Campus Update December 2011

This is undoubtedly my favorite time of year. The air is crisp; the campus is filled with a blend of excitement and race to the finish as the fall semester comes to an end and we all get to celebrate the Christmas season with friends and family.

To kick off the Christmas season, I want to personally invite you to Vanguard’s 15th annual Christmas Fantasia concert. We offer two performances, one at the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts on December 1 and another at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church on December 2. Your spirit will soar as you watch Vanguard’s talented music department sing Christmas carols and get you in the Christmas spirit. For more information please click here.

Our Global Center for Women and Justice department has also been active this semester creating a number of community events that bring awareness and reflection on suffering and abuse and our call to serve compassionately. The GCWJ hosted a Solidarity Sleep Out where Vanguard students and community members spent the night away from the comfort of their homes to raise awareness about homelessness. To learn more about the Solidarity Sleep Out please visit

I continue to be thankful for the compassionate students we have here at Vanguard. Many of our students will be participating in missions trips this December.  One example of how Vanguard students will be serving is at a Children’s Christmas Party, which provides food and gifts to over 300 children in need. For more information, please click here.

This semester we also celebrated the opening of our renovated Towers Lobby with its new outdoor patio space.  We dedicated the new space with our Board of Trustees and then celebrated with our students. This is part of a larger project to renovate Huntington Hall, one of our oldest dorms on campus. This summer we completed renovation of the second floor and are continuing to seek funds to complete all floors of the dorm. For a video clip and photos of the new lobby space, please click here.

As all of us prepare to honor the birth of Jesus this Christmas season, it reminds me of all that I have to be thankful for this past year. Vanguard has been blessed so much that it is a true testament to God’s hand on Vanguard and the great plans He has in store for the University. I want to wish all of you a wonderful Christmas during this joyous time of year.

God Bless you and God Bless Vanguard,

Dr. Carol Taylor

Campus Update November 2011

Fall is here and God continues to bless the Vanguard community.  November is truly a season of thanks and this semester we have much to be thankful for and good news to share.

I would like to invite everyone to join me in starting off your Christmas season with our annual Christmas Fantasia concert. We offer two performances, one at the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts on December 1 and another at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church on December 2. Your spirit will soar as you watch Vanguard’s talented music department sing Christmas carols and get you in the Christmas spirit. For more information about the event and to order your tickets, please visit

The Love the Lobby Dedication Celebration on October 20 was a huge success. The immense gratitude from students was so evident and the Vanguard community is so appreciative to the generous donors who made the refurbishing of the lobby possible. Students can now enjoy a new space to gather in community and create lasting Vanguard memories. For photos of the celebration please visit

This November 12, Vanguard’s Veterans Resource Center will be honoring all veterans with dinner and a presentation by John Van Sky, PhD. Dr. Van Sky is a combat veteran and adjunct professor at Vanguard. He will be discussing the challenges veterans face when returning home from combat and the critical role of higher education in preparing the next generation for leadership beyond the battlefield. It is sure to be a great event that truly honors our veterans.  For more information regarding this event, please contact Brent Theobald at (714) 966-5447 or via email at

I want to wish everyone a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday; this season is a reminder of all the blessings God provides to each and every one of us.

God bless you and God bless Vanguard,

Dr. Carol Taylor

Campus Update for October 2011

It is such a blessing to be fully immersed in the new school year. The campus is filled with students and Vanguard has much to be thankful for.

We had a record enrollment of 1418 undergraduate students, 243 graduate students, and 454 professional studies students – for a total enrollment of 2,115 students. Included in these numbers are 35 students from Bethany University (AG). Our enrollment is a true testament to God’s faithfulness to Vanguard and our community. We have prayed for each student and are grateful to serve them at Vanguard.

