For the alumni and parent relations departments, the summer months were filled with alumni chapter meetings, Student Send-Offs and numerous other events that provided all of us an opportunity to meet alumni, parents and new students before the new school year began.

If you haven’t attended a Student Send-Off event with your alumni chapter, you are missing out. We visit cities across the country and around the world to meet, encourage and pray for new students bound for Biola. Many come with apprehensions about leaving home, family and friends for a place that is new, different and perhaps a little scary for some (most!) new freshman.

The really exciting thing to watch — as we go around the room, do introductions and hear the testimonies of new students and their parents, current students and their parents, and our great alumni from just about every generation of Biola — is the sense of peace about making the right decision set in on the faces of those who arrived a bit uncertain. Anxious moms and dads, perhaps sending a first or last child off to college, begin to smile. Incoming students make new friendships with other freshman and returning students. Most of all, the true impact and value of a biblically centered Christian higher education sinks in to those in attendance when alumni share the amazing experiences they had and others should not miss when they come to Biola.

Now as the new semester is well underway, we are seeing many of those new student friends we made this summer. As we visit, they recall the uncertainty of the summer, but now they are seasoned, experienced freshmen ... perhaps with a twinge of miss- ing “home” a bit. But they are experiencing some of the deepest spiritual and relational growth of their lives!

As you think about these new freshmen — students for whom, perhaps, your support has made it possible to attend Biola — I hope you will recall how Biola may have changed who you are. And as you do, remember them and Biola in prayer! For soon, they will be the next generation of alumni serving kingdom purposes as they leave this place.

If you have Biola stories to tell, we would love to hear them. Send your notes to the alumni office in care of Rick Bee.