In 1959, Rose (Loukojarvi, ’60) Dane was one of the first students to attend Biola’s brand new campus in La Mirada, after having attended the downtown Los Angeles campus for a few months in 1958.
As a student interested in missions, she was a part of the “Hollywood Street Team,” a group of students who passed out tracts and talked about Jesus at the corner of Hollywood and Vine. She also remembers attending the Church of the Open Door and hearing J. Vernon McGee speak, as well as one time seeing Roy Rogers and Dale Evans perform at the church.
“Many years have come and gone,” Dane said, “but I shall always treasure my Biola friends, teachers and the good foundation for a life of adventures and a ministry of encouragement to others.”
Dane’s time at Biola was only the beginning of a lifelong interest in missions. After graduating, she spent time on a medical mission in British Columbia, Canada, teaching vacation Bible school and leading a teenage Bible study group. She later spent two years teaching with her husband in Guam, where she regularly hosted “Good News Clubs” in her backyard for local children. She describes going door-to-door to assure the Catholic Guamanian natives that her Bible was a lot like theirs.
“In a very short time, my backyard was filled with smiling, singing children every Tuesday,” she said.
Many children came to Christ through their weekly meetings where she used flannel boards to tell Bible stories.
“My heart was thrilled,” Dane said.
A published author of a poetry book, Rose is now retired and living in Salem, where she enjoys writing, speaking and leading Toastmasters speech clubs. She is active in her church, First Nazarene Church in Salem, where she helps in the nursery and participates in senior adult activities. She enjoys swimming, bowling, Bible study, writing and spending time with friends and her children and grandsons.
Charlie Atkinson (’77) may never have expected his time on Biola’s baseball diamond would help lead him to such a fruitful career.
Over the past two decades, the former Biola baseball player and Chimes sports editor has worked on the business side of the orchard industry, thanks in part to a connection with a former teammate. For nearly 20 years, he worked as controller for Four Feathers Fruit Co., a sizeable orchard-vineyard business in central Washington owned by James Ritchie, with whom he played baseball at Biola. When the company’s holdings were sold to Zirkle Fruit Co. about three years ago, he retained a job with the new company, where he currently works in orchard administration.
Although the company deals with produce, Atkinson describes his job as specializing in “non-horticultural projects” — everything from water rights to food safety to employee safety.
Prior to joining the fruit industry, Atkinson served in a variety of professional roles. He taught for a time in the Portland Public School District and also served in administrative positions with Young Life, a global youth ministry. While with Four Feathers, he also served as chief financial officer for International Foundation of Hope, an organization that offered agricultural development services and ran a school in Afghanistan.
In addition to being a Biola graduate, he also became a Biola parent during that time: He and his wife, Brenda, have two grown sons, the oldest of whom, Charles, graduated from Biola’s cinema and media arts program in 2010.
Atkinson said he’s grateful for the time he spent at Biola, which equipped him in ministry, critical thinking, writing and other skills.
“The foundation in terms of the Scripture has been a positive,” he said. “And the thing that I’ve made a career out of in terms of my business side is just being a generalist, and I learned a lot of different things [at Biola] that suited me well for that.”
At Zirkle, Atkinson recently reduced his hours to be open to more opportunities in this season of his life and spend more time working with Young Life. His passion for the organization has spanned decades, and he currently serves as chair of its local board in Wenatchee, Wash.
In addition to his job and Young Life, Atkinson also began carving out time for writing. He is penning a baseball memoir, in which he offers the perspective and experiences of an “ordinary guy’s” lifelong love of the sport. Growing up in San Francisco, he was a big fan of the Giants, and the love of the sport has stuck with him ever since.
“I find it remarkable that there are very few things that follow you through your whole life besides your family and your faith,” he said. “If you’re a kid that starts following baseball in first or second grade, you have this experience with the game that goes all the way along [through your life].”
Although some may view it as “secular” business, Keith Goben (’79) has approached his career in publishing as an opportunity to glorify God by helping strengthen families. As president and publisher of Metro Parent Publishing in Portland, Ore., Goben publishes Metro Parents, the Portland area’s family-focused publication that provides parents with resources and information relevant to parenting.
Craving an integration of faith and education, he transferred to Biola his junior year as a communications major and landed a job right after graduation with a company called Blair Television in Los Angeles, working as a sales rep for television stations. He stayed with the company for a total of eight years, but five years into it, he accepted a transfer to Seattle, Wash., where he’s lived ever since.
After his time with Blair Television, he did sales and marketing in the computer industry, worked for a publishing company, and then was hired to start a law publication called Washington Law and Politics and became the associate publisher for Superlawyers, a peer-to-peer rating system of lawyers determining the top five percent of attorneys. After the company was sold in 2010, Goben opted to strike out on his own, acquired Metro Parent Publishing, and subsequently became its president.
“It’s very hard to be in the print industry right now because of the tremendous amount of competition from online,” Goben said. “I work in order to meet obligations and desires and passions I have in terms of family and ministry and that’s just the way God has built the world. I have not been called to professional or full-time ministry, so I achieve that in other ways.”
An ordained elder in the Presbyterian Church of America, Goben has been ordained for 24 years and attends at a small church in the Seattle area. He also is involved in a church planting network, which has been in the Pacific Northwest for 13 years and seen the successful planting of numerous churches.
“God has been immensely sweet to me,” he said. “It makes me delighted that he has been so kind and shown his great mercy to me. He has enabled me to do things I never imagined I would do and also to play a role in the expansion of his kingdom.”
When Tavia Grubbs (’11) wrote her first song, “Candyland,” at age 13, she knew something special was happening. The chords were a basic adaptation of a worship song and the lyrics were a tribute to her best friend who was moving away, but it was the start of a lifelong career and calling.
“I discovered that I had this passion for creating something out of nothing,” Grubbs said.
This early creative endeavor started a passion that was fueled by leading worship at her church throughout her teen years and up until the present.
In March 2014, Grubbs released her first album, Right At the Dawn. The six-song album contains a variety of worship songs, but not all of them fit the traditional definition of worship.
“One of the songs on the album is a love song, and it’s not specifically about God, but it’s part of life and God is part of that,” Grubbs says.
Much of her thinking about worship was done while Grubbs was a music in worship major at Biola. Grubbs credits her Biola education for shaping the way she thinks about worship and then encouraging her to apply it practically through playing in chapels and in the local church. Throughout the years, Grubbs honed her vision of what worship means.
“Worship is broader than just singing to God in church,” Grubbs says. “When I’m writing about something that doesn’t say God’s name in it, it’s still an act of worship for me to be living that thing with him.”
Her time at Biola provided her with musical partners who she worked with on Right At the Dawn. She collaborated with Biola alumni and faculty, along with accredited musicians Aaron Sterling (drummer for Taylor Swift, John Mayer), Jonathan Ahrens (bassist for Matt Redman, Bethany Dillon) and engineer Bryan Cook (Train, OneRepublic).
“My desire is to communicate the light and hope of Christ that is freely offered to anyone willing to listen,” Grubbs says.
The album was fully funded through donations. Grubbs led a successful campaign on fundraising website Indiegogo and collected the rest of the funds from a concert in her hometown. Grubbs says the response has been incredible.
“I’ve received so much positive feedback from people that I’ve never met ... even from people who are in the professional music industry,” Grubbs says.
Grubbs is closing in on meeting her first sales goal for the EP and enjoys living right across the street from Biola, where she is occasionally invited back to lead worship at a chapel or university event. She works at EV Free Fullerton as a worship leader and songwriter and teaches private music lessons in the area.