As Biola University geared up to celebrate its 105th birthday in February, we at Biola Magazine figured: What better way to celebrate than with a list?
We invited alumni, students, faculty and staff to chime in with anything and everything you love about Biola, whether serious, lighthearted or somewhere in between. (One exception: We quickly realized a need to exclude individual personalities such as presidents and professors from appearing on the list, since there’s no way we could include them all.)
After much compiling, condensing, pondering and paring, we ultimately landed on a solid list that helps to capture the Biola experience (and inevitably leaves plenty of things out). Here, in no particular order, are 105 reasons we love Biola.
Temporary Hearing Loss After Walking Under the Bell Tower Right at Noon.
The chiming landmark at the heart of campus — made up of five of the original 11 bells from Biola’s original downtown Los Angeles building — has been known to surprise many a passerby.
Each morning, students from the undergraduate to graduate levels have the opportunity to worship together and listen to guest speakers.
Try re-reading that in your best basketball-game chanting voice.
The Red Book.
Every year since 1927, Biola’s trustees have reaffirmed their commitment to Biola’s original doctrinal statements by signing the Red Book, otherwise known as the “Workers’ Register and Articles of Faith.”
When they’re not teaching, many of Biola’s professors are busy blogging — sharing their insights and wisdom (and, every once in a while, theological comic strips) with the world. Find them at Talbot School of Theology’s “The Good Book Blog,” Crowell School of Business’ “Business- Ministry-Life” blog or the Torrey Honors Institute’s “Scriptorium.”
Sixth and Hope.
Biola’s first home.
Every dorm on campus is known for something. With Stewart Hall, it happens to be plaid, face paint and late-night runs through campus.
Red Bricks, Everywhere.
The Unbound Bible.
It might look like a throwback to the early days of the Internet, but the Unbound Bible is a powerful online Bible study tool, offering the full text of the Bible in more than 50 languages, along with plenty of other resources. Established more than 10 years ago by Biola’s IT department, the Unbound Bible — found at unbound.biola.edu — is still widely used and wildly popular.
President Corey’s Hiptionary.
Anyone who has attended chapel within the past five years knows and loves this indispensable little reference tool. More than just a dictionary of modern slang, it’s the president’s go-to schtick for an ironic laugh from the kewl kids.
Molcasalsa After Midnight.
Because nothing says college like carne asada fries at 2 a.m. from a 24-hour Mexican food joint.
The annual student lip-syncing competition is the event of the year — with students and community members camping out hours in advance to secure a seat inside the packed gym.
With world-renowned cultural landmarks like the Hollywood Bowl, the Getty Center, Dodger Stadium and the Huntington Library just a short drive away, there’s never a shortage of places for Biolans to spend the weekend.
The October extravaganza that is Biola’s version of homecoming.
Biola is one of five schools in the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities to be classified as a “Doctoral Research University” by the Carnegie Foundation — a designation based on the number of research doctorates awarded.
Biola was one of the 10 fastest-growing private research universities from 2000 to 2010, according to The Chronicle of Higher Education.
Long before Facebook, the old Biola University Bulletin Board System served as the university’s own private e-mail/social-networking system from 1992 to 2011.
Rustic, homey and packed with low-cost snacks, this gathering place for Biola’s off-campus community is the perfect spot to study or relax between classes.
One of the more popular ways of getting from here to there.
Seeing Your Professor Quoted in Time Magazine, USA Today or on CNN.
Pulling an All-Nighter to Finish a Paper.
Heritage of Evangelism.
Before Biola’s birth, its founders started the Fisherman’s Club and Lyceum Club, where men and women could study the Bible and receive instruction in soul-winning.
The Prayer Chapels.
The longstanding Rose of Sharon Prayer Chapel and the more recent Fred and Ruth Waugh Prayer Chapel in Talbot East offer serene places to pray and contemplate God’s word.
The Art Gallery.
New exhibitions continually rotate through, showcasing the work of students, faculty and prominent artists.
One of the nation’s first and largest disc golf courses is literally right across the street from Biola’s campus at La Mirada Regional Park. In recent years, the university has started offering the sport as a P.E. elective.
A Soccer Field and Track on Top of a Parking Structure.
Where else are you going to find that combination?
In 2007, Money magazine included La Mirada at No. 34 on its list of America’s “100 Best Places to Live.”
