Variety of events planned for Grandparent’s Day

Grandparents are given the chance to experience college life as well as other activities.



Grandparents day is approaching. On March 9, 2012, Biolans and their grandparents will flood campus for a day of games and activities. | Katie Juranek/THE CHIMES

Julia Henning, Writer

Grandparents day is approaching. On March 9, 2012, Biolans and their grandparents will flood campus for a day of games and activities. | Katie Juranek/THE CHIMES

More than 500 grandparents from 20 different states have signed up to attend the free events on Grandparents Day March 9. They have a chance to eat breakfast with their students, attend chapel with them, and participate in other activities throughout the day.

“This is our biggest [Grandparents Day] yet,” said Colleen Heykoop, director of parent relations.

There are 979 people attending Friday’s activities. This number includes approximately 50 parents who are attending in order to lend assistance to their elderly parents, as well as students and grandparents combined.

“We have graciously asked that parents not attend in order to give their students quality time with their grandparents,” Heykoop said.

Schedule of interactive activities

Attendance for Grandparents Day has increased on average about 100 people per year, since the first Grandparents Day was held in 2009, according to Heykoop. At that time, Biola was hoping for 50 to 75 to attend, but 200 registered, according to Shannon Baker, Parent Relations program coordinator.

Check-in will be from 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m at Fluor Fountain. There will be different activities for the grandparents to participate in, including bocce ball, a computer seminar and, new this year: Biola bingo.

Matthew Weathers, assistant professor of math and computer science, will be teaching a seminar on PCs and Allan Bagge, technology trainer and human resources specialist, will be teaching grandparents how to use Macs. Both of these seminars will take place in the Library from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. Judith and Paul Rood will be teaching a seminar titled “Historical Perspectives on Recent World News” from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. in Sutherland Auditorium.

For lunch, students and their grandparents will have the opportunity to have a buffet-style lunch on Metzger Lawn with president Barry Corey. The department of alumni relations has chosen three students to sit at Corey’s table and to give a tribute to their grandparents during the lunch.

Experiencing a student’s typical day

The department of Parent Relations has coordinated special open hours with Residence Life so they can see their student’s dorm rooms. Residents Life has confirmed that, on Friday, grandparents can visit their student’s room from 12 p.m. until 3 p.m.

Biola has coordinated with hotels and shuttle services to provide discounts for out-of-town grandparents. There are certain hotels that help with every event, and in return, Biola advertises for them in their fliers and recommends them on the Grandparents Day website.

One of the goals of Grandparents Day is to let grandparents experience a day in the life of their student, according to Deannah Baesel, Parent Relations’ manager of advancement events.

Event provides an opportunity to witness

Biola has one of the most successful Grandparents Days, in Heykoop’s opinion. Representatives from Bethel University in St. Paul, Minn. are attending the events this year so that they can get an idea as to why Biola’s program is so successful. Last year, representatives from the University of Southern California came to observe, according to Baesel.

The department of Parent Relations recognizes that not everyone who attends Grandparents Day events are Christians and this is considered a ministry opportunity.

“[Grandparents] are overwhelmed at how gracious our students are. Even if they aren’t hearing the gospel all day, they can see a difference on the campus and sense the Spirit moving. They are so impressed with how gracious, kind and articulate our students are,” Heykoop said.

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