Minneapolis recently celebrated its coldest first day of spring in 48 years. I know, because I was there, trying to keep my ears from turning purple. (If you’re not familiar with what it feels like to walk around in single-digit temperatures, imagine the headache you get from drinking a milkshake too fast, but with none of the flavor.)

The quick visit to the Upper Midwest gave me a booster shot of appreciation for Biola’s ever-sunny Southern California climate, where early spring is a time for shorts and T-shirts, not parkas and ski caps. As I returned to see classes meeting outside and Frisbees flung across lawns, I was reminded what a blessing it is to be at one of the nation’s 25 “Great Schools with Great Weather.” (At least that’s what Newsweek calls us.)

So you won’t be surprised to see the weather make an appearance on our “105 Reasons We Love Biola” — a sprawling, celebratory list that we’ve compiled for this issue’s cover story to mark the university’s 105th birthday. (What would a round-numbered anniversary be without some kind of celebration?) For the list, which starts on page 16, we asked alumni, faculty and staff to help us think of everything we collectively love about the Biola experience. We ended up with a good mix of lightheartedness, nostalgia and earnest gratitude, all of which help to sum up what makes Biola's community special.

Though we’re presenting the results in no particular order, it should be clear that the overwhelming favorites — the “it wouldn’t be Biola without this” items — all pertain to Biola’s enduring heritage as a biblically centered institution: a place where God’s word, Christian community and spiritual formation are still an integral and essential part of the college experience.

Since Biola’s founding 105 years ago, God has faithfully preserved the mission of the university, even as it has expanded from a small Bible institute to a leading Christian university. Today, Biola is still a place that teaches men and women to think biblically about everything, and to live out the gospel in every area of life.

As you browse through the “105 Reasons” and the rest of the issue, we hope it will encourage your faith, summon old memories, provide a laugh or two, and even make you feel like you are here with us on campus. Especially if you’re somewhere like Minnesota.