Corona del Mar resident Carmen Golay came to California when she was 18 because she could not find work across the border in San Ysidro. She lived with an uncle in East Los Angeles and got a job in downtown L.A. bagging potatoes.
Soon after, Carmen got married and had a daughter, Patty. Eventually, Carmen went to work cleaning houses and office buildings, with Patty often tagging along to help.
According to Carmen, Patty “learned the value of hard work from an early age, and never complained.”
At 16, Patty found a job at Transunion Credit. Carmen would take her there in the afternoons because Patty didn’t drive yet.
Carmen saved enough to buy a house in La Mirada, “a good house in a beautiful neighborhood, and close to a good school district,” said Carmen. “We were there a long time. Patty was the 25th Silver Anniversary Miss La Mirada.”
Patty, and Carmen, have come a long way since then.
After learning the mortgage industry from the ground up, Patty Arvielo (her married name) co-founded New American Funding in Tustin in 2003 and grew it into one of the largest independent mortgage lenders in the country and the largest Latina-owned private mortgage company in the nation, with a servicing portfolio of over 241,000 loans for $63.9 billion. The company’s Latino Focus and New American Dream initiatives were launched by Patty Arvielo with the goal being to enhance the quality of the lending experience for Latino and Black homebuyers.
Thanks to her business acumen, Patty bought her mother a house in Corona del Mar. “It’s a really nice house,” said Carmen. “I love everything here. I take my little dog to the beach once a week and I talk to everybody. Patty and her husband are building a few properties down here, and I tell everybody, ‘these are my kids.’”
Carmen’s kid, Patty, learned from her mother’s example of how hard work pays off. In fact, Patty was recently honored by Vanguard University, a Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI) and leader in broadening impact and expanding opportunities for first-generation students.
Vanguard University announced the naming of the Patty Arvielo School of Business and Management, adding the latest phase to its recent academic restructuring into multiple Schools and a College of the Arts and Sciences. The Arvielos have partnered with Vanguard’s vision in sponsoring the largest academic donation in the university’s 103-year history.
A surprise unveiling of the new school’s name took place on the Costa Mesa campus in the Waugh Student Center at 10 a.m. on April 19 to an unsuspecting Patty Arvielo and nearly 800 cheering students, faculty, staff and supporters—a “take your breath away” moment for both the Arvielos and the Vanguard community.
“I’ve never been so surprised in my life,” said Patty Arvielo, teary-eyed after the reveal. “For someone who didn’t think she was smart—or fit the profile of what smart means in America—my story is important and I share it to empower you. Because that’s what this country offers and that is why our grandparents and parents came to this great country, to offer us the opportunities to succeed! I love this with all my heart. And now, I have more familia—so thank you.”
And what was Carmen’s reaction to her daughter’s honor?
“I had no idea. It blew me away, I was crying,” said Carmen. “It was a big deal for me to see all of the Latino kids there. I loved it. I couldn’t believe it. It surprised me that Patty was so overwhelmed and surprised. I’m happy for her, it was amazing. She deserves it because she really has invested in her Latina community and supports the community a lot.”
After the ceremony, one of the coaches in the school came over and talked to Carmen, and said “Señora, my mom also cleaned houses. I understand how you feel because my mom is very proud that I’m working here at Vanguard and doing well. A lot of us come from Mexico with a dream to make good money and buy a house and support your kids and it’s heartwarming to see that Patty has made the most of the opportunity here by working hard, and now she’s being recognized and helping these students do the same.”
“At this moment of growth for Vanguard University, we are grateful for the support and partnership of the Arvielos,” said Vanguard University President Michael J. Beals, Ph.D. “We are honored to align our business programs under Patty Arvielo’s name because of who she is—a phenomenal business leader and role model for Hispanic, female and all students whose life story and work demonstrate what is possible. We recognize the impact that Patty Arvielo’s namesake and support will have on generations of students as Vanguard prepares them for a life of Christ-centered leadership and service.”
Hope for the Future
At the surprise announcement, third-year VU business student Kaitlyn Velazquez also shared what the Arvielo’s recognition personally means to her. “As a Latina pursuing a career in business, it is so inspiring to be able to feel represented by someone who has made a name for herself in the pathway [of business that] I have always dreamed of. Knowing how much my parents sacrificed in order to best set me up for success, and seeing everything that Mrs. Arvielo has accomplished, gives me even more hope for my future in this field.”
Carmen’s work ethic was the spark that lit the flame for Patty’s success.
“She’s the best,” stated Carmen. “She was a go-getter from the start, and she’s never given up. She had tough times in her career and in business, but she didn’t quit. She’s the hardest working person I know. She just won’t quit on anything. She’s very loving and respectful to me, very giving and generous with mom and the whole family.”
The establishment of the Patty Arvielo School of Business and Management comes as the business program celebrates its 50th anniversary. With degree programs in accounting, business administration, management and marketing, business has remained the highest enrolled academic program at VU for the past few decades. The new Patty Arvielo School of Business will officially launch in the 2024-2025 academic year and will serve undergraduate and graduate residential, distance and non-traditional students in business, communication, organizational psychology and people operations.
Immediate steps for the launch of the Patty Arvielo School of Business and Management include the appointment of a transitional dean, recruitment of anchor faculty, and a national search for the founding dean by Fall 2024.
The transformational gift from the Arvielos will build upon VU’s legacy over the past five decades of preparing students to become leaders in business by combining Christian faith, in-depth knowledge and character development with a strong liberal arts foundation.
The establishment of the Patty Arvielo School of Business and Management marks a significant milestone for Hispanic women nationally, as it is the first school of business in the United States to be named after a Latina.
To learn more about Vanguard University, visit www.vanguard.edu.