Homecoming Weekend Recap
Alumni from across the decades came home to Biola during the weekend of February 20-22, 2009, as the University celebrated Homecoming ‘09: A New Tradition!
The line-up of Homecoming activities offered something for everyone, from Biola’s Golden Eagles-those who graduated from Biola 50 or more years ago, to current students who will one day join the ranks of University alumni.
The weekend got off to a good start with breakfast and lunch events for the Golden Eagles, as former classmates swapped stories from the days in downtown LA, at 6th and Hope. Chapel was also a Homecoming theme, with the annual presentation of Alumni Awards. Being honored this year were Jared White of Invisible Children, with the Young Alumni Award; Bob and Sharon Hilts of OC International with the Global Service Award; and Rick and Debbie Yorgey and Ted and Karey Yeats, with the Clyde Cook Missions Award for their ministries in Washington, DC.
Leaders from alumni chapters around the country spent time together on Friday afternoon, then the first day of Homecoming was capped with a Sweetheart Dinner for couples who met and married at Biola. Junior vocal performance major Shaya Greathouse serenaded the guests with love songs, followed by a trip down Memory Lane with couples who shared from their Biola love story.
Saturday featured several affinity group reunions, including English graduates and alumni parents, as well as a variety of athletic events. A Decades Dinner was held in the Cafeteria prior to the Homecoming basketball games, featuring retro decor and cuisine designed to reflect Biola’s 50-year history in La Mirada. Women’s and men’s Homecoming basketball versus Concordia University culminated the Homecoming athletic contests, then an updated version of Third Half provided the setting for a post-game party that featured karaoke, a caricature artist, and plenty of food.
Homecoming Weekend wrapped up with a Sunday-evening dinner for Education graduates.
Sue Kimber, manager of alumni relations, commented, “It was a great start, and I was very pleased with the first Homecoming we’ve held in a number of years. I talked with alumni all day Saturday, and it was especially encouraging to see lots of families with young children coming back to campus. Those are our Biola eagles of the future, and it was wonderful to hear parents telling college stories to their kids. There was also an involvement and enthusiasm among students, which promises that Homecoming is a program that will remain in their thinking once they’ve graduated.”
Others involved in the weekend felt similarly positive about the weekend. Deannah Baesel, assistant manager of advancement events, said, “I am honored to have served our alumni during our first ever Homecoming Weekend.Â We launched this event with the hopes of bringing the Biola community back together - getting students and alumni on campus to share and connect with each other. I was thrilled to see so many families, students, and alumni of all ages gather together, united in commonality and love for this school. I look forward to the next year of planning in order to grow Homecoming Weekend into one of Biola's most beloved traditions.”
Heather Cordell, manager of advancement events, commented, “While walking around the campus in the late afternoon on Saturday, I was pleased to see so many alumni and their families reconnecting with Biola. Spirit is definitely alive in the student body! It was evident as the crowd went wild at the Homecoming Basketball game against Concordia, and, even though we were defeated, our connection as a community grew stronger that night.”
With the successful completion of Homecoming ’09, planning is already underway for Homecoming 2010. If you’re interested in being involved in planning the weekend, or if you’d like to suggest and host an affinity or class year reunion, please contact Sue Kimber at email@example.com.
For plenty of pictures and further detail about each of the Homecoming events, please visit the links below.