Biola Weekend showcases the “best of Biola”

This year’s Biola Weekend will feature an intramural rally, food trucks and a photo exhibit.


Kathleen Brown/THE CHIMES

Augusta McDonnell, Writer

Biola alumni, parents, family and friends will be assembling across Biola’s campus on Oct. 25-26 for the third annual Biola Weekend.

After hosting over 1,100 parents, alumni, family members and friends at last year's Biola Weekend, according to a previous article, preparations are being made in anticipation of the large amount of attendees.


“Biola Weekend is all about connecting with one another, about celebrating the community we enjoy as alumni, students, parents, employees and friends. The premise of Biola Weekend is offering ‘the best of Biola’ for all to enjoy,” Colleen Heykoop, director of parent relations, said.

The planning committee for the weekend includes parent and alumni relations staff, university events staff and Associated Students. Committee members began brainstorming ideas for the weekend last February, said Heykoop.

“We consider what would appeal to parents and alumni and what would be enjoyed by students. It’s an interesting balance we need to strike, because parents want to experience the spiritual and academic side of life while also spending time with their student,” Heykoop said. “Alumni want to experience their Biola years again and see old friends. Students … well, you’re a diverse group so we connect with AS and university events to [brainstorm] a variety of fun opportunities that will appeal to many different interests.”


The committee is hoping to see an increase in student participation this year due to the addition of a new Saturday event called the McNally Rally, Heykoop said. After the expanded Biola Bazaar Saturday morning, intramurals will be making their debut on McNally Field as a part of Biola Weekend. During the games, there will be a host of food trucks serving participants and viewers.

The Biola Bazaar will feature an expanded number of vendors and many new fun games, including an obstacle course, bounce house and climbing wall. There will also be life-sized versions of Jenga, checkers and Connect Four. Throughout the Bazaar Vernon Coleman, aka DJ Cut, will be entertaining. Additional bands will be playing between noon and 5 p.m. with plenty of popcorn and candy, Heykoop said.

Alumni Photography Exhibit

A special feature of Biola Weekend 2013 will be the opening reception of photography professor Kurt Simonson’s photo gallery “Home is Where,” a collection of photographs that are part of a larger ongoing project called Northwoods Journals. The gallery will be hosted at the newly renamed Earl and Virginia Green Gallery in the center of campus. The reception will be held from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Oct. 25 and is free of charge.

Simonson is a 2000 Biola alumnus and current art department faculty member. Born and raised in Minnesota, Simonson moved to California 17 years ago and captured the photographs for this project during summer and Christmas visits home over the past 10 years.

“All the photographs … represent my various ways of dealing with memory, nostalgia and attempts to piece together the narrative of my childhood,” Simonson explained.

Simonson hopes viewers can relate to the tensions that one feels after growing up and examining one’s own childhood. The work focuses on heavy themes and feelings of death, family secrets and things that are withheld, which are present in all of our stories, Simonson said.

“I can't help but make work that comes from my own life and story. I think the best way to make art [and the best way to live life] is to embrace what makes your story unique and work with it,” he said.

The last day to view the gallery will be Nov. 14. 

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