Homecoming 2013 on February 1-2 featured MANY exciting events and familiar faces back on campus! It was a blessed time full of fellowship and opportunities for alumni to reconnect! It was great to see alumni, current students, families, faculty, and staff share their Vanguard stories while enjoying the many fun events happening during 2013 Homecoming weekend.
Alumni speakers and worship leaders were featured throughout the week’s Chapel services. Tuesday, January 29, kicked off with Worship Leader Amanda Ahrenberg ’09, along with Josh Houston ’08, Dustin Ginn ’10, Daniel Bertsch ‘11, and current Vanguard students Lane Greenleaf-Perez, Patrick Prado, and Christian Lucas. Dean of Spiritual Formation Mike Beals ’81 interview 2013 Young Alumnus of the Year Jason Lankow ’03 about his Vanguard experience . Jason is the CEO and cofounder of Column Five, a Newport Beach visualization of information creative agency. He frequently lectures on infographics and data visualization. Jason was also one of the contributing authors of “Infographics – The Power of Visual Storytelling” published in 2012. We are proud thatJason graduated from Vanguard University and remained connected to his faculty mentors.
On Wednesday, January 30, Bryan Rouanzoin ’07 and Jenni (Schork ’07) Rouanzoin led worship in Chapel. The speaker, Dr. Al Tizon ‘84, MA ’87, was chosen by the Vanguard Department of Religion to share this week. Dr. Tizon is native to the Philippines and is a pastor, missionary, and community organizer. He is currently a professor of Evangelism and Holistic Ministry at Palmer Theological Seminary in Pennsylvania.
The last Homecoming Alumni Chapel took place on Thursday, January 31, where Kevin Doyle ’99, Heather (Amorosi ’99) Schwartz and Caleb Clements ’02 led the congregation of students, faculty, staff and alumni in worship. Then, the 2013 Alumnus of the Year, Ron Bueno ’90, shared his Vanguard story. Ron is originally from El Salvador and returned there in 1993 to ne a missionary for ENLACE, which is Spanish for “link.” ENLACE trains church leaders to work communities around them to develop sustainable health, infrastructure, and economic development programs. Ron is now the executive director of ENLACE and the president of a microfinance and investment credit union. There are many Alumni and faculty/staff that have traveled to El Salvador to support Ron’s organization. We look forward to see what God has in store for Ron’s future!
Remember the Big Big Show? Well, on Thursday night, current students participated in their own version of “VU’s Got Talent,” to a panel of alumni judges, that included Sharon (Baldwin ’83) Noble, David Melgar ’12, Allison Hesse ’07 and Joel Gackle MBA ’10. Emcees Sybra (Alcorn ’10) Dacy and Devin Aguilera ’10 hosted the show while students and alumni were entertained by guitar solos to group bands, magic shows to inspirational speeches…but the grand prize went to Joy Oladokun, who sang an original song while playing her guitar. We were very impressed with the incredible talents of our current students who will be Alumni soon.
On Friday, February 1, Nate Westerfeld ’10 showcased his singer-songwriting talent for alumni and students with the annual Concert in the Cove. He was joined by Jason Valverde ’10 and Colby McKamey ’11 as his band for the night. Ever since elementary school, Nate loved to play guitar and sing. He said that he “dreamed about the idea of writing a song that would identify with someone so intensely, that they would feel they weren’t alone in whatever it was they may have been going through.” Upon graduating from Vanguard, this is just what Nate has done! He tours local Southern California concert venues and likes to connect with people through his music on a personal and honest level. To stay updated on future music gigs, check out Nate’s Facebook page!
Saturday, February 2, was a big day here on Vanguard campus! Events went all day long, starting with our biggest event of the whole weekend – The Run for Mercy 5K! Kevin ’99 and Camie (Grasser ‘99) Doyle live in Las Vegas and have a daughter, Mercy, 6, who suffers from a rare neurological condition that doctors just can’t seem to diagnose. For four years, Mercy has suffered from viral infections in her brain, ataxia (loss of muscle coordination), tremors within her feet, and has lost the ability to walk and crawl. Mercy goes through times of improvement, but her condition is so unique that there is no one cure for this condition. The immense emotional and financial burden on the Doyle family on top of Mercy’s health conditions is enough to move anyone emotionally, which is why we were moved to hold a run for a reason.
