I remember it well. That first issue of Biola’s magazine we called Connections. The alumni program was new turf for me and we had just completed the conversion of alumni addressesfrom 4-by-5 paper cards from which were typed (yes, typed) paper mailing labels, to a new computerized database. (Imagine that!) At the time the Apple 512K desktop computers were just being discovered, and the computer that we were loading all of our precious data into filled half of the downstairs level of Metzger Hall, with less memory than I now have in my iPhone! But, with computerized data, we were ready for a real, regular, alumni magazine. Wow!

In that first issue of Connections we wanted to launch a publication that would increase contact with alumni and communicate not only news about our graduates, but also the advancement of the university. As I said in 1986, the magazine was designed as a “vital link between you and Biola University.” And it is! Biola Connections quickly became a sought-after publication, communicating the life changes of our alumni and campus family. Weddings, births, deaths, job changes, alumni events and activities — no matter what the news, all were included in Biola’s magazine.

And that tradition continues in today’s Biola Magazine. If you want to know what’s happening both on and off campus in the Biola community, the magazine is a great place to start! We continue to share the work of our graduates and the advancement of the university. But the magazine has also grown from those early days to address many of the current areas of our culture where Biola alumni, students, faculty and staff are making a difference.

In my first column I said that we were “excited to announce that we’re renewing our commitment to you and other alumni through an energetic new alumni program.” I hope we have maintained that tradition of seeking to serve you in all we do. And I’m pleased to hear from many of you that the commitment of service that was announced in that first issue of Connections remains a hallmark of the alumni program today. It is my pleasure in this issue of Biola Magazine, 25 years later, to announce several new programs of the alumni office that will seek to demonstrate that continued service.

If you haven’t found and joined the “Biola Alumni Association” Facebook page, we encourage you to check it out and join the growing number of alumni who are finding friends, finding jobs and renewing their connection to Biola on Facebook. And if it’s purely career networking you want to do, check out the new alumni Netcommunity site at biola.edu/alumni that will help if you are looking for work, looking for employees or just want to get caught up with an old friend.

Also new this year is a combined Alumni and Parent Weekend scheduled for Oct. 14 and 15 of 2011. This new event will include: a student festival; class, department and activity reunions; brunch with the president; a downtown Biola coffeehouse and concert; and a Biola showcase with TED-style speakers! Sounds like fun, and we would love to see you here, so mark it on your calendar.

It’s been my pleasure to serve and work with you these last 30 years and I look forward to many more as together we are Alumni for Life!