srctid=1&erid=127401&trid=da69d158-a882-4fa8-a9ef-e66054a078d1.  Hope to see you there!


Coffee 1

Alumni Spotlight: NEAT Coffee with Ally Garvin

Ally 2It is very rare that you come across a Vanguard student that does not enjoy coffee, which is why we are so excited about the new coffee shop in the area that has been opened by our very own Alumni, Ally Garvin ’09.  We had the opportunity to hear Ally’s story, how she ended up at Vanguard and what pushed her to pursue her dream of opening a coffee shop in Costa Mesa. Ally grew up in Colorado with dreams of moving to the West coast and out of her land locked state.  After touring other colleges in Southern California that were not nearly as close to the beach, she quickly decided on Vanguard.  Her four years at Vanguard had a great impact on who she is today.

“My time outside of the classroom was just as influential as the time I spent sitting through great lectures and discussions.  Between friends, metnors and professors, I learned the importance of knowing myself and my strengths and understanding how I can uniquely play a part in what God is doing around me.  I learned how to be a good neighbor by walking alongside others to encourage them in using what they have to better their situation and their neighborhood.  I learned how to approach the world around me with a consistent and faith filled worldview and I will be forever grateful for my time here.”

Through Vanguard, Ally met some of her closest friends along with her husband, David Garvin ’09.  Shortly after graduating and getting married, Ally and DAvid moved to Uganda to work with Krochet Kids and 31 Bits which was fundamental to the shaping of their marriage.  During their year of traveling around Uganda, they were able to visit a coffee farm in the Mount Elgon region.  They were able to give a tour of the land and see every stage of the coffee bean from the cherry on the tree to stripping away the parchment to drying the beans to roasting them over a campfire and finally grinding and steeping those coffee beans in a French press the next morninCoffee 2g.  This full circle experience combined with Ally’s love for community and the way that coffee brings people together birthed a dream to one day own a coffee shop in what she now considers to be her home- Costa Mesa.  Since moving back to Costa Mesa, she worked at three different coffee shops learning and preparing for the day that she would be able to branch out on her own.  About two months ago, Ally’s dream was turned into a reality when she opened “Neat Coffee.”

Ally describes Neat Coffee as “Simple. Good coffee, good service, good community.”  Her goal is to let the coffee experience remain approachable and friendly, warm and inviting.  For the time being, Ally plans for Neat Coffee to remain a pop-up shop while she gains momentum.  As time goes on, she is striving to create a common space for people to gather.

“Shared spaces are vital for healthy neighborhoods and I plan to help create that type of space where everyone is welcome.  It will give local residents, students, business men and women, foodies and artists room to connect, dream and plan ways to better their community and see themselves as an integral part in a bigger story while they sip on the best coffee in town.” 

If you are in the Costa Mesa area, don’t forget to stop by Neat Coffee at Wayfare and enjoy the “good coffee, good service, and good community.”


Christmas Fantasia: Alumni Discount

Kick off the Christmas season with your Vanguard family!

Enjoy favorite carols and breathtaking masterpieces performed by Vanguard University’s 200-member choirs and orchestra on Tuesday, December 8 at 8pm in the Segerstrom Center for the Arts.

We are offering our ALUMNI family a special discount to attend. This would be a great way to celebrate the Christmas season together! alumni discount

class notes

Class Notes: Fall/Winter 2015


Vanguard Alumni: We are gathering Class Notes for the Fall/Winter 2015 issue of the Vanguard Magazine!

They are the most-read section of the magazine, so we want to make sure as many Alumni are included as possible.

Class Notes are in these categories – 
Just Marriedbagwells2
Future Alumni (babies born among us)
In Memory (honorariums for those who have passed away)


Let us know what you’ve been up to since you graduated. Other information to include: Did you receive another degree? How about a promotion? Have you moved to a different state? Did you celebrate a special anniversary recently? Where have you traveled to? What has your church, family, and/or company been up to? All of this information helps as we write your Class Note for the Vanguard Magazine!