Run for Mercy was a huge success! There were over 60 volunteers, close to 300 runners and $3,000+ raised! Upon finishing the 5k, participants were invited to a celebration for Mercy Doyle in the Campus Mall. A fun cover band led by Matthew Nuss ’07 performed while people met with the Doyle family and kids played in the Kids Zone. Participants received “Pray for Mercy” wristbands with the reference Philippians 1:6 – “There has never been the slightest doubt in my mind that the God who started this great work in you would keep at it and bring it to a flourishing finish on the very day Christ Jesus appears.” We encourage you to keep Mercy in your prayers as she continues to receive the medical attention she needs. Check out the pictures from Run for Mercy to see all of the smiling faces running for an incredible reason.
The annual Homecoming Alumni Awards Luncheon was a wonderful time for Alumni to celebrate each other. President Carol Taylor also recognized the Golden Vanguard Society (alumni from 1920-1962) and inducted the Class of 1963 as new members. The Vanguard University Concert Choir provided beautiful, live music for the luncheon attendees before the program began. Upon finishing lunch, Alumni Award Recipients were recognized:
Alumnus of the Year: Ron Bueno ‘90
Career Achievement Award: Bill ’67 and Nancie (Pearson ‘66) Carmichael
Distinguished Service Award: Dr. Isaac Canales ‘74
Young Alumnus of the Year: Jason Lankow ’03.
New inductees into the Golden Vanguard Society were Dan Ross ’63, Jerry English ’63, Don Smith ’63, and Clyde Gonzales ’63.
Class bundle reunions were for Alumni to celebrate the classes of 1950s-1960s, 1971-1973, 1981-1983, 1991-1993, and 2001-2003. Alumni looked through yearbooks, laughed at their Vanguard memories, and updated each other on family and other classmates. Former faculty, President Taylor, and the Vanguard Barbershop quartet visited the reunions to personally welcome them back on campus.
While alumni attended their reunions, their kids had some fun of their own! Free basketball and soccer camps were offered by the Vanguard athletics staff to teach future Alumni about Gold Pride! Student athletes also supervised these sports camps that were held in the Pit and on the soccer field. Boys and girls, ages 5-15 took advantage of learning some new sports skills.
The first-ever Delta Kappa Honor Society reunion took place in the newly renovated Towers Lobby on Saturday, February 2. Delta Kappa is a Greek Letter Honor Society that honors those who have served the Vanguard University community. It recognizes students who are exemplary in their Christian lifestyle as they serve their peers and represent the university. Inductees are honored and recognized with personalized engraved bricks displayed on the Campus Mall, in front of the Library. Dr. Phil Robinette ’64 was among the first to be inducted into this elite honor society and welcomed those present at the reunion. The program was led by Judy (Asmuth ’84) Hamilton, Registrar, and Lexy Gioielli, Director of Student Leadership in which President Carol Taylor also shared. The reunion concluded with each Delta Kappa member receiving a special pin they can wear to future Vanguard events.
A pre-Game BBQ dinner was catered in the Caf by Bon Appetit. There was not an empty seat in the entire dining area as Alumni, current students, families and friends reconnected about the weekend’s events. The delicious BBQ and homemade desserts on the menu couldn’t replenish fast enough. Everyone left well-fed and ready to cheer on the VU Lions at the Homecoming basketball games!
The Vanguard Men & Women’s Basketball teams challeneged our rival, Biola University in the Pit that was packed with Blue and Gold fans. First, the ladies held a continual home court advantage, winning with a score of 72-61. After our first victory, the Men’s team didn’t let us down, and swept another victory, crushing Biola 71-58. The Vanguard Concert Choir sang the National Anthem, and the Alumni Upperdeck was open during halftime of both games. At the halftime of the Men’s game, Bob Wilson was recognized for being named the 2011-2012 Athletic Director of the Year by NAIA Athletic Directors Association. What an exciting night after such an exciting, fun-filled day! To read more about your favorite VU Lions sports teams, check out Vanguard Athletic News.
Thanks to everyone who came and celebrated this Homecoming Weekend with us. We hope you had a great time reconnecting with former classmates and had a chance to meet some new friends. We enjoyed meeting you too!
For photos from our exciting Homecoming weekend, check out the Vanguard University Alumni Facebook Page!
We look forward to seeing you next year at