We also launched our new Master’s of Science in Nursing program led by our new director of nursing, Dr. Mary Wickman. Dr. Wickman is a U.S. Navy veteran who holds a BSN from Mount St. Mary’s College and her PhD from UCLA. Dr. Wickman has a passion for training nurses to provide Christ-centered care and is a great addition to Vanguard. To read more about Mary and the nursing program visit

In addition to the MSN program, we also received WASC approval for our new Early Childhood Education program that will offer an associate and bachelor degree. This program will train early childhood professionals within the context of a Biblical worldview as they care for and nurture young children. To learn more about the program visit

This year we are delighted to host missionary Juan Carlos Gonzalez as our Assemblies of God Missionary in Residence.  Juan Carlos is a Vanguard alumnus (Class of 1988) currently serving in Japan with his wife Colette (’87) and two children.  His story is inspiring – he was a Latin American Child Care child in El Salvador who eventually found his way to Vanguard.  He has already added an incredible presence to our Spiritual Formation program and will be a valuable resource to us this year as we look to strengthen our connection to AG missionaries around the world.

I am also delighted to announce that students will be presented with a brand new lobby on October 20. Our wonderful support from our Love the Lobby campaign allowed construction on a new lobby for our students that will provide a new and exciting outdoor place for students to gather in community. For further information on the Love the Lobby campaign, please visit

Our fall Board of Trustees meetings will be taking place in October, and I look forward to sharing the good news of Vanguard. Our commitment to Vanguard and the mission of the University will be at the forefront while we continue to equip students for a Spirit-empowered life of Christ-centered leadership and service.

God bless you and God bless Vanguard,

Dr. Carol Taylor

Campus Update for September 2011

Vanguard’s campus is alive again with a record number of new and returning students. We will kick off the new academic year with a wonderful VU welcome led by Frontline – 50 student leaders that provide a unique welcome and orientation for our new students as part of our official Welcome Week.  Welcome Week is an important way in which we connect students in community to the people that will sustain them over their tenure here and give them the resources they will need to thrive. For further information about our Welcome Week activities, please visit

There have been a number of changes to the campus this summer and fall.  We have completely renovated the 2nd floor of Huntington Hall Men’s dormitory  (with plans to continue until renovating until completed).  We repaired a number of walkways and lawns, trimmed our trees and landscaping, repaired roofs, replaced the roof and ventilation in our science building, painted a number of offices and repaired flooring.  Our biggest summer project is a major renovation to the Towers lobby that includes a new outdoor pavilion.  All funds were raised during the past year, and the project is due for completion in October.  For more information on the “Love The Lobby” project, please visit

As we enter the new academic year, I am pleased to share with you that Vanguard completed the 2011 fiscal year ending June 30, 2011, and the summer months without drawing on a line of credit.  We continue to make progress on moving to financial health. Our faculty continue to invest deeply in the lives of our students. Our Spiritual Formation and Outreach programs continue to provide a vibrant community for deep spiritual growth.  Students lives are being transformed.  We have again been recognized by The Princeton Review as one of the 121 institutions in the “Best in the West” section of its website feature, “2012 Best Colleges: Region by Region.” For additional information on The Princeton Review Ranking, please visit

In June, the Board of Trustees made a small but very important addition to our mission statement, which was then ratified by the Membership at their meeting the next week following the Board meeting.  The final phrase of our mission statement now reads – equipping each student for a Spirit-empowered life of Christ-centered leadership and service. While Vanguard from its foundation has been intentionally focused on the Spirit-empowered and Christ-centered life and education, we believed it important to explicitly reflect that in our mission statement as we move forward.  For more information on the University’s Mission and Identity Statement, please refer to the 2011-2012 Academic Catalog, page 8.

We committed ourselves to a new year of Christ-centered living and learning at our opening Convocation service.  Our theme verse this year is taken from Paul’s prayer to the Ephesians.  It is my prayer for Vanguard this year.

God bless you and God bless Vanguard,

Dr. Carol Taylor

Kelly Kannwischer Appointed as Vice President for University Advancement

Dear Vanguard Community,

I am delighted to announce the ongoing appointment of Ms. Kelly Kannwischer as Vice President for University Advancement (VPUA).

