Imagine: The Campaign for Vanguard University

The opening of the Waugh Student Center on February 28, 2020 marked the completion of the $12.9 million first phase of Imagine: The Campaign for Vanguard University. The University now forges ahead into the second milestone of the campaign, which seeks to raise $15 million; $2.8 million to strengthen the Vanguard Endowment and $12.2 million to fund construction of Lions Arena, a brand-new, dynamic athletics and learning facility.


A Beacon of Truth, Virtue and Service

The Lions Arena will be a bustling source of pride for the entire Vanguard community that will deepen school spirit for all Lions. It will be a place where students, alumni, faculty and staff, and the local community will gather in camaraderie during sports games, chapels, worship gatherings and campus events.

It will be a place where all will experience the genuine care and Christ-centered service for which Vanguard is known, effectively becoming a beacon of truth, virtue and service in the community.


We are gaining significant momentum on our 30-year campus master plan, approved by the City of Costa Mesa in 2019. Since completion of the Waugh Student Center in 2020, we have been looking ahead to continue enhancing the quality of the Vanguard experience. With the campus master plan, we are continuing development of our 40-acre campus with new buildings and environments that support our mission and student experience, as well as meet the needs of our growing University, while bolstering Vanguard’s image in the community and among generations of future students.

The Lions Arena has been selected as the next project of the campus master plan because it will complete the vision for a dynamic student life core of the campus, as it crowns the University’s decade-long investment in renovated residence halls, outdoor athletics fields and the Waugh Student Center.


Situated directly adjacent to the new 42,000-square-foot Waugh Student Center, in front of the University’s sports fields and amidst the University’s residence halls, the Lions Arena will serve as a bridge that connects Vanguard Athletics to the heart of campus, ultimately enhancing the student life experience.

With the opening of the Lions Arena, students will be able to study, gather, experience community, enjoy al fresco or indoor dining, show their Lion pride at athletics events, or play in an intramural game – all within steps of their dorm rooms.


Integral to a thriving residential college experience, the new Lions Arena will be Vanguard’s first-ever dynamic athletic facility. Designed to be the central hub for Vanguard Athletics, the space will be dedicated to the physical, spiritual and relational development of more than 400 student-athletes – a group that has more than doubled in growth over the last four years – teaching them to lead Christ-centered lives on and off the playing surface. Vanguard’s nationally recognized Champions of Character curriculum will be taught to student-athletes inside more than 10 technology-equipped workstations and conference rooms and offer a myriad of opportunities for peer mentorship and small group meetings.


A hybrid of arena and learning laboratory, the three-story Lions Arena will also house Vanguard’s ever-growing Kinesiology academic program, which has experienced 10% growth year-to-year over the past decade. New interactive labs, classrooms, workstations and study spaces will also be used across academic disciplines, adding dynamic and flexible spaces for learning at Vanguard.


  • Three-story, 60,000 Square Feet
  • Gymnasium Seat Count: 1,910
  • Lobby, Concessions and Ticketing Area
  • Men’s and Women’s Locker Rooms
  • Weight Room
  • Athletics Training room
  • Athletics Offices, Workstations and Conference Space
  • Kinesiology Offices and Workstations
  • Kinesiology Physical Therapy Lab
  • Kinesiology Human Performance Lab
  • Four New General Classrooms
  • Student Meeting, Breakout, Lounge and Study Spaces

Throughout Vanguard’s nearly 100 years, we’ve had a singular focus on preparing women and men to fulfill God’s call upon their lives. As a university, we build into people’s lives, and the Imagine campaign is a way to invest in our students today and for years to come.


Would you like more information about the Imagine campaign?

Contact Us Today

Justin McIntee
Vice President for University Advancement