The newly completed Olive Grove at Biola University was dedicated at a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Wednesday, February 25, 2009 as part of Biola’s “50 Years in La Mirada” celebration. The historical site has been transformed into a student haven for studying, prayer and ultimately an environment of peace and solitude — a rarity on busy university campuses.

Funded entirely by parent donations and friends of the university, the Olive Grove is connected to campus by a new 95-foot bridge and has been cleared of overgrowth and replaced by new benches and lighting. For the past three years, parents in conjunction with Biola have aggressively worked towards raising thousands of dollars for completion of the project. The Olive Grove contains 60 olive trees originating from the orchard Andrew McNally planted in the 1880s.  

When Biola moved from downtown Los Angeles, La Mirada was one of the world’s leading olive oil producers. The combination of pollution and city congestion in Los Angeles pushed Biola to move towards a calmer, cleaner suburban city. In 1957, when Biola broke ground for the new campus, the rolling hills were dotted with olive trees. This refurbished Olive Grove landmark serves as a reminder of Biola’s heritage in La Mirada.

In partnership with the City of La Mirada, Biola celebrated "50 Years in La Mirada" with the Olive Grove Dedication on February 25, 2009. The Olive Grove Park is located on the eastern edge of campus. City officials, community members, students, staff, faculty and friends of Biola were in attendance. Following the ceremony, everyone took time to wander through the new sanctuary.

Read the Whittier Daily News article, “Olive Grove Park Opens at Biola University.”

The next event celebrating Biola's 50th anniversary in La Mirada is on March 11, 2009, Ruby Slippers Luncheon.

Check back for upcoming events celebrating Biola’s 50 years in La Mirada.

Written by Jenna Bartlo, Media Relations Coordinator. Jenna can be reached at (562) 777-4061 or through email at