Kelly joined the Vanguard Community last summer as Chief Communications Officer and then stepped in as Interim VPUA in late November.  Providentially, she brought deep experience and expertise from her years as a fundraising consultant with the national firm of Ketchum, Inc.  She earned the elite Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE) credential in 2007 for her exemplary work in the development profession and has maintained that certification.  At Ketchum, her portfolio of clients included the Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago ($250million campaign), the Diocese of Brooklyn ($67million campaign) as well as a long list of other clients, including Shawnee State University, Pfizer, World Vision International, and Willow Creek Association.  For a period of time, she also served as the Director of Communications for Ketchum’s parent company Viscern, managing the public relations and communication strategy for this $43million company.  Kelly has been a member of the Association for Fundraising Professionals since 2005.  She holds a BA from the University of Virginia and an MDiv from Princeton Theological Seminary.  In addition to these accomplishments, Kelly was a founder of the Presbyterian Global Fellowship, an international not-for-profit think tank.

Under Kelly’s leadership in the past six months, an advancement/marketing team has been assembled, a donor newsletter developed, the Foundation Board re-engaged, a 90th anniversary and Celebration of the Arts created with a series of donor events, funding for the Love the Lobby (dorm renovation) achieved, annual fund goals met, and cultivation of current and new donors undertaken.  These accomplishments were extraordinary considering that 75% of the funding for this year was achieved in a five month period while building an advancement team.

I recently invited feedback from those who have worked closely with or had opportunity to observe Kelly’s leadership these past months.  The feedback was strongly affirming of Kelly’s skill, performance, leadership abilities, and commitment to Vanguard’s mission and identity.  It is my pleasure to announce the removal of “interim” and move forward with the longer-range vision planning for our Advancement area under Kelly’s leadership.

As Vanguard continues to grow, both in strength and number, I am confident that God will continue to provide both the leaders and resources necessary to excel in equipping students for a Spirit-empowered life of Christ-centered leadership and service.  Thank you all for your tireless support and the generous gifts of the time and talent you provide Vanguard in pursuit of our mission.

Please join me in welcoming Kelly to her ongoing appointment as VPUA.

God bless you and God bless Vanguard,

Dr. Carol Taylor

Announcement Regarding Bethany University

It is with great sadness that we received Bethany University’s announcement of plans for closure of the first college founded by the Assemblies of God. Founded in 1919, Bethany University has trained ministers, missionaries, and others for Christian service for nearly 100 years. As President of a sister Assemblies of God institution, I have been in conversation with Bethany University President Lew Shelton and have assured him of our prayer and support.

Vanguard University will assist any Bethany students who wish to explore transferring to Vanguard to complete their degrees.  For information on how to transfer to Vanguard University and for details on Vanguard’s tuition, room and board, and scholarships, please visit our website at

Our hearts and prayers are with our friends at Bethany University.

Dr. Carol Taylor


As we enter April and all attention begins to turn towards commencement, I can’t help but reflect on my life in education and following a vocational calling that eventually led to serving in Christian higher education after 25 years in public education and the marketplace. Mine has been an unexpected journey. Years ago as a young graduate armed with a Bachelor’s degree and a teaching credential, I never imagined pursuing graduate education or serving in higher education, let alone now being recognized as a “turnaround” president.

As an undergraduate student, I began keeping a journal.  I don’t write every day or even every week or month, but over the years, my journals have collected. There are three quotes that for years I have carefully copied into the opening page of each new journal.  First, is Proverbs 31:25 – strength and dignity are her clothing, and she smiles at the future.

The second is from Anne Morrow Lindbergh (yes, the wife of Charles Lindbergh).  Years ago I happened upon her book, Gift from the Sea, and in 2005 picked up a 50th anniversary edition and highlighted again her words:

I want first of all … to be at peace with myself.  I want a singleness of eye, a purity of intention, a central core to my life that will enable me to carry out these obligations and activities as well as I can.  I want, in fact—to borrow from the language of the saints—to live “in grace” as much of the time as possible.  …By grace I mean an inner harmony, essentially spiritual, which can be translated into outward harmony.  I am seeking perhaps what Socrates asked for in the prayer from Phaedrus when he said, “May the outward and inward man be at one.” I would like to achieve a state of inner spiritual grace from which I could function and give as I was meant to in the eye of God.

The third is from my now yellowed edition of a classic that I first read and highlighted as an undergraduate student.  It’s Dietrich Bonheoffer’s classic, The Cost of Discipleship:

When Christ calls a man, He bids him come and die.
Only Jesus Christ, who bids us follow him, knows the journey’s end. But we do know that it will be a road of boundless mercy. Discipleship is joy.

