ShaneClaiborne

Activist Shares Message on Simplistic, Christ-Like, Communal Living at Late Night

During April 9-10, Shane Claiborne, peacemaker and radical lover of Jesus Christ, spoke at multiple Vanguard University gatherings where he described the genuine, Christ-like faith taught in Scriptures and how his community practically lives out that teaching.

In the heart of the urban empire of Philadelphia, Claiborne started The Simple Way,a Christ-following community and nonprofit, or as their website states, “a web of subversive friends conspiring to spread the vision of ‘Loving God, Loving People, and Following Jesus’ in our neighborhoods and in our world.” As a radical follower of the teachings of Christ who has worked with Mother Teresa, Claiborne shares with audiences around the world how to live the way that Christ instructed and what that looks like.ShaneClaiborne_2

Along with describing the radical attributes of The Simple Way community, Claiborne described ways for attendees to practically enact the counter-cultural call of Christ in their lives. He said that a great guiding principle to live by is: “what does it mean to love this person right now?” Being in relationship with people is how we help resolve the issues of injustice in this world, he said. “When you have relationships with people affected by injustice, you can’t help but care,” he added.

Claiborne also talked about the importance of being an active member in a community today like the communities of the early church. “Part of why community is so important is because we bear the heavy days together,” Claiborne said at Late Night. At the student leader gathering, Claiborne added that “we can’t just have an idea or vision [for community or what radical changes we want to make in the world]; we have to love the people around us.” Near the close of the student leader gathering, Claiborne said: “It’s not how much you do, but how much you love.”

In an effort to encourage others to take more seriously the words and love of Christ, Claiborne travels and shares this message with communities around the world. He is featured on the blog, Red Letter Christians, which identifies its main goal as: “To take Jesus seriously by endeavoring to live out His radical, counter-cultural teachings as set forth in Scripture, and especially embracing the lifestyle in the Sermon on the Mount.” Claiborne is also the author of several books: Jesus for President, Red Letter Revolution, Common Prayer, Follow Me to Freedom, Jesus, Bombs and Ice Cream, Becoming the Answer to Our Prayers, and The Irresistible Revolution.

To find out more about Claiborne and The Simple Way, click here.

Gratitude Week 2015

Students Thank Donors for Generous Giving

gratweekWords of gratitude fill and color cards at Vanguard University’s 2015 “Gratitude Week” as students thank donors for their life-changing contributions.

On April 6-10, Vanguard University is hosting the 2015 “Gratitude Week” to encourage students to remember the support they have received and to thank the many donors who have financially contributed to student pursuits in higher education. “One of the amazing things about Vanguard is that 95 percent of students get support from someone else’s giving,” the alumni relations coordinator, Lauren Francis, said. Along with funds to support and empower students academically, donors have contributed to The Pit (Vanguard’s gym), the weight room, equipment for athletic teams, the Veteran’s Courtyard outside of Scott Hall, the Lyceum Theater, and of course, the new Scott Building that is opening this fall.Gratitude Week 2015

Students interested in writing a card should visit the “Gratitude Week” booth that is setup outside of the cafeteria. Francis and others are there with the cards and some refreshments. It is well worth the five minutes it takes to write a thank-you card, Francis said. These cards are a simple way for students to express their gratitude for the generosity of donors.

For distribution, Vanguard’s alumni-relations team plans to send the cards with donors’ end-of-the-year giving statements. Learn more about “Gratitude Week,” by clicking here.

kbm_media1-880x1024

Black Student Union and Live2Free to Celebrate Black History Month with Special Speaker Kenneth B. Morris, Jr.

kbm_media1-880x1024Join Vanguard University’s Black Student Union (BSU) and Live2Free clubs as they celebrate Black History Month on Monday, February 9, at 10 a.m. in Heath 109.

In honor of Black History Month, BSU and Live2Free clubs will host an event featuring the founder and president of the Frederick Douglass Family Initiatives (FDFI) organization, Kenneth B. Morris, Jr. The event will offer students the opportunity to learn more about black history, specifically dealing with slavery in America, and the fight to end human trafficking today from a descendant of two of the most influential and important Americans in history.

Being the great-great-great grandson of Frederick Douglass and the great-great grandson of Booker T. Washington, Morris comes from a strong lineage of history-shapers. Both of these men played key roles in the civil rights movement from abolishing slavery to acquiring racial equality, and their impact led to Morris’s creation of FDFI. FDFI is an abolitionist organization that brings education about preventing human trafficking with the mission “To Advance Freedom through Knowledge and Strategic Action.”

According to the Frederick Douglas Family Initiatives website, Douglass was a “brilliant speaker” who helped to lead the abolitionist movement to end slavery in the U.S. “Douglass provided a powerful voice for human rights during this period of American history and is still revered today for his contributions against racial injustice,” the website states. For Washington, the website states: “A man who overcame near-impossible odds himself, Booker T. Washington is best remembered for helping black Americans rise up from the economic slavery that held them down long after they were legally free citizens.”

To learn more about Morris and FDFI, click here.

rsz_img_9909

Vanguard University Veterans Honored and Celebrated at Veterans Day Event

rsz_img_9909On Nov. 6, Vanguard University hosted the annual Veterans Day Event to honor veterans and celebrate the Vanguard Veterans Center.

Held in the Veterans Courtyard of Honor, the event hosted more than 100 attendees, which included veterans from Vanguard and the community, students, alumni, faculty, staff and other community members. After the presentation of the colors by the Total Force Blue Eagles Honor Guard, the national anthem and the invocation, Master of Ceremonies Ed Arnold, a Marine veteran, opened the ceremony. Following Arnold’s opening remarks, Vanguard University President Michael J. Beals, PhD, welcomed attendees.

For the first speech, former veterans resource coordinator Brent Theobald ’11 shared some of his story as a member of the US Marine Corps. Theobald also presented a community volunteer award to Allen Klorsz_img_0125sowski for his generosity in donating time, finances and support to Vanguard’s Veterans Center.

After Theobald, the veterans resource coordinator, Brian Burlingame, spoke about the history of Veterans Day, his gratitude for the service of all those present and the future of Vanguard’s Veterans Center. “We are here to honor our brave men and women who have proudly served this great nation, for they are the fabric from which our flag has been woven,” Burlingame said in his speech.

Reflecting on Vanguard’s event and Veterans Day in general, Burlingame said: “There should never be a time when we don’t honor veterans, including their families.” As a retired veteran with 30 years of service in the Marine Corps, Burlingame knows the life of a veteran. As the new veterans resource coordinator, Burlingame said: “I think there’s significant opportunity to continue the hard work of those who came before me.”

rsz_img_0005Looking to the future, Burlingame said he, along with the rest of the members of the Veterans Center, have many goals for the future of Vanguard’s wants to continue deepening their connection with the community. In his speech, he said: “When I think of success for our student Veterans, I want them to have the same pride and camaraderie here at Vanguard that was displayed by them in their years of service.”

To learn more about Vanguard’s Veterans Center, click here.