Alumni Awards

Honoring graduates whose contributions enhance the University at the local, state, national or international levels, the Vanguard University Alumni Awards highlight the difference Vanguard graduates are making in the world.

Winners for the 2019 Alumni Awards will be announced in December 2019. 

Congratulations to our 2018 Alumni Award winners!

Alumnus of the Year: Larry Allbaugh '86

Buzz Oates is ranked in the Top 20 Industrial Development firms nationally. As CEO, Larry demonstrates his commitment and vision by leading a talented executive team through excellent performance of our mission to be an integrated real estate development organization that performs with excellence and consistently creates value for our investors and customers. 

Prior to joining Buzz Oates more than two decades ago, Larry earned a BA in Business Administration from Vanguard University and a Master of International Management through American Graduate School of International Management. He was also the former Legislative Aide for US Senator David Durenberger. 

Outside of the office, Larry is on the board of many organizations including Marvin Buzz Oates Charitable Foundation, Five Star Bank, Vanguard University Board of Trustees, River Oak Center for Children, NAIOP, ULI, and Lambda Alpha International. Larry lives in Folsom with his lovely wife of over 28 years. He has two grown sons and loves the outdoors when he has time to run, bike and hike. 

Lastly, in the words of his nominator, Larry Allbaugh is an incredible, humble Godly man, who day in and day out serves and models Jesus in everything he does. I’ve known him for the past 25 years, and he continues to beautifully serve and lead his family, serves on the elder board Sun River Church, other charity/business boards, friends/mentors, all while running the largest Real Estate portfolio, as serving as the CEO of Buzz Oats Real Estate. Larry devotes his life to Jesus, and it pours out into everything he does!

Young Alumnus of the Year: Captain Catherine (Riley ‘09) Santiago

Captain Catherine Santiago currently serves as Staff Judge Advocate and legal instructor for the United States Air Force Special Investigations Academy, or AFOSI, located at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, or FLETC, in Glynco, Georgia. She also is a Senior Instructor to the FLETC Legal Division. In these roles, she supports the organizations’ missions of providing investigative, counterintelligence, training, and education and support to the AFOSI, US air force members, investigators, the Department of Defense and more than 90 agencies. 

Captain Santiago previously served as a Special Victims’ Counsel at Malmstrom Air Force Base in Montana, where she provided independent legal representation and counsel to victims of sexual assault throughout the military justice process. Prior to that, Captain Santiago served as the Chief of Military Justice at Fairchild Air Force Base in Washington, where she advised commanders on the fair administration of justice. 

Throughout her career, Captain Santiago has been lauded as a fierce prosecutor. She has tried misdemeanor and felony level offenses in military courts-martial, notably trying several sexual assault, domestic violence, DUI, drug, and arson cases, amongst others.
Along with a Bachelor of Arts in English from Vanguard, Captain Santiago holds a Juris Doctor from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law, and entered active duty in January 2014 after direct commission as an Air Force judge advocate. She is admitted to practice law before the Supreme Courts of Colorado, the Air Force Court of Criminal Appeals, and the United States Court of Criminal Appeals for the Armed Forces, and she is qualified and certified under two prestigious Uniform Codes of Military Justice. 

Distinguished Service: Dr. Mary Mahon ‘81, MA ‘87

Dr. Mary Kathleen Mahon has been appointed Executive Director and President of ChildHope. This ministry has provided life transforming education for children in 20 nations of Latin America and the Caribbean for more than 50 years. There are currently more than 100,000 children in over 300 schools being given an opportunity for a quality education and an encounter with Jesus Christ in the context of a ChildHope school. Dr. Mahon has served with Assemblies of God World Missions for more than 25 years. During her extensive missionary career, she has served ChildHope in both Costa Rica and Venezuela. Her pioneering work in Venezuela established the ChildHope school in El Pauji, a notoriously dangerous barrio in the capital city of Caracas. Despite the current political upheaval in that South American nation, this school in El Pauji remains strong, serving hundreds of children in that violent community with transforming hope. 

During her long tenure in Costa Rica she has been involved in every aspect of ChildHope’ s ministry. Most recently she founded Chicas de Promesa (Girls of Promise), a girl’s empowerment program designed to help adolescent girls in ChildHope schools overcome the obstacles they face in their communities. In addition, she is developing a parallel ministry; the Chicos Project (Champions for Change) for boys who live in these same communities. These pioneering efforts, begun by Dr. Mahon, are a critical part of ChildHope’s continuing efforts to bring the transforming power of the Gospel to the domestic abuse and gang violence that plagues communities where ChildHope schools are located. 

Dr. Mahon received her undergraduate and graduate degrees from Vanguard University of Southern California. Her Ph.D. in Intercultural Education is from Biola University. Dr. Mahon is an ordained Assemblies of God minister with the Southern California Network.

Contact the Alumni Office