Vanguard University, Costa Mesa leaders celebrate signs of a growing local campus by the Daily Pilot

Vanguard University leaders joined Friday with Costa Mesa city officials in a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the installation of a monument sign at Newport Boulevard and Fair Drive, part of a series of improvements recently undertaken on the college campus.

Crews in late November broke ground on the work, which includes the installation of a 1,130-foot security fence, new sidewalks and 39 new Brisbane box trees along the campus’ perimeter. The upgrades are part of a $1.8-million project defined in Vanguard’s first-ever master plan.

“This is a project we’ve been looking forward to implementing as a way for Vanguard’s physical presence in the community to truly mirror that of the impactful work we are doing to equip and prepare our students to make a difference in society,” Vanguard University President Dr. Michael Beals said in a statement Friday.

“This is about more than a corner monument sign and a new perimeter,” he continued. “We see a Vanguard that is on the rise.”

Approved by the Costa Mesa City Council in 2019, Vanguard’s master plan included the Waugh Student Center, opened in 2020, an athletics and learning facility, as well as a library and STEM center. The expansions are designed to accommodate an anticipated growth of 700 students.

Costa Mesa Mayor John Stephens, who attended Friday’s event alongside City Manager Lori Ann Farrell Harrison, called the 40-acre university a valued Costa Mesa institution since 1950.

“Today’s event marks the continuation of that history of education and excellence,” he said in a statement after the ceremony. “The new monument sign is a landmark to Vanguard’s legacy and bright future.”

Mason Fernandez, incoming president of the campus’ Student Government Assn., said the upgrades will make a difference for students now and in years to come.

“We truly appreciate Vanguard’s efforts to further establish our university on the map, making our campus more recognized and secure for us all,” he said.