Alumni Association Board of Directors

The Alumni Association Board of Directors exists to cultivate a lifelong relationship with Vanguard University and our alumni. Alumni play a crucial role in remembering Vanguard’s past, influencing Vanguard’s present and supporting Vanguard’s future.

The board serves to further the goals of deepening alumni engagement, connecting the broader alumni community and supporting current and future students through the development of mutually beneficial relationships. It helps connect Vanguard staff, student experiences and the greater alumni community.

Board members volunteer to support the work of Vanguard, engage fellow alumni and introduce Vanguard to ever-expanding networks of influence.

Alumni Board Members

Heather (Rachels '02) Clements 

Selah Cosentino '14

Erin (Bongiorno '02) Donovan - President

Greg Ertel '92

Tessa Gilton '09

Perry Hamilton '83

Tedla Mekonnen '97

David Melgar '12

Ross Nelson '08

Christopher Ortega, Esq. '06

Barbi (Bethany '74) Rouse

Catherine (Riley '09) Santiago

Richard Varnell '66

Briklyn Wuich '01

Summer Yates '10

Mission Statement

The mission of Vanguard University is to pursue knowledge, cultivate character, deepen faith, and equip each student for a Spirit-empowered life of Christ-centered leadership and service.


The Alumni Board consists of a president, vice president, at-large members, homecoming representative, and chapter leaders who each serve a three-year term (with the exception of the president-elect and vice president, which are one-year positions). The president of the alumni association serves a three-year term on the board of Trustees.

Board Expectations


Vanguard alumni board members serve as representatives of the 25,000+ member alumni association in advising the alumni office and university administrators within the context of the university mission. Individual members serve as ambassadors to and advocates for the university and the alumni association and provide a communication link to and from the alumni constituency. It seeks to promote opportunities which foster active alumni participation in educational, professional and social programming.

The alumni board is composed of individuals who have graduated from our traditional undergraduate programs, as well as our graduate and professional studies programs.


Time Commitment

  • Three-year commitment
  • Attend 3X yearly Alumni Association Board meetings
  • Actively serve on a board committee
  • Involvement in recruitment, strategy & business meetings as necessary


Throughout Vanguard’s nearly century of impacting students, prayer has been at the center of our community. Board members need to commit to pray for the faculty, staff and students of Vanguard University.


Whether an alum graduated in 1940 or 2014, their lives were forever changed because of the time spent at Vanguard. Peer recruitment in identifying and encouraging talented alumni for the board and other alumni activity is crucial.


The alumni community is an asset to fellow alumni and students alike. As a board member, you commit to being a part of our “Lions 4 Lions” initiative, looking out for fellow alumni and students. Providing job or internship opportunities, volunteering to be a resource for fellow alumni and students, and being actively involved on campus are all vital aspects of advocacy. Also involved in advocacy is being an ambassador, publicist, and advocate of the alumni association and of Vanguard University in your community. This could involve talking with prospective students, meeting with other alumni, attending local alumni events, and more.


Vanguard Alumni Association Board Members will consider Vanguard University a philanthropic priority and make annual gifts in reflection of that priority. In order for Vanguard University to credibly solicit contributions from foundations, organizations, and individuals, the university expects to have 100 percent of Board Members make an annual contribution that is commensurate with their capacity.

Be Informed

Vanguard is preparing to usher in the next century of our story. As a board member, you must be familiar with the programs and activities sponsored by the university as well as the alumni office and participate in them to the extent possible.

Provide Feedback

The talent of the alumni community is great. Use your gifts to provide feedback and counsel to the University on significant issues. Also, offer ideas to help make the alumni association meaningful to the alumni constituency and initiate board activities.


The Alumni Association Board is a tremendous opportunity for individuals who are passionate about Vanguard’s Mission, and have a track record of success and influence in various circles. The ideal candidate will have achieved success in ministry, business, government, philanthropy, or the nonprofit sector. His/her accomplishments will allow him/her to attract other well-qualified, high-performing Board Members, and further assist in elevating Vanguard University.

Ideal candidates will have the following qualifications:

  • A desire to see Vanguard University thrive and succeed
  • Previous board leadership experience
  • Public support of Vanguard University and alumni programs
  • Relevant professional experience/influence in ministry, business, government, philanthropy, or the nonprofit sector
  • A commitment to and understanding of Vanguard’s mission
  • A circle of influence and a natural affinity for cultivating relationships and building consensus among diverse individuals
  • Willingness to approach prospective friends, supporters, and donors
  • Personal faith commitment to Jesus Christ, integrity, credibility, and a passion for improving Vanguard University and its alumni population

Eligibility includes all persons who have earned a degree or a certificate from Vanguard University of Southern California, Southern California College, Southern California Bible College, and Southern California Bible School. This includes programs that are no longer offered.

Service on the Vanguard Alumni Association Board is without remuneration.