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Commencement 2019

Baccalaureate Service

May 9, 2019 AT 7:30 p.m.

600 Saint Andrews Road, Newport Beach, CA 92663
Directions from Google Maps

Doors open at 6:30pm

parking available at newport harbor high school

This is a ticketed event.

Traditional Undergraduate College Commencement Ceremony

MAY 10, 2019
10:00A.M-12:00 P.M.



doors open at 9:00am

This is a ticketed event.

Mariners Seating Map

Mariners Parking Map

Professional Studies & Graduate Programs Commencement Ceremony

May 10, 2019
4:00-6:00 p.m.

5001 Newport Coast Drive, Irvine, CA 92603
Directions from Google Maps

doors open at 3:00pm

This is a ticketed event.

Childcare available for graduates.



Commencement Student Portal

Please visit the Student Portal for more detailed graduation information.

Commencement Live Stream

Both commencement ceremonies will be streamed live for guests and families on Friday, May 10, 2019.


Guest Services

Etiquette & Reminders

Guest Etiquette

Given the solemn yet celebratory nature of commencement and in consideration of others, guests and participants are asked to follow some basic rules of etiquette for such occasions.

  • Please follow instructions provided online for parking and arrival.
  • Plan to be at the ceremony at least 30 minutes before the ceremony start time.
  • The start of the Processional will be marked with the entrance of the American, California, and Christian flag. Men should remove their hats and guests who are able to stand should do so at that time.
  • Please remain in your seats for the duration of the ceremony. Do not block the aisles or passageways by attempting to greet or take photos with graduates.


  • Flowers will be sold on site the day of commencement with all proceeds going to support students participation on outreach trips. Orchid leis, full- and half-dozen rose bunches, and graduation teddy bears will be available. Cash, check and credit/debit accepted.

Grad Images

  • Professional photographs will be taken of each graduate as they walk the stage to shake the officiant’s hand and receive their diploma. Each graduate will have the option to order these photos after the Commencement ceremony.

Graduate Reception Areas

After each Commencement ceremony, please remain at your seat until all the graduates have exited the Worship Center.

Reception areas have been strategically placed to allow congregation of graduates, faculty, family, and friends following the ceremony.

2018 Graduation Reception Areas

Nearby Hotels

Vanguard University is proud to partner with the following hotels. Request the Vanguard University hotel rate when making your reservation.

Ayres Hotel & Suites

Distance from VU: 1.6 miles
325 Bristol St.
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
Hotel website // Map and driving directions

Guest Services: Complimentary wi-fi, parking, and shuttle service within a 3-mile radius.

Crowne Plaza Hotel

Distance from VU: 2.1 miles
3131 Bristol St.
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
Hotel website // Map and driving directions

Guest Services: Complimentary breakfast for one person, wi-fi, and parking. Shuttle service to John Wayne Airport (SNA) and within a 5-mile radius.

Disability Accomodations

There will be a 300 seat accessible seating section at Mariners Church for guests with a disability and their family members. The main entrance to the ceremony is accessible, as well as the entrance to the auditorium. Please look for accessible seating signs or ask an usher to direct you upon entry.

Guests requiring specific requests such as sign language interpreter or assistive hearing devices, are asked to email disabilityservices@vanguard.edu or call 714-619-6551. To ensure all accommodations needs are met, we ask that you contact Disability no later than April 15.

Driving Directions


St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church
600 Saint Andrews Road | Newport Beach, CA. 92663

Google Maps

Guests are encouraged to arrive at least 30 minutes prior to the start of the Baccalaureate service. Parking is available in the church parking lots, on the street, or in the Newport Harbor High School lots across from the church.

The main entrance to the Sanctuary will be closed at 7:15PM to prepare for the Processional. Guests will still be able to access the Sanctuary through the side entrances on Saint Andrews Road and across from the Chapel.


Mariners Church
5001 Newport Coast Drive | Irvine, CA 92603

Google Maps

Please arrive 1 hour prior to the start of the ceremony to avoid traffic congestion when exiting the 73 Freeway. To avoid the toll road, please exit at MACARTHUR BLVD and turn LEFT on to BONITA CANYON DRIVE.

Enter the Mariners Church campus from NEWPORT COAST and BONITA CANYON DRIVE entrance/exits.

For guests using Disabled Person Parking, please enter from NEWPORT COAST. If you do not have Disabled Person Parking license plates, have your disability placard visible when entering the property so that our parking lot attendants can quickly identify your need and direct you to the designated parking area.

Spanish Translation Services

Commencement ceremony will include live Spanish translation service. Translation devices are required to be reserved in advance. Device quantities are limited.

Commencement Events

Veteran's Challenge Coin Ceremony


Friday, April 13, 2018

6:00 – 8:00 PM

Scott Veterans Courtyard of Honor

Attendees: All TUG/PS/Graduating Vets approved for Graduation. (All faculty, staff, students and members of the public.)

Dress Attire: Business casual.

