Nursing anniversary hosts science building tour

Students preview new facility, connect with alumni and remember their history.


Caitlin Gaines/THE CHIMES

Christian Leonard, Writer

Nursing students and alumni visited the nearly finished Alton and Lydia Lim Center for Science, Technology and Health to celebrate the department’s 50th anniversary on Oct. 27-28.


The anniversary included multiple reunions for alumni and a commissioning banquet, during which the nursing department welcomed 40 new students. Visitors also saw much of the largely unfurnished facility’s bottom level, approximately three-fourths of which the nursing department will utilize. The level boasts a large simulation area, classrooms and a laboratory space.

Professor of nursing and alumna Anne Gewe, who has taught full-time at the university since 1975, believes the anniversary provides the opportunity for students and alumni to appreciate the past. For instance, during the 1990s, the nursing program barely survived a university prioritization process, according to Gewe.

“You know how they’re doing prioritizing now? In the 90s our program went way down,” Gewe said. “They had a prioritization at that time, and we actually were on the bottom rung. But now we’re swinging the other way and we’re actually going to be increasing our size and going toward a Master’s degree. It’s amazing what God can do over a period of years.”

Nursing students expressed excitement over their chance to take a look at their future classrooms and laboratories. Anticipation for the viewing of the facility and the promise of its cutting edge equipment has been building for junior nursing major Lily Xu.

“I feel [we’ve been] waiting for this for really long, and I’m really anticipated to move into the building and see,” Xu said. “I’ve heard we will have more mannequins and then more rooms for us… definitely very, very excited about this.”


Alumni also toured the campus, including the new home of the nursing department, giving them the opportunity to reconnect with their alma mater and current nursing students. Freshman nursing major Kimberly Dancoisne believes students can gain much from interacting with alumni.

“I think it’ll be a really great experience to see different nursing students and know it is possible to graduate from this program and get their input on everything,” Dancoisne said.

Alumnae Ann Boyle and Jean Marie Zoland graduated from Biola in 1977 and returned to celebrate the nursing department’s anniversary. After walking around the science center, Boyle believes the university has changed significantly.

“It’s very different. It was a small school when we went here. It’s a little overwhelming, but it’s kind of fun,” Boyle said.

Despite the changes, Zoland believes Biola remains a place for students to become grounded in their faith before they venture out into their careers.

“If you’re willing to, get your foundation here spiritually, because when you go out―this is a challenging world, but there’s a lot that you can contribute and give,” Zoland said.

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