“Welcome Back!”


Dear Student Veterans,

I simply wanted to take a moment to welcome our new VU and returning student Veterans back to Vanguard University for the 2016-2017 academic year!

First of all, on behalf of faculty Veterans, staff Veterans, your peers and myself as the Veterans Coordinator, I would like to extend a heartfelt THANK YOU for your dedicated service to our country. We are extremely honored to have you here at Vanguard University! As you begin or continue to pursue your academic goals; I am committed to helping you accomplish this “new mission” in this season of your life.

         VetsCenterVanguard University has made a commitment since WWII of honoring not only the service of our Veterans, but ensuring that your academic success is our focus and that you can utilize your degree in the pursuit of your career dreams after completing your education. Vanguard University and the veteran’s center are here to support you with any and all campus services that you need assistance with.

         Our Veterans Center is 1100 sqft of dedicated space for our student veterans; to study, build friendships with veterans and non-veterans, work on group projects, print for free, check out text books, or maybe just get a snack and a cup of coffee! The best part is ALL student veterans have access to the center 24/7!!! We do have a Student Veterans Organization (SVO), which is part of the Student Veterans of America National Organization.

         If you are in need of some part-time work, we can help you locate some on the campus, or you can apply for the VA Work-study program and work right here in the Veterans Center. Salary is paid by the VA directly to you as a worker and is tax-fee. It’s a maximum of 25 hours per week, not to exceed 50 hours in two weeks. You have the potential to make about $1100 per month; you must be enrolled at least ¾ time. All student veterans who qualify can apply, regardless of whether graduate, PS, or TUG. Stop by and speak to my student workers.

         Every year we have numerous events that are sponsored by our SVO, we can always use volunteers, and you do not have to be a member of the SVO to attend or just help. These events consist or honoring Veterans at times, others are network opportunities with business leaders, churches, or organizations that are dedicated to wanting to help student veterans though services or employment opportunities.

         Last but not least I do publish a monthly veteran’s eNewsletter with information and events that pertain to veterans in the community and other times it’s to highlight events just happening at VU. Either way, I hope to take a couple minutes to subscribe to it, and it’s free. We also have a Veterans Webpage, and our own Facebook page.

Subscribe to the Veterans Enewsletter:

LIKE our Facebook page:

 And tag #vuVeterans @vanguardu in your Instagram posts and Tweets!

In closing, I want to wish each of you continued success here at VU and need you to know, I am here to support you and your family regardless of what you want or need. I have an open door policy, and I am always open to ideas, or suggestions on how I can better serve our student Veterans. I would encourage each of you to stop by the center, see what we offer, say hi, and just relax and enjoy your college experience!! I look forward to meeting all of you!

God Bless and Semper Fi!

Brian Burlingame
Veterans Coordinator
(714) 966-5447 |

Yard Sale

July 2016 – VU Veterans Events

Yard Sale

Although it’s Summer, we still have great things happening!
Join us at any (or all) of these VU Veterans events:


July 1-31, 2016
Alumni Class Notes: Summer Giveaway

Updates will be published in the Vanguard magazine.


Saturday, July 9
“Support Our Troops” Yard Sale
7am-12pm | 274 E. 19th Street, Costa Mesa, CA

All proceeds go to Operation Interdependence.
Click here to view the Facebook Event.


Wednesday, July 13
Graduate Professional Studies Info Meeting
6-8pm | Vanguard University Campus

The $45 application fee is waived for all meeting participants.
RSVP to attend:


Sunday, July 31
Diamond Award Nominations

Hosted by Global Center for Women & Justice.
Click here to read more about this award. 


Brian Burlingame
Vanguard University Veterans Center
(714) 966-5447 |

Summer Open Hours

Career Services – Summer Hours


Vanguard University Career Services is open over the summer! We encourage you to take advantage of the department’s resources, which are free to current students and alumni.

If you are out of the area, Skype and phone appointments are available.

