Michael J. Beals, Ph.D.

OC Visionaries 2022

Vanguard University

As president of Vanguard University, Orange County’s first four-year university, Dr. Michael Beals has brought something entirely new to the university in the form of unprecedented strategic growth. In his time as Vanguard University president since 2014, Beals has committed to many ambitious areas of growth, several of which have come to fruition in influential and exciting ways in the last two years. His growth-focused approach also helped the university accomplish record undergraduate enrollment during the COVID-19 pandemic. Up from 1,499 new undergraduate student enrollments just five years ago, Vanguard University enrolled 1,768 undergraduate students in 2020 and 1,750 undergraduate students in 2021. Also under Beals’ tenure, Vanguard University has made significant strides in financial sustainability by diversifying and strengthening streams of revenue, resulting in doubling the university endowment, growing net assets and over $34 million raised in philanthropic support. Dr. Lorry Leigh Belhumeur Chief Executive Officer Western Youth Services