Candyland at Alpha.
You aren’t a real evangelical institution unless you have a Halloween alternative. Behold: Candyland. Safe Halloween fun for local families from Biola’s all-female dorm.
Warm, Gooey, Fresh-Baked Cookies from Eagles' Nest at 10 P.M.
Pool Tables in the Sub.
Any Biolan can compete in just-for-fun intramural sports like flag football, ultimate Frisbee or softball. Beware of the faculty teams!
Biola’s Six Graduate Schools.
Talbot School of Theology, Rosemead School of Psychology, Cook School of Intercultural Studies, Crowell School of Business, the School of Education and the School of Arts & Sciences. Learn more at biola.edu/grad.
That Awkward “Should I Be Doing This?” Feeling You Get when You Walk Across Metzger Lawn.
There’s technically no rule against being on the grass in front of Biola’s administration building — at least not anymore — but to many Biolans, it feels like sacred ground.
The Production Center.
The top-notch facility — used by film students around the clock — is just one of the reasons why Biola’s cinema and media arts program is recognized as one of the nation’s best.
This innovative website offers more than 1,500 free videos, articles and other pieces of educational content created and curated by Biola — including chapels, conferences and entire classes. Did we mention that it’s all free? Find it at open.biola.edu.
The Student Missionary Union is the largest student-led missions organization in the United States, hosting the annual Missions Conference and sending out student teams on short-term mission trips each year.
The President’s Circle.
With 84 percent of students relying on some form of Biola-granted scholarship support, the President’s Circle — a group of supporters who give $1,000 or more each year (or $100 a year for new graduates) — plays a crucial role in keeping Biola affordable. Learn more at giving.biola.edu.
The Torrey Honors Institute.
This prestigious Great Books program brings a little bit of Oxford to La Mirada.
The Biola University Center for Christian Thought.
Launched in 2012 with help from a $3 million grant from the John Templeton Foundation, this innovative center brings leading Christian thinkers from around the world together to research and collaborate on important issues facing the academy, the church and the broader culture. Look for videos, articles and more at cct.biola.edu.
It’s Always Sunny in La Mirada.
Well, it’s sunny at least 284 days out of the year. Which is why Newsweek ranked Biola 11th on their list of the 25 “Best Weather” colleges in the nation in 2011.
Cats Roaming Campus.
For students missing their pets at home, the friendly neighborhood felines who frequent the area around the Student Union Building are happy to sub in.
More Than 60,000 Alumni Serving …
… in such varied places as Hollywood studios, the U.S. Senate, classrooms, Olympic stadiums, pulpits, advertising agencies, the mission field and more.
Care for Creation.
Biola’s commitment to biblical stewardship is reflected in everything from the campus’ organic garden and the environmental science major to sustainable buildings and biodegradable “Spudware” in campus eateries.
Hey, that's us.
People Who Still Use Trays in the Caf.
“Five Stories Up.”
The new five-story parking structure quickly became a featured performance venue for Biola’s talented student musicians. See youtube.com/FiveStoriesUpSeries.
“Undefeated Since 1908.”
We may not have a football team, but at least we can compensate with a joke.
Torrey Memorial Bible Conference.
Each fall, Biola cancels class for three days in order to take a biblical look at themes like suffering, conflict and sexuality.
Our weekly Sunday-night worship service.
The Fitness Center.
There’s no better place to work off the Freshman 15.
Where student performers take the stage and share their talents with fellow Biolans.
The “Biola Bubble.”
“Jesus Saves” Signs.
The famed neon signs that once stood atop Biola’s downtown building are coming back to campus in 2013 (well, a replica, at least).
The Twinkle Lights Along the Library Walkway.
Eagle-Related Campus Eateries.
In case you forgot what Biola’s mascot was, the Soaring Eagle, Eagles' Nest and The Talon constantly remind you.
A Diverse Student Body.
Ring By Spring.
Short for “Get Your Roommate a Date,” of course. Sometimes these work out better than others.
“UP & COMING.”
For the last three years, U.S. News and World Report has named Biola to its list of “up and coming” schools, a recognition given to only 19 national universities last year. The honor goes to schools “making the most promising and innovative changes in the areas of academics, faculty, student life, campus or facilities.” Other “up and comers” include the University of Southern California and Clemson University.