Sign up for a career advising appointment via LionsLink:

Appointment topics include:


Vanguard University Career Services
Scott Academic Center, 2nd Floor
(714) 619-6474 |


Summer Open Hours



2016 Waves of Valor


Make a difference in a Veteran’s life! Team Red White Blue is looking for volunteers to help teach Veterans how to surf –

SATURDAY: July 16 & September 10
7am-2pm | Huntington Beach, 9th Street

Breakfast, lunch, and a T-shirt will be provided for all volunteers.


This is an opportunity for Veterans to learn how to surf,
build confidence, and get involved with the community.


We encourage current VU students, faculty, staff, Alumni, and local Veterans to participate! Surfers (and fans of surfing) are welcome.

*If you’re a Veteran who would like to come, contact Chris Merkle for more information.

Please RSVP at:

Chris Merkle
Team Red White Blue
OC Chapter Captain


Click here to INVITE your friends to the Facebook Event!


Event hashtags – #vuVeterans #WavesofValor




Challenge Coin Ceremony

IG.VetsCoinThe history of the challenge coin goes back all the way to World War I when a lieutenant ordered bronze coins for his platoon. In a brutal battle with the Germans, one man decided to keep his coin in a leather pouch around his neck when he was captured. Unfortunately, they decided to take everything from the man except his leather pouch. After he escaped, the French found him and they realized the insignia of the unit on the coin. This is why today service members as a tradition carry Challenge Coins.

The Challenge Coin Ceremony is a very touching moment. When I was in the service, I was fortunate enough to receive some challenge coins. All of them are different because they are personal to that specific individual or the unit.

At Vanguard University, they invite the local Veterans community to come on-campus for a Challenge Coin Ceremony to recognize our graduating Veterans. This is one of my favorite things about VU because it really shows they honor Veterans along with their spouses and dependents.

It was a blessing to also have Pastor Frank Orzio (a two time Purple Heart Recipient, Vietnam Marine veteran, and founder of Wounded Warrior Ministries) and Jim Torres (commander of the Veterans Department of California) speak as a part of the program.

The student speaker was Chris Merkle, who shared his testimony and experience in the Marines and transitioning into civilian life. He shared about working as a policeman and yet still wanting to help his fellow veterans who struggled with PTSD. That led him to enroll in Vanguard University so that he can receive his BA in Psychology and eventually pursuing his Master’s and Doctorate.

I personally do not believe I would have been able to get this far in school without this support of Veterans. As a Junior, I still have one more year left, but I have gone to this Challenge Coin ceremony every year since I’ve been here. It’s an awesome time to congratulate Veterans who are moving to that next step in life.

It’s never a farewell to any of these soldiers; they are forever friendships to me.


Semper Fidelis,
Jordyn Salter



The Addams Family Musical

Addams.castMy very first experience ever at a musical was the Lion King at the Pantages Theater in LA. This was one of the most special times of my life because it was also the first date for my wife and me. The musical was amazing, but in reality and in all honesty — The Adams Family musical at Vanguard University’s Lyceum Theater was just as amazing!

Seeing this show at my school reminded me of that first date. I admit, that I was never really interested in musicals before, but now they have become one of my favorite things to do. The cast and crew of The Addams Family were absolutely hilarious! With the exception of one child actor, everyone involved were current VU students. Our favorite character was the patriarch of the family: Gomez Addams. We were impressed to find out that Gomez was played by Andreas Schmidt, who is a freshman studying Theatre as his major. It was one of the biggest roles of the show, and he did an incredible job.

Tickets for Lyceum Theater shows are only $17, and it is well worth it. There are even discounts for kids, senior citizens, and groups.

I think our Theatre Department is outstanding. I will definitely go to more shows at our on-campus Lyceum Theater during the school year and summer.

Even if you don’t like musicals, I recommend that you give it a chance. If you have not already been to a show at Vanguard University, take a date/friend, and go have some fun!

Semper Fidelis,
Jordyn Salter


Junior Senior Banquet

JSBOn Friday, April 22, Vanguard University Student Government Association hosted their annual Junior and Senior Banquet at the Long Beach Aquarium.

