The Mariners Church in Irvine was a scene of celebration Thursday morning as 581 Vanguard University undergraduates marched to the start, officially becoming the class of 2022 and another generation of scholars in the long history of the Costa Mesa campus.

In his welcome address, Vanguard President Michael Beals expressed his belief that graduates would fulfill the school’s 102-year mission to pursue knowledge, cultivate character, deepen faith, and live a life of leadership and service.

From right, Venus Calangian, 22, Asia Collins, 21, and Caira Lee-Gray, 25, sing during Vanguard University’s undergraduate commencement ceremony on Thursday.

(Kevin Chang / personal photographer)

“We are confident that you are empowered for a Christ-centered, purpose-filled future,” Beals told the graduating crowd. “The foundations have been laid, the work has been done, and I hope for you that the profound efforts to shape the mind, soul, and heart of a Vanguard college education will continue for years and years to come. years.”

Speakers included Jason Frenn, a Spanish-language missionary, author and host of the show “Poder para Cambiar” (The Power to Change) on Radio Nueva Vida – whose daughter Chanel would start this afternoon as a graduate student of Vanguard.

First-generation student Candace Martinez, who earned a degree in psychology with minors in theology and biology, also spoke, sharing her excitement at reaching a personal milestone.

Decorative mortar boards at Vanguard University's Class of 2022 graduation ceremony Thursday at Mariners Church in Irvine.

Decorative mortar boards at Vanguard University’s Class of 2022 graduation ceremony Thursday at Mariners Church in Irvine.

(Kevin Chang / personal photographer)

A member of the Psi Chi International Honor Society, Martinez graduated summa cum laude and will pursue a master’s degree in clinical psychology at Vanguard in the fall.

Beals shared special words for first-generation students, who make up 31% of the entire class, explaining that it takes courage to take a new path.

“As a first-generation student myself, I know the excitement that comes with being a pioneer,” he said. “We congratulate you all!”

A second afternoon ceremony at the Irvine Church celebrated graduating students from the class of 2022, as well as undergraduate students from the class of 2020, who declined a graduation event during the pandemic .

Undergraduates head to Mariners Church in Irvine on Thursday for Vanguard University's Class of 2022 commencement ceremony.

Undergraduates head to Mariners Church in Irvine on Thursday for Vanguard University’s Class of 2022 commencement ceremony.

(Kevin Chang / personal photographer)

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