Today as it marks its 102nd birthday, the Biola community is celebrating and honoring the two founders who had a vision for the Bible Institute of Los Angeles more than a century ago. Today, Biola reflects on its roots as alumni return to campus for Homecoming Week while connecting students with Biola’s history through social media in Biola’s first-ever “tweethunt.”

Founders Lyman Stewart and T.C. Horton had grand visions for the small Bible institute founded in 1908. However, they could have never foreseen the tens of thousands of students who would walk through the doors of Biola and leave to impact the world for the Lord Jesus Christ. Moving from Sixth and Hope streets in Los Angeles to La Mirada in 1959, a new world was opened for the transforming school, now boasting nearly 6,000 students.

Although much has changed culturally, technologically and physically since Biola’s beginnings, one thing has remained – Biola’s commitment to biblically centered education.

Throughout Founders Week, February 22 to 26, students, alumni and the surrounding Biola community have been invited to participate in the university’s birthday festivities.

The tweethunt, for one, has encouraged students to learn more about their university’s heritage with historically based clues in a Twitter-based scavenger hunt. This morning at 8 a.m. students were heard shouting former President Louis Talbot’s name at the Fluor Fountain of Faith after receiving the tweet clue, “This Biola landmark was named after Biola supporter Marjorie Moore. When you get there, shout the name of the only 2-time Biola prez.” The first student on the scene received a $25 Starbucks gift card; those who arrived after were invited to enjoy donuts and coffee in the Student Union Building.

Biola’s second annual homecoming week brings back fond memories for many alumni through events from decades past and introduces current students to some of Biola’s traditions. The week’s special highlight will be the two Saturday events, The Sutherland Sizzle — brunch on Metzger Lawn, a tradition created by Biola’s fifth president, Samuel Sutherland, himself — and Biola Fest, an afternoon of carnival booths and activities supporting student missions teams as well as delicious food and live music provided by Biola bands.

One newer connection with Biola’s heritage comes through student Joanna Torrey, great-great granddaughter of Biola’s first dean, R.A. Torrey, junior intercultural studies major at Biola. She desires to follow God wherever the Lord may lead, a route her family has followed since R.A., despite her little knowledge of her great-great grandfather before attending Biola.  Biola University’s student newspaper, The Chimes, took a deeper look at Torrey and her story in the article “After 86 years, a Torrey is back at Biola.

Celebrate with Biola University as students, alumni, faculty and staff reflect upon the past and looks to the future with committed confidence in who we are and bold ambition for what we might become.  

Biola University President Barry H. Corey’s sends birthday wishes to Biola from the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU) conference in Atlanta, GA.

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