Carrie (LaRue ’98) and Scott Feitl ’98 moved to Lansing, MI in 2010 after Scott received his Master’s of Human Relations from the University of Oklahoma.  while in Lansing, Scott ministered as the Family Pastor and then the Executive Pastor at Trinity Church.  this year Scott has stepped out of the church and started a marriage enrichment ministry called We Connect Coaching (  He now presents workshops at churches and meets with couples on-line to help them better understand themselves and each other, communicate effectively, and enjoy each other for life.  Carrie is kept busy working at a local priority school where she is working with staff and teachers as a data coach.  They have two beautiful girls, Sydney (10) and Ashlyn (6).


Now, HOW do you submit a Class Note? Don’t worry, it’s easy…

  1. Online at Vanguard Alumni website:
  2. Email: with Subject: My Class Note
  3. Mail: Vanguard University c/o Alumni Relations, 55 Fair Drive, Costa Mesa, CA 92626


Deadline is November 2. Please send any information to us by then! Photos (landscape orientation) can be emailed (jpeg) or mailed at the address above. Prints will not be returned. Also, when you send us your photos, it grants Vanguard University permission to print it.

Check out other Vanguard Magazines online here:


Joyce LaPointe ’91

Seeing how God is using Vanguard Alumni is incredible, and Joyce LaPointe ’91 is no exception.  She attended Vanguard University on an athletic scholarship for basketball and softball and received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Kinesiology.  After graduating Vanguard, Joyce began her career in 1997 with Costa mesa police in 1997.  She was hired out of the orange Cuonty sheriff Academy and then worked in patrol, as a field training, bike patrol, traffic and tactical flight officer and as a defensive tactics instructor.  In 2006, she earned her private helicopter license.  As sergeant, she managed patrol teams, the Field Officers Training Program, jail operations, emergency management, and Force Tactics training. She is also the recipient of the Mothers against Drunk Drivers Century Award and a Life Saving Merit award.

Recently, in September, 18-year police veteran Joyce LaPointe moved into the role of lieutenant, marking the first time a female has held that title in the city of Costa Mesa.

I really don’t look at it as blazing a trail.  there have been so many females and so many great leaders who have come before me.  They [female officers before her] did all the work.  it’s more along the lines of paying it forward for them.  It’s now my turn to take the baton and keep moving forward with it.

-Joyce LaPointe

In her new role, LaPointe will be the commander for Area 1, which is the southern end of town, and will be charged with overseeing patrol officers and quality of life issues for residents and business owners.  She was officially sworn in at 9 a.m. Wednesday September 16.

Joyce has received much praise and compliments as she entered into this new position. However, this isn’t the first time that she has made history in the department.  She and Sgt. Stephanie Selinske were the department’s first female DUI enforcer officers.  In the first three months they had arrested 230 drunk drivers, which was big back then.  She was promoted to corporal in 2002 and then sergeant in 2007.

We are so proud of Joyce LaPointe and cannot wait to see how she continues to use her God-given talents.


Inaugural Larson Lectureship: Featuring Admiral Vern Clark

admvclarkYou are cordially invited to the Inaugural Larson Lectureship on Ethics & Business featuring Admiral Vernon E. Clark (Retired Chief of Naval Operations).  This special VIP event will be held on Monday, October 26, 2015 from 7:00pm-8:00pm at Newport Mesa Church (Vanguard University Campus).

The Bill & Joanne Larson Lectureship on Ethics & Business features nationally recognized business and civic leaders who embody a life of Christ-centered leadership and service.  This particular featured speaker, Admiral, US (RET.) Vernon E. Clark, is the second longest serving Chief of Naval Operations in history, and completed a distinguished 37-year Navy career in 2005.  He also served as a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff during Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom-Afghanistan.  Forged an effort to make the Navy more competitive and postured the Navy for the challenges of the past 911 world.  His innovations led to billions of dollars in savings for the taxpayers of the nation and the highest operational readiness the Navy had witnessed in decades.  Clark was a former member of the Vanguard University Board of Trustees and has served on various boards in industry and education including rolls Royce North America, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon Company and Regent University.

Please join us for this exclusive opportunity to meet with a man who has played a significant part at Vanguard University and our country. If you would like to go, RSVP by October 19 to


Letter from SGA President

Dear Vanguard family,

Hello, my name is Sheridan Smith and I am the Student Body President of Vanguard University. I hail from Northern California, a city called Elk Grove to be precise and will be graduating next year in May. Every Vanguard colleague and alumni have told me the same piece of advice when preparing for graduation: “Enjoy your senior year, it goes by fast”. From my own personal experience I’ve realized that it does! I still remember eagerly researching colleges one night and researching a school that would not only be the right fit as a resource to help me develop my personal faith, as well as be a community that felt like a “home away from home”.

