Biola weekend 2011 preview

Biola prepares to welcome alumni and parents to a weekend of activities.

Much preparation has gone into the anticipated Biola and Parent weekend. Many events are happening on campus beginning October 14, 2011. | Courtesy of

Much preparation has gone into the anticipated Biola and Parent weekend. Many events are happening on campus beginning October 14, 2011. | Courtesy of

Natalie Bautista, Writer

Biola Weekend will combine Parent Weekend, Alumni Weekend and the opening of the new Talbot building into one event and will take place Oct. 14-15.

Combining Parent and Alumni weekends

In the past, Parent Weekend and Alumni Weekend have been two separate functions. This year, Parent and Alumni Relations decided to combine them and join forces with University Communications and Marketing to fund the event.

Biola Weekend will have events specifically for alumni, such as the Spotlight Finale Dinner, events specifically for parents, such as the parent seminars, as well as events that every student can go to like the Biola Food Festival and Fair and the Tyrone Wells concert, hosted by Associated Students.

“We have been preparing for this event since the first or second week back at school,” Kelsey Seitz, vice president of services said. “What is cool about AS is that we get to be the voice of the students, and Parent and Alumni relations will come to us and ask what type of events do the students want to see.”

Preparing the campus for weekend events

AS gets to be involved in the process of brainstorming, which Parent and Alumni Relations appreciate as they feel the events will then be more appealing to students. Facilities Services has also joined in for the preparation.

“Several weeks ago, the management team in Facilities Services inspected the areas around Talbot East and developed a list of repairs/improvements that we wanted to complete in advance of the Talbot East Dedication.,” said Brain Phillips, senior director of Facilities Services.

Much of their work has gone into cleaning and repairing Calvary Chapel as it will be connected to Talbot East.

Another important aim for this weekend is to unite the alumni, parents, and students.

“Our goal for this event is to make it Biola’s big annual gathering, to bring the entire community together at one time, which we haven’t done before,” said Rick Bee, senior director of Alumni and Friends Development.

He also noted that by combining the alumni and parents “we can make it an event with more to offer.”

Engaging students and parents

Past attendance for Parents Weekend alone averaged about 400 with the inclusion of additional family members alongside parents, according to Colleen Heykoop, director of Parent Relations. As far as alumni attendance, past events have seen averages of about 200 to 250, according to Bee.

This year, Alumni Relations and Parent Relations said about 200 have bought all-weekend passes, another 200 have bought just the Friday pass, which is more parent oriented, and about 160 have bought Saturday passes, which is more alumni oriented. They are also expecting about 50 or so of those in attendance to be parents who are also alumni.

Students who have parents and siblings coming down for the weekend can check out events such as the Talbot Building Dedication Chapel, the Sutherland Sizzle and even the Teen Sibling Sleepover.

“One mission of Biola Weekend is to give the parents a chance to experience the college life of their child,” Heykoop said. “They can go to chapel, attend the different events and really experience the culture of the campus.”

Freshman Tiffany Torres, a psychology major, is planning on attending most of Friday’s events with her parents, sister and cousin.

“It gives my parents a chance to see more of Biola and to get to see how the environment here has changed me,” Torres said. “It also gives my little sister a chance to see the school as she is starting to consider colleges.”

Another Biola student, freshman business administration major Evan Whitman, has parents coming up from their home in Mexico for the weekend.

“I am excited my parents are going to come and see what’s going on because they haven’t been here before and I’m excited to show them around the campus and have them experience what I normally would,” Whitman said.

Biola Weekend will kick off Friday at 8 a.m. with registration at the Bell Tower and will continue on through Saturday night, concluding with multiple scattered events such as the Spotlight Finale Dinner and the Prism Evening Performance.

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