My wife continues to tell me that I spend more time at school than with her, so going to this event brought us together. I have to say it was a great reason to get out and spend some quality time with the love of my life. My wife said it reminded her of being at Prom, but this time she was able to be my date with me!

It was a great time for the both of us to get dressed up and enjoy some dinner and dancing. The menu included a buffet of – steak, chicken fettuccini, grilled chicken, and salad. Dessert was brownies, cookies and cupcakes. After we feasted on all that food, we danced the night away.

The DJ played a variety of music of rap, hip-hop, and salsa music. At midnight, the dance ended, and we were exhausted. I cannot wait for the next year’s JSB because I will definitely be there.

I recommend this to any VU college Junior and Senior to go to this event. You are only in college for a short time, and this is a memorable experience! Even if you a Veteran who commutes to campus, is married, and may be older than most undergraduate students, I assure you – You will fit right in.

Semper Fidelis,
Jordyn Salter


Veterans Resource Center

VetsCenterWhether you are a Vanguard University Undergrad, School for Professional Studies, or Graduate Veterans student, the Veteran Resource Center is a great place to hangout, network, or do homework.

Before the newly renovated Scott Academic Center, the VRC was extremely small. Now, we have 12 computer workstations and more space to study and hangout. The center has two main rooms that include a soundproof study area and a lounge with coffee, couches, and a TV. You can have the best of both worlds: peace and quiet or laughter and conversation.

The VRC is a great place to get to know all our Veterans here on-campus. Brian Burlingame is our Veteran Coordinator and is a retired Master Gunnery Sergeant with 30yrs of service. It’s not every day do you get to have the opportunity to meet and learn from a prior Marine. He really does have so much wisdom that he shares with us!

We have such an amazing community of veterans who come from all different backgrounds and branches of service here at VU. For me, it is truly a blessing to be part of a community like this — When you are transitioning from the service to civilian life or transferring from another college, we really need each other. No one can go far on their own, so the VRC helps students connect with each other.

Definitely take the time to stop in the Veterans Center and introduce yourself. We would love to get to know you and hear your story. And if there is anything you need, we would love to help!

Semper Fidelis,
Jordyn Salter


Morning VU

IG_MorningVUOn Saturday, April 16, I attended Morning VU, a Vanguard University Admissions event for high school and transfer students.

As a student veteran, it reminded me of when I first had the opportunity to visit the campus as well — I remember walking into the courtyard and meeting current students that were very welcoming. I felt I have already known them. This year, I had an even better experience because of the newly renovated Scott Academic Center.

During the Admissions presentation, I appreciated everything that was said about VU. Our class size is about 17:1 with students and Faculty. You have the competitive advantage as a student because smaller classes encourage you to get to know your peers and professors.

The majority of Vanguard’s Faculty also have doctorate degrees. Some have worked for Fortune 500 companies, like Oakley and Mattel. Professors are approachable enough that you can email them anytime or meet them for coffee to get to know them more. You never know what kind of life lessons you can learn as you prepare to graduate.

If you’re Veteran looking to pursue a Bachelor’s/Master’s degree, I would highly recommend visiting the Vanguard University campus! It’s a great college to attend. Schedule a campus tour here:

Semper Fidelis,
Jordyn Salter


Class of 2016 Veteran Graduates

2016VetGradsWe recently hosted a special Challenge Coin Ceremony for our graduating Veterans! We are so proud of our Class of 2016 students –


Justin Blankenship, Army

Robert Bruno, Coast Guard

Bryan Castaneda, Army

Cirilo Castaneda, Navy

Starr Ellington, Air Force

2016VetChrisEduardo Gomez, Army

Shin Kim, Army

Christopher Merkle, Marines
(Challenge Coin student speaker)

Caleb Moering, Army

Daniel Page, Navy

Marcus Soza, Marines


Commencement ceremonies will take place on Friday, May 6
at 10am (Traditional Undergraduates) and 4pm (Graduate Professional Studies).

Join us in celebrating our graduates by watching both Commencement ceremonies ONLINE at Use #VUGRAD #vuVeterans in your Tweets/Instagram posts too!