Students present the past
Three current students share their family’s stories about their time at Biola. | Photo Courtesy of Madison Beardsley
Biola has many traditions and much history to its name. Families have also made Biola a tradition—generations of families have attended Biola and still do so today.
Students here today represent their families, God and Biola in general. Students with multiple generations of Biolans represent their family's history, and the stories of how they were reared and educated at a Christian university. Each person has years of funny stories and defining moments behind each of their stories.
Senior biblical and theological studies major Madison Beardsley was able to share a special moment with her father, George Beardsley, on stage at the Christmas Tree Lighting on November 29. The two read of the coming of Jesus for the whole Biola community. George graduated from Biola in 1982, and Madison will soon join him as a graduate in December. However, the family has more Biola graduates such as her sister, two aunts and her two brother-in-laws.
Madison shared that during her father’s time here, he was actively involved on campus. George worked at the radio station, called KBR today, and also played intramural sports. Her father also passed on a story about capturing the infamous Biola Egg.
“So my dad and his roommate actually stole the Biola Egg out of chapel one time, and he has a picture with it in the Chimes actually,” Madison said.
Madison’s family remains involved in the Biola community and appreciates all it has done for them.
“My mom… used to call incoming students and talk to their parents and encourage the parents,” Madison said. “They love being able to support other parents that want to send their kids to Biola and share their experiences because of how much Biola has done for us. I’ve seen that in all my family members. It’s been such a big part of who we’ve become and where we are today, so having that with family is really cool.”
Freshman undeclared major Gunnar Lopez is a third generation Biola student. His parents met while going here in the early 80s, and his paternal grandfather went to school with Clyde Cook, the predecessor to Barry Corey as president.
Lopez shared how his parents’ stories of their time here impacted his decision to apply to Biola. These stories included the old gas-powered scooter his parents rode around campus and the time hair professionals came to campus.
“There was a hair cutting competition that came through LA, and the teams came to Biola so that they could practice,” Lopez said. “For three or four months, everybody at Biola had the best looking hair that they ever had, because they all got professional hair cuts for free.”
For Lopez, the generations not only passed down stories, but it also gave him confidence for the future and completion of college.
“It gives me a sense of ‘I can do it,’” Lopez said. “It’s not just your parents did this, but the person before my dad did this. I’m well equipped to do this. It’s very comforting, reassuring. It’s also fun because it’s a story that nobody would know unless we talked about it.”
Junior communication disorders and sciences major Bryn Davis’s family history started at Biola with her parents. Her mom attended from 1980 to 1983, lived in Alpha Hall during her time here and graduated from another school. Her dad attended from 1983 to 1986, lived in Emerson Hall and studied accounting. Their paths intersected right as Davis’ mother was about to leave Biola.
“They actually met here at Biola,” Davis said. “They got set up on a date with a bunch of their really good friends. That’s how they met. I think it was around Halloween time, I want to say, because I remember her telling me that they were all dressed up when they met for the first time.”
Davis’s parents eventually dated, married in Downey and lived in Diamond Bar for 12 years before moving to Sacramento where Davis was born. Though they moved out of the area, Davis visited the campus many times throughout the course of her life as aunts, uncles and her brother all attended Biola. Davis was not pressured into choosing Biola for a university, but the familiarity and consistent mission of the school drew her to continue in the tradition.
“Yeah things are changing and advancements are being made, but the core heart of Biola has been the same for when they were here, and now that I’m here all those years later,” Davis said. “It’s like that Christ-centered education that hasn’t changed at all.”