About Challenge Coin

Challenge Coin History
Challenge coins date back to World War I when a lieutenant ordered bronze coins for the men in his squadron. One of the men, who kept the coin in a leather pouch around his neck, was captured by the Germans. The Germans took everything from him except the leather pouch. When he later escaped, he avoided execution by the French when they recognized the unit insignia on the coin. It then became tradition for military members to carry challenge coins.

Today, challenge coins are popular throughout all branches of the military, and most military members have at least one coin in their possession at all times. The challenge coin is used for a variety of reasons, from recognition to morale. Military members carry the challenge coin to display pride and to ensure they are always ready when a coin challenge is initiated by another member of their unit.

Consistent with this military tradition, Vanguard University is honoring each of our graduating veteran students by presenting them with a unique challenge coin. On one side is a picture of the U.S. flag and the flag of the branch of service the veteran served with a challenge to Act Justly, Walk Humbly, and Love Mercy with Commitment, Honor, and Excellence. On the other side of the coin is the Vanguard University Logo with the values of Truth, Virtue, and Service – a challenge to all of our graduating veterans as they begin their next season in life.

Brian Burlingame
714.966.5447 | brian.burlingame@vanguard.edu

VU Cultural Graduation Celebrations

About Cultural Graduation Celebrations

The VU Cultural Graduation Celebrations are held in addition to the official Vanguard University Graduation Ceremony. Each cultural celebration was initiated by our students who wanted an event that recognized their successful college completion in ways unique to their own heritage culture. Graduates are welcomed to invite an unlimited number of family, friends, church and community supporters who assisted them in reaching this great milestone.

Event Details


April 17, 2018 at 7:00pm

Vanguard University Needham Chapel

APIC night with refreshments to follow. Semi-formal attire requested.


April 21, 2018 at 4:30pm

Vanguard University Needham Chapel

An after party with refreshments and entertainment to follow. Semi-formal attire requested.


April 21, 2018 at 7pm

Vanguard University Needham Chapel

An after party with refreshments and entertainment to follow. Semi-formal attire requested.

Questions: 714-662-5254 | isp@vanguard.edu


Nursing Pinning Ceremony


Thursday, May 3, 2018 at 10:00am

Newport Mesa Church

Attendees: RN to BSN graduates (rehearsal at 8am)

Dress Attire: Semi-formal or church attire

About Nurse Pinning

Vanguard University’s RN to BSN Pin
The pin presented to the Vanguard University nursing graduates in the ceremony today contains two symbols, chosen by the inaugural group of students enrolled in the RN to BSN program.

The first symbol is a LAMP, referred to in the nursing community as the “Florence Nightingale Lamp.” Florence Nightingale, remembered as the founder of nursing as a profession, made history during the Crimean War (1854-1856) when she took 38 women to Turkey to care for sick and wounded British soldiers; something the British government had never before allowed women to do. She was the only woman allowed to be in the wards after eight at night, and as she made her rounds encouraging and caring for the wounded, the soldiers began to call her “The Lady with the Lamp.”

In 1860 she continued her dedication to nursing as a profession by founding the first professional nursing school: the Nightingale School for Nurses in London. The lamp stands as a symbol of the care and devotion demonstrated by Nightingale and continued by the nursing graduates of Vanguard University.

The second symbol is a CROSS, the traditional Christian symbol recognizing the atoning death of Jesus Christ on the cross. The sacrificial love demonstrated by Christ’s death on the cross serves as the foundation and motivation for the service and care demonstrated by the graduates of Vanguard University’s nursing program. The cross also stands as a symbol of the core Christian commitment of Vanguard University and its mission to deepen students’ faith and cultivate their character so they are equipped to serve the Lord in their vocational callings.

Florence Nightingale Pledge
I solemnly pledge myself before God and in the presence of this assembly, to pass my life in purity and to practice my profession faithfully. I will abstain from whatever is deleterious and mischievous, and will not take or knowingly administer any harmful drug. I will do all in my power to maintain and elevate the standard of my profession, and will hold in confidence all personal matters committed to my keeping and all family affairs coming to my knowledge in the practice of my calling. With loyalty will I endeavor to aid the physician in his work, and devote myself to the welfare of those committed to my care.


(714) 668-6105 | itzel.murillo@vanguard.edu

Professional Studies Graduation Celebration


Thursday, April 19, 2018 at 5:30pm

Needham Chapel (Courtyard & Chapel)

Attendees: All 2017 – 2018 SPS seniors approved for graduation.

Dress Attire: Business casual

About the Celebration

This event will be a fun, informal time for PS graduates and their cohorts to connect before Commencement. PS Faculty and Staff will be in attendance. Refreshments will be served in the Needham Chapel courtyard following the program. Each senior is allowed to RSVP for up to 5 guests.

RSVP and Questions:

(714) 668–6102 | lissette.rodriquez@vanguard.edu

Contact Us

Commencement Office:

Phone: 714-966-5485
Email: commencement@vanguard.edu

DVD Recording of 2018 Commencement

If you are interested in purchasing the recording of this year's Commencement Ceremonies, click here