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The Chimes

The Student News Site of Biola University

The Chimes

The Student News Site of Biola University

The Chimes

Biola honors Dr. Alina Beary

Guests attend memorial service dedicated to Beary on Metzger Lawn.
Logan Peters
Biola University holds memorial for Dr. Alina Beary on Metzger Lawn.

It was cold and quiet Tuesday night as family, friends and students of Dr. Alina Beary gathered on Metzger Lawn in a memorial service dedicated to her life and legacy. Beary was a professor in the Torrey Honors College who was in a fatal pedestrian-vehicle accident on the night of Aug. 30.

The memorial service opened with Paul Spears, director of Torrey Honors College, welcoming guests and speaking about Beary’s life and impact on Biola University.

“Tonight, we are thankful that we are able to come together in remembrance of Alina Beary” Spears said “We knew Alina as a wife, mother, scholar, teacher, mentor and friend. But, the center of her life was Christ.”

Spears’ speech was followed by the singing of the hymn Be Still My Soul. Afterward, several professors gathered together to read scripture to guests. The scripture was first read in English then translated to Russian to honor Beary’s family and past. Spears then came to the stage to lead attendees in a prayer. Students and professors took to the stage once again to read from scripture, sharing words that spoke of death and mourning.

Dr. Barry Corey, president of Biola University spoke next. He first addressed Beary’s family and sympathized with them about Beary’s death. Corey told the story of his initial interview with Beary in March 2015, sharing how she stood out and had a passion for Christ and teaching. Corey then spoke of the initial shock he felt entering Beary’s office the day after her death, saying it felt as if it was a shrine. He then reminded guests of Beary’s old sayings and how they would help in mourning.

Guests stood to sing Abide in Me following Corey’s speech. Alumna Grace Ducker shared fond memories of Beary. Katelyn Wagner, a 2022 alumna, followed and shared how Beary became a close friend of hers. Both spoke of her kindness and teachings that they experienced as her former students.

“She prayed with me and she prayed for me often,” said Siân Draycott, office manager of the Health Center. “A lot of our emails were just lovely prayers that she would send me. I couldn’t understand human individual value. What I was actually asking was ‘Do I matter?’. Not just in the sense of it’s good for human beings to be alive but me, do I matter. And, she very simply just said ‘Well God made you, didn’t he? And, he knew what you were going to do before he made you and he knew what it was going to cost his son, pretty high price, but he still knew it was worth it. That seems pretty valuable to me.’”

Draycott recalled how Beary was a good friend to her and deeply cared for her students. Draycott acknowledged how Beary would prioritize beauty over function and how she would often be late to meetings due to this, referencing how she would get distracted sharing a smile with a student or admiring plants. Laurie Wilson, assistant professor at Torrey Honors College, shared more fond stories and memories of Beary.

Guests were surprised as a video of Beary was shown. In the video, she discussed Canto 25 of Paradise for a 100 Days of Dante project. She spoke of hopefulness and how it is riddled with uncertainty. The memorial service ended with a call-and-response prayer and a song before Spears took to the stage one final time, leading family and friends in a final prayer. Parents hugged their children tight as guests were dismissed, prompting many to join together to speak of Beary’s legacy under the starry night sky.


Correction: September 14, 2023

An earlier version of this article misspelled the name of alumna Grace Ducker. The attribution for Siân Draycott’s quote was incorrect. 

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About the Contributors
Natalie Fassnacht
Natalie Fassnacht, News Editor
Natalie Fassnacht is a Cinema and Media Arts major from Olympia, Washington! She loves all things to do with animation and cats and is excited to work as a News Editor this year.
Logan Peters
Logan Peters, Staff Photographer (Fall)
Logan Peters is a Freshman Cinema and Media Arts major with a concentration in Production. He loves Surfing, Skating, Rock Climbing and enjoying time with family and friends.
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