As a young professional, I had two things – a love of teaching and a desire to live and serve from a place of inner grace and joyfulness that said “yes” to following Christ on the adventure that He had uniquely designed for my life.

I don’t think I yet reflect the three quotes that I keep writing in the front of each new journal.  But I can say with a smile and a gladness of heart that following His adventure is indeed a road of boundless mercy and joy if we are willing to take risks, embrace challenge, and trust the One who is able to both keep us and do His immeasurably more thing for His purposes and glory.


Spirit and Truth

Last week, the Society for Pentecostal Studies (SPS), a community of scholars and students focused on exploring the history, theology, and cultural impact of the Pentecostal movement, held its 40th annual conference in Memphis, Tennessee. Vanguard was represented by a great team, as I got to join Dr. Rich Israel, Dr. Frank Macchia, Dr. Derrick Rosenior, Dr. Ed Rybarczyk, and Dr. Gary Tyra. Each of us presented papers or facilitated sessions at the conference and enjoyed interaction with more than 300 other scholars of Pentecostalism from around the world. Vanguard professors are leaders in this international fellowship and are highly esteemed by their colleagues and students.

The opening session was held at Mason Temple, headquarters of the Church of God in Christ (COGIC), one of the earliest Pentecostal denominations. COGIC was founded by African-American leader Charles Mason, who was a participant in the Azusa Street revival that began in 1906 and launched the global Pentecostal movement from which Vanguard University was birthed. Mason Temple was also the site where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., preached his “I’ve Seen the Promised Land” sermon. You might recall that on that night, April 3, 1968, King said, “I might not get there with you… But we as a people will get to the promised land…I’m not worried about anything. I’m not fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.” The next day, at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Martin Luther King was shot to death by James Earl Ray. But the truth of the Gospel that shaped King and Mason continues to ring out today, and it echoes through the singing at Mason Temple and the insights of SPS scholar-servants like Rich, Frank, Derrick, Ed, and Gary.

Grace and peace,



Have you read Switch?  Tell us what you think.

This is the description of Switch from the website,

“Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard is the latest book by Chip and Dan Heath, authors of Made to Stick, the critically acclaimed bestseller. Switch debuted at #1 on both the Wall Street Journal and New York Times bestseller lists.

Switch asks the following question: Why is it so hard to make lasting changes in our companies, in our communities, and in our own lives? The primary obstacle, say the Heaths, is a conflict that’s built into our brains. Psychologists have discovered that our minds are ruled by two different systems—the rational mind and the emotional mind—that compete for control. The rational mind wants a great beach body; the emotional mind wants that Oreo cookie. The rational mind wants to change something at work; the emotional mind loves the comfort of the existing routine. This tension can doom a change effort—but if it is overcome, change can come quickly.”

What is Advancement

I have the pleasure of serving Vanguard in the office of University Advancement. The first question people ask me is “what is advancement?”  That’s a great question.  Advancement refers to all the work that promotes and furthers the mission of the University.  Institutional advancement brings together marketing, public relations, alumni relations, fund raising, community relations, church relations, and government relations.  We all work together to build relationships with people, corporations, and foundations that may support the work of Vanguard University.

Together, we work to provide for Vanguard’s future while celebrating the present work of God through the University.  We serve the community by telling our stories and providing friends ways to discover, explore, and experience the spirit of Vanguard.  Through events, programs, opportunities to meet students, academic conferences, and the like we share how God is working through Vanguard University.

As a life long community, we foster a rich network of friends, services, and support that is Vanguard alumni.  Even though graduates are spread all over the world, working in a myriad of professions, serving others in unique ways, Vanguard strives to both promote and support each graduate and their families.  Both through our online communities on social media sites such as Facebook and in our personal events such as homecoming, we seek to nurture the ongoing relationships that define Vanguard.

We also have the privilege of thanking donors and showing how their support directly supports the Christ-centered education offered by Vanguard.  Stewardship is at the heart of our work, assuring that donors’ gifts are honored.

What is University Advancement?  It is everything we do to support God’s mission through Vanguard.  I am proud to work with such a talented and committed team of leaders and excited to see how God will further his work in the world through Vanguard.

Kelly Kannwischer

Interim Vice President of University Advancement