In the first few years, I learned that what makes Vanguard so special was that it balanced a community that nourished your spiritual life, and challenged you academically. This is one of the things I love about Vanguard. Every classroom you walk into each student realizes that a Professor’s lecture will be interesting based on the subject matter, as well as enriching based on the incorporated faith that is discussed no matter what class you are in. My Vanguard experience has been a beautiful, challenging, and life-giving experience. I believe as an 18 year old you come into college knowing nothing about who you actually are and then you end up graduating realizing that you know a little bit more of who you were called to be. This change happens when after a season of experiencing Vanguard, you realize that your story truly does matter, and God is continuing to help you understand your own unique and personal narrative. I started realizing what it means to be Sheridan Smith by having enough courage to press into what I believed God was calling me to, and how He was trying to show me who I am. He taught me through great Vanguard resources like our free counseling center, mentoring programs, and dynamic classes that “who I am” is discovered through understanding who I am in Him.

Over summer I found myself realizing how much God truly had some awesome things in store for Vanguard’s student body. I was reminded of our traditions, my personal goals, and the vision my team and I believe God is calling us to. The vision for our student body was that we continue to acknowledge ourselves as the vibrant community that Vanguard is, and how we can better spiritually and intellectually thrive together. Vanguard still has the same values and traditions it had when it opened in 1920, a community rooted in Jesus Christ. I believe what made Southern California College so great, and now Vanguard is that is helps students understand that their personal narratives are important, and that God has a plan for each member of the community. I hope that someone who has once called Vanguard their home realizes that our academic institution that we call Vanguard still helps cultivate an environment that shapes, ignites and encourages growth in our Christian faiths and personal development. Our keys to fulfilling our great potential as a community starts with being Kingdom-minded and firmly rooted in our identity in Christ Jesus. In order for us to better serve each other; whether as a member of leadership, an athlete, or a thriving academic student on campus, we first must understand the importance of recognizing our identity. When we first recognize our identities as followers of Christ, we will better recognize what true service looks like. We will also learn how to help continue generating a culture of empowering leaders of men and women of God to influence the communities around them. I’m excited for our campus. I’m excited because I get to see freshman and senior, students at completely different moment in their Vanguard journey, have their lives changed in the exact same place.

There are many goals Student Governments seeks to accomplish this year. Student Government Association encompasses values that care about advocating for the needs of the student body. I sit on a student senate that helps to ask the right questions and provide the right solutions to better represent my student constituents well. We are still putting on great events that create a space where students can have fun and enjoy each other’s company. My vision for SGA is that we continue to look and see how we can implement new resources that are rooted in the traditions and heart of Vanguard, as well as look into improvements that may be essential for the life of our students. As a Senior, I continue to recognize how much Vanguard has shaped me and given me resources to better pursue the dreams God has placed in my heart, as well as continue to be shaped by the resources God has given me on this campus. Pray, with us this year about the journey toward bigger and better things for the student body, that we will be empowered as leaders that are guided by the Holy Spirit in everything we do, and will boldly live and love in a way that is in Jesus Christ’s name. I am excited to be the Student Body President; it’s a lot of responsibility but also a lot of fun. What I am more excited about though, is that I know that I am a part of a community that supports me as a student, a leader, and a man of God. I am thankful for Vanguard and the incredible impact it continues to have on my life.

Sheridan Smith

Vanguard University SGA President, 2015-2016


Academy Class of 216 Graduation Ceremony.

Police Academy Graduate: Kevin Christianson ’13

Academy Class of 216 Graduation Ceremony.
After graduation, Kevin Christianson ’13, began to pursue a career in law enforcement.  For 26 weeks, Kevin and 33 other members of Class 216 endured stress training, physical training, as well as learning how to use firearms, arrest control techniques, and communication skills.

On August 27, 2015 Kevin ’13 graduated from what is considered one of the “toughest and most professional police academies in the nation.”  Not only did he graduate, but he graduated 1st in his class.

We are so proud of our Alumni and can’t wait to see where God takes Kevin ’13 as he continues his journey at the Costa Mesa Police Department.