An All-Christian Community.
Biola is the only national university where every student, staff member and faculty member is a professing Christian.
Fluor Fountain of Faith.
Biblically centered education, scholarship and service — equipping men and women in mind and character to impact the world for the Lord Jesus Christ.
The Biola Shuttle.
A relatively new addition, it gets vehicle-deprived Biolans to the movies, the mall and other local hot spots.
Biola’s official shade is Pantone 186, in case you were wondering.
Expert Professors Who Genuinely Care About You.
Generous Donors Who Transform Lives.
If only this still happened. Pictured here, former President Richard Chase, horsing around.
The Library Beacon.
Each fall, Biola’s dorms square off against each other and the formidable off-campus community in an intense nationball tournament in the gym. Egos aren’t the only things that end up bruised.
The Christmas Tree Lighting.
The prehistoric remains of a Columbian mammoth discovered during the construction of Hope Hall in 2002 continue to provide hands-on experience to archaeology students today.
Being Within an Hour of the Ocean, the Mountains and the Desert.
30 Units of Bible.
Since our founding in 1908 as the Bible Institute of Los Angeles, Biola has been serious about educating men and women who know, love and live the Bible. To this day, one of the things that makes Biola unique is the requirement that every traditional undergraduate student take 30 units of Bible and theology classes — amounting to a minor in biblical studies.
God’s word isn’t an add-on at Biola; a biblical worldview undergirds every subject and every class, helping students to practically connect their faith with their career.
The Honorable Biola Cheese Society.
If you’re a cheese-lover at Biola, it’d be a Gouda idea to consider joining this popular student club.
The King’s Men.
These vocal virtuosos in nice suits have been crooning acapella hymns for years. The lineup may change, but the harmonies never get any less heavenly.
The Biola Egg.
The storied concrete ball that students have been hunting and hiding since the ’60s offers 300 pounds and four-plus decades worth of Biola “yolklore.”
The happiest place on earth is a home away from home for many Biola students.
The annual pep rally that kicks off the fall sports season features cheering, music and loads of confetti.
This new resource is where employers go to hire a Biolan, and where alumni go to find a job. Find it at biola.edu/career-center.
Finding a Church Home.
Music at Noon.
This free weekly concert series featuring world-class artists draws music-lovers from the campus and surrounding community to Lansing Auditorium every Wednesday.
Late-Night Study Sessions at Common Grounds.
One of Biola’s most innovative academic programs. Where else can you earn 3–6 units during Interterm by discussing movies like The Dark Knight and Les Misérables with nine of Biola’s most beloved professors?
Biola’s annual Student Congress on Racial Reconciliation marked its 17th year in February, drawing students from across the country to celebrate the diversity of God’s kingdom. It’s a weekend of challenging speakers, delicious food and Taiko drums!
The Post-Rainfall "I Forgot the San Gabriel Mountains Were over There" Day.
Getting Your First Apartment.
Punk ’N’ Pie.
What started years ago as a small-scale fall concert with free pumpkin pie has developed into an elaborate, over-the-top talent show (still with free pumpkin pie).
Study Abroad Opportunities.
Whether it’s a semester in Germany, Interterm in Japan, or one of more than 30 other study abroad options, a change of scenery can do a Biolan good.
A Global Reach.
Biola’s extension sites in cities like Kiev, Chiang-Mai and Manhattan are helping the university accomplish its aspiration to extend its educational reach wider, throughout the world.
The camp-like week in August when Student Orientation Services introduces new students to each other and to their new Southern California home.
Opening Weekend Communion.
Walking Around Campus & Seeing People Praying for Each Other.
The Jesus Mural.
Painted by renowned muralist Kent Twitchell in 1990, “The Word” is one of the most recognizable features of Biola’s campus.
The Cozy Fireplace Pavilion.
The Biola Hour.
For nearly seven decades, Biola’s radio ministry brought sound biblical teaching to thousands of listeners up and down the West Coast.
What Did We Miss? Even with 105 spots, we know we can’t possibly include everything that you love about Biola. Send us a letter or email telling us what we missed, and we just might send you a free copy of Biola’s coffee table book, “Biola University: Rooted for One Hundred Years.” We’ll pick 15 winners at random. Be sure to include your name, years of attendance and your mailing address.