Janine Nichols, Nancy Fernandez, Virginia Moats and La Verne Tolbert
From the left, are Janine Nichols, Nancy Fernandez, Virginia Moats and La Verne Tolbert

Biola honored four women with Ruby Awards during a special luncheon for Women’s History Month on March 20. The awards ceremony, now in its sixth year, honors Biola-affiliated women who model godly character.  

The Priscilla Ruby Award for Teaching & Mentoring

La Verne Tolbert (Ph.D. ’96)
President of Teaching Like Jesus Ministries

“I accept this award on behalf of the children who are being raised in foster care. A few weeks ago I met a young lady who ... said, ‘I wish someone had told me, when I was in foster care, that I was precious. I wish someone had told me that I was fearfully and wonderfully made.’ She found out later, but for those of us who can pick up children and bring them to church as we can do through [our program] Covenants for Kids, it’s a blessing for these children.”  

The Deborah Ruby Award for Leadership & Wisdom

Janine (Marderian, ’13) Nichols
2011–12 Associated Students President

“Over the last four years I have felt unbelievably blessed by the Biola community. The people here, at all levels, have poured so much into me. … I came [to Biola] expecting a great education from the Torrey program and I have not been disappointed, but I have received so much more than that. … The love and care that I have received here has been an unbelievable blessing to me.”  

The Esther Ruby Award for Obedience & Servanthood

Nancy Fernandez
Biola Custodian

“For a long time, starting eight or nine months ago, I have been praying to God, asking him, ‘What is my gift for your kingdom?’ When I got a call from President Corey’s office [about this award], that was when God answered my prayer, because I found out my gift of service to God, service to other people and service to students. Now I know God uses my service to bless students and others.”  

Anna Horton Ruby Award for Lifetime Commitment & Service

Virginia Moats
Biola friend and supporter

“We just have enjoyed the students so much. We didn’t have children, and so we loved all ages of kids, and we just loved the teenagers that were going to Biola. … I’m so happy each time I get a note from one of them, which I answer, and I thank the Lord for Biola. It’s a wonderful place and I’ve had so much joy being a tiny part of it.”   

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