On the evening of Thursday, May 23, twenty-four hours prior to the Undergraduate Commencement Ceremony, close to 600 guests arrived at the First Evangelical Free Church of Fullerton, Calif. to attend the last Biola worship and communion service for the Class of 2013.
The evening began with a welcome to the graduates and their families by Dr. Todd Pickett, Dean of Spiritual Development, a prayer by Lisa Igram, Associate Dean of Spiritual Development, and the congregation sang "All Creatures of Our God and King" led by an alumni worship band. A retrospective video for the class of 2013 was shown, highlighting major events that took place throughout their time as students. Graduating seniors Giovani Prayitno, Zachary De Vesta, and Erika Sanchez then shared prayers of thanksgiving as they reflected upon God's faithfulness during their time at Biola.
Biola President Barry H. Corey prepared the congregation's hearts for communion, which was served by Biola faculty and Student Development directors. Chris Grace, Vice President of Student Development, closed with a benediction and a "spiritual conferral" of degrees, acknowledging the unique transformation that took place in them during their time at Biola. Graduating students then came to the front to receive a prayer of blessing, before filing out of the sanctuary and participating in the tradition of ringing the "Biola Bell." The bell was one of the original bells from Biola's first campus on Hope and 6th Street in downtown Los Angeles. Every student rings the bell as they leave, representing their commitment to go forth and share the gospel of Jesus Christ.