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2017 Gratitude Report

Expressions of Gratitude


“I praise God for your giving hearts and your love for the upcoming generation.”

David Reyes, Kinesiology, Junior

“Biola University has provided me with opportunities and people that are hard to find elsewhere. I know that God has placed me here for a reason so thank you for keeping my hope alive to graduate from such an incredible school. I pray God blesses you all abundantly, much thanks!”

Tinisee Kandakai, Marketing, Junior

“Folks like you are the heroes, often hidden, in the kingdom of God. Your prayers and financial support are examples to all of us seeking to be equipped for the ministering of the gospel of Jesus Christ.”

Man Lung “Matthew” Si Jr., M.A. Spiritual Formation

“Through the kindness of donors and committing to play soccer, God made it possible for me to go here and be able to afford it all four years. Thank you so much to the people who have helped me get here and for providing me with my dream education.”

Sandra Hawryla, Elementary Education, Freshman

“As a female, first-generation college student, money often becomes a behemoth standing in the way of my goals. God has truly used you to show me His power over all of my obstacles and His ultimate reign in my life. Thank you for your courage to carry out God’s commands in being faithful through your finances. I hope you know that God has taken your money and used it to exponentially bless me and my community.”

Kylea Kelly, Sociology, Senior

A Decade of Leadership

“I am so thankful for God’s hand over Biola during my first 10 years here. Thank you for believing in our mission and standing with us through your faithful prayers and financial support. The best is yet to come!”

Barry H. Corey, President



Biola Expanding to Nine Schools

Biola continually seeks to provide an excellent education to every student. In 2017, the university expanded from six to eight schools, with its ninth school coming in 2018. This restructuring and expansion helps ensure the highest academic quality and support for every area of study.

  • Cook School of Intercultural Studies
  • Crowell School of Business
  • Rosemead School of Psychology
  • School of Cinema and Media Arts (coming July 1, 2018)
  • School of Education
  • School of Fine Arts and Communication
  • School of Humanities and Social Sciences
  • School of Science, Technology and Health
  • Talbot School of Theology

Biola Establishes the Center for the Study of the Work & Ministry of the Holy Spirit Today

In the fall of 2017, Biola officially launched the Center for the Study of the Work and Ministry of the Holy Spirit Today. A 10-year initiative funded fully by a private donation, the center’s goal, says director Oscar Merlo, is rather straightforward: to empower new generations with the fire of the Holy Spirit, to catalyze evangelism and “to repair any sort of broken relationship we might have with the Holy Spirit.”

Merlo comes to Biola from the Alberto Mottesi Evangelistic Association (AMEA), one of the world’s largest Latino evangelistic associations, where he served as executive director. Before that, he held executive leadership positions in businesses like Target Corp. and ConAgra Foods.

After spending his first months in a mode of listening, exploring how the Spirit has been at work at Biola since the beginning, Merlo is looking ahead to a fourfold working plan for the center: intentional conversations, a biennial conference, research and holding monthly Spirit-empowered vespers (evening worship services) on campus.

A New Era for the Eagles in NCAA Division II

Rivalries are being renewed with Azusa Pacific (APU), Concordia-Irvine, Point Loma and others, as Biola officially transitions to NCAA Division II. Biola is currently in year two of the three-year transition process and in its first competitive season in the PacWest Conference. The Eagles have jumped to a strong start in the PacWest, sitting second of 14 universities in the Commissioner’s Cup standings at the end of fall 2017.

Biola also leads the Cornerstone Cup, presented by West Coast Sand & Gravel, 40-10. This is the new yearlong head-to-head competition between Biola and APU, where victories in matchups between the Eagles and Cougars count toward who will take home the trophy in the spring.

Thanks to your generosity and those who have supported Biola Athletics, many Eagles student-athletes are enjoying upgraded facilities this year:

  • Baseball has new batting cages and a bullpen area, as well as a renovated dugout
  • Aquatics has a new scoreboard and timing system
  • Track and Field hurdlers are soaring over new hurdles
  • Additional funding will help construct a three-court expansion to the Tennis Complex
  • The Softball Complex received funding for new lighting and bleachers

Thank you for your financial support as we close out an era in the NAIA and prepare for a new era in the NCAA Division II.

Launching the Lim Center

After years of praying, planning and construction, Biola’s newest building, the Alton and Lydia Lim Center for Science, Technology and Health, was completed in November 2017, on time and on budget. As soon as the safety barriers came down, students started filling the study and collaborative spaces.

Not only are students excited to use the new facility, faculty and staff are thrilled with the thoughtful design. To allow for greater communication and collaboration, each floor is categorized by departments. In the lower level is nursing, followed by the first floor with biological sciences and math and computer science; the second floor is kinesiology and health science and the dean’s office; and the third floor is chemistry, physics and engineering. The sixth department, communication sciences and disorders, remains with its clinic in Dorothy English Hall.

Thanks to the generosity of donors, all construction costs were met and the maintenance endowment is partially funded.

Your Impact in 2017 By the Numbers

Thanks to your generosity, 2017 was a year of continued blessings.


Total Donors: 5,921 gave 13,858 gifts

  • Alumni: 2,204
  • Friends: 1,973
  • Parents: 1,355
  • Employees: 389


  • Total giving to the Annual Fund (AF): $2,998,453
  • Total giving to Scholarships (not counting AF): $5,014,735
  • Total Giving: $15,985,468 (not including planned gifts)
  • Total Planned Gifts: $1,143,223

Did you know foundations help to fund faculty grants? In 2017, Dr. David Wang (Rosemead) received $234,797 from the John Templeton Foundation for the second phase of his research on the impact seminary education has on the spiritual, character and virtue development of seminarians.

Thank you for your faithful support!

Donor Profile

Kathryn (Dodson) Benson

Since age 11, Kathryn (Dodson) Benson dreamed of becoming a missionary in India. After high school, she worked in the post office for one year to save money to attend a Bible institute. After much research and with her parents’ wholehearted endorsement, Kathryn enrolled in September of 1932 at the Bible Institute of Los Angeles in downtown L.A. During her two-year program, she worked on campus in the subscription department for the school’s monthly magazine, The King’s Business, to help pay for room and board.

After she graduated in 1934, Kathryn applied to be a missionary in India, but discovered only married women were accepted at the time. Though she eventually did get married and had four children, she never ended up serving overseas as a missionary. Yet, Kathryn continues — at age 104 — to be a missionary to her family and community. Her heart remains passionate about sharing the gospel, and supporting various missionaries and mission organizations and giving monthly to the Biola Fund.

The Diversity of Biola's Student Body

Biola continues to reflect the diversity of the body of Christ, with students coming from across the country and around the world, from Alaska to Florida, Hawaii to Maine. Nearly every continent is represented at Biola! Our students bring diverse experiences into the classrooms as they choose from more than 150 undergraduate and graduate-level programs.

Enrollment By School (Fall 2017)
SchoolStudents (Grad + Undergrad)
Talbot School of Theology1595
School of Science, Technology & Health1134
Fine Arts & Communications897
Crowell School of Business618
School of Education484
Rosemead School of Psychology480
Humanities & Social Sciences422
Cook School of Intercultural Studies354
Enrollment By Global Region (Fall 2017)
RegionStudents (Grad + Undergrad)
North America5644
South America9