Larry D. Strand, founding dean of the Crowell School of Business, passed away on December 31, 2019.
Strand was acting dean when Biola University’s Department of Business Administration transitioned into the Crowell School of Business in 1993, and he assumed the permanent position as Dean in 1996. Strand saw the School of Business grow to be the largest undergraduate major at Biola.
"Larry Strand contributed significantly to the strength of Biola's business program during its crucial years of growth from a department to a school, and he left his mark in many ways,” said Biola President Barry Corey. “For his devotion to the flourishing of Biola's business students and his conviction that business as ministry matters, we are grateful."
Strand came to Biola out of the banking industry in 1986. In the Department of Business Administration, then part of the School of Arts and Sciences, he taught strategic management, small business management, business finance and principles of real estate. He became chair of the department in1991. Although a true and faithful alumni of USC’s MBA program, Strand continued his education while he served as dean, receiving his Ed.D. from Pepperdine in 2006.
During Strand’s tenure the School of Business has received accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs in 1997 and re-accreditation in 2007. The school also instituted an MBA program in 2001, and completed a new building in 2007.
"The foundation that Larry Strand built here at the Crowell School of Business is a foundation that includes the faculty, the building, the curriculum, and the theme 'business as ministry,'" said current Crowell Dean Gary Lindblad. "It is a privilege to come and build on that foundation."
Several of Strand’s colleagues commented on his passing.
"Larry Strand, Harold Taber and Jim Canning had a major impact on my life," said Robert Harp, executive director of the Biola Office of Innovation. "I loved his heart for integrating Christian faith and business. Larry provided wise counsel to me when I was considering doing my doctorate, and he was supportive of the business school creating a Certificate Program in Work Life, which he, Harold, Jim and I worked on for several years. His legacy will always be a part of Biola, the Crowell School of Business, and my life. I am so grateful for our time together."
“Larry was my boss for 20 years and every single day that I worked with him he was a steadfast man of God,” said Professor Les Harman III. “His priorities of God, his wife, his family and then everything else, never changed, ever. This made Larry a leader who was very consistent, trustworthy, dependable and gracious. I will miss him, but find joy in the memories of the powerful way he loved God and loved others.”
Strand retired from his dean role in June 2014, but always loved Biola and continued to be a support and help to the Crowell School of Business. He will be missed by all, but we know that he is sitting by Jesus and rejoicing. Please continue to pray for his wife Betty, his daughter Christine Logan and family, and his son John Strand and family.