Biola University enjoys recognizing their alumni for outstanding achievement by annually giving three awards: the Young Alumni Award, the Cultural Impact Award and the Legacy Award. The accomplishments of a filmmaker, an author and a family of servants were recognized.

Dan Parris, a 2008 graduate of Biola, received the Young Alumni Award, given to a person who exemplifies distinct accomplishments early in their career. This award recognizes excellence seen recently after graduation and great promise for the future. After earning his Bachelor of Arts degree in film production at Biola, Parris has done just that as he realizes his dreams of making feature films that have a powerful impact on the world. His time spent volunteering in Africa opened up several questions for him which moved him to pursue his most recent documentary, “Give A Damn?” In August, this film won “Best Documentary Feature” at the Stella Artois Cinema St. Louis Filmmaker Showcase. It has gained recognition due to its alarming storyline about an idealist activist who convinces his friends to go to Africa and live on $1.25 a day.

The Cultural Impact Award was given to alumna Christine Colon. This award celebrates a graduate who has exceptionally influenced the lives of others in their respective field, embodies the values and mission of Biola University, and is a loyal supporter of the institution. After receiving her bachelor’s degree in English from Biola in 1990, Colon went on to earn her master’s in English at California Polytechnic State University and a doctorate in English from the University of California at Davis in 2000. Her field of concentration is 19th-century British literature, but she branches out by speaking on contemporary topics such as singleness in the evangelical church. Colon also published a book in 2009 called Singled Out: Why Celibacy Must Be Reinvented in Today’s Church which received an award of merit in the Christian Living category.

The associate professor and chair of the English department, Natasha Duquette, nominated Colon. Duqette affirmed the impact this remarkable woman has had on aspiring authors, saying, “Colon is bringing traditional Christian faith to the forefront, as the motivator of other female writers.”

The Legacy Award was presented to the Cole family this year for their exemplary dedication and service to Biola. This family has developed pastors, trustees, children’s ministry directors and homemakers.  Howard Cole began the Biola legacy when he graduated in 1964, followed by Brad Cole in 1978, Christy Cole in 1977, Amy Cole in 2006 and finally Megan Cole in 2008. The Cole family has remained faithful to Biola throughout several generations. The university was pleased to recognize them for demonstrating their willingness to contribute to the heritage of Biola, making an impact on different departments and programs, and embodying the values and mission of Biola.

Biola University honors alumni every year in February. If you are interested in nominating an alumnus, please contact Alumni Relations.

Written by Tenielle Schroeder, Media Relations Intern. For more information, contact Jenna Bartlo, Media Relations Coordinator, at 562.777.4061 or at