Presidential Symbols

Commitment to God’s Word


Presented by Clyde Cook, President Emeritus, Biola University

After 25 years as the president of Biola, I could not be more pleased with the man God chose to replace me. President Corey has demonstrated a spirit of humility and a passion for prayer during his initial months as Biola’s eighth president. I know that God will use him to accomplish great things for this University as it enters its second century of impacting the world for the Lord Jesus Christ.

At this time, it is the desire of the Biola community to present President Corey with four “presidential symbols of office.” These four items represent the principles and purposes that have guided Biola’s founders and past presidents – myself included – since the Bible Institute of Los Angeles was established in 1908.

It is my privilege to present the first of these, a Bible, as a symbol of Biola’s commitment to God’s Word. As a community, Biola affirms the Bible to be inerrant, incomparable and indispensable. God’s living and active Word is the foundation of our lives and all that we stand for as an institution.

President Corey, may the words in this Bible ever serve as a lamp unto your feet and a light unto your path. May they be your constant source of guidance and strength.

It was the prophet Isaiah who wrote, “The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever.” And so may the Word of God never cease to shape and sustain Biola University.

On behalf of the Biola community and its past leaders, we commission you to uphold the University’s commitment to God’s Word throughout your presidency.

Commitment to the Great Commission


Presented by Alissa Rounsevell, President, Student Missionary Union

Before he ascended to heaven, Jesus spoke to his disciples, saying:

"All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." (Matt. 28:18-20)

These words have given Biola University its purpose. As a community, we believe that we exist to serve God and His Great Commission in reaching the world for the Lord Jesus Christ. As Christ-followers, we are His light to a dark world. It is our duty and privilege to make disciples.

For 100 years, Biola University has been equipping men and women to impact the world for the Lord Jesus Christ. And for more than 80 of those years, Biola’s Student Missionary Union – the largest student-led missions organization in the United States – has been training students for the specific purpose of spreading the gospel to diverse cultures around the globe.

President Corey, as a symbol of Biola’s commitment to the Great Commission, I am honored to present you with this cross. May it serve as a reminder both of Christ’s atoning sacrifice for us and our mandate to spread the Good News to every tribe, tongue and nation.

On behalf of the Biola community and the Student Missionary Union, I commission you to uphold this mandate throughout your presidency.

Commitment to Biola’s Mission


Presented by Carol Hawkins, Member, Board of Trustees and Descendant of Lyman Stewart

The cornerstone of the original Bible Institute building in Los Angeles was laid on May 31, 1913, and dedicated with these words: "For the teaching of the truths for which the Institute stands, its doors are to be open every day of the year, and all people, without reference to race, color or class will ever be welcome to its privileges." Lyman Stewart together with T.C. Horton founded the Bible institute, now Biola University, 100 years ago. Lyman Stewart was also my great uncle. It is an honor for me to follow in his steps to serve Biola now as a trustee member and to present Biola’s eighth president with this replica of the cornerstone my grandfather stood next to in 1913.

President Corey – may the words inscribed in this stone almost a hundred years ago, be placed in your office as a remembrance of what Biola was founded to be – a place for teaching the truths of God’s Word. The words read:

Dedicated unto Him that loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood. Rev. 1:5

On behalf of the Biola community and Stewart family, we commission you to uphold this promise throughout your presidency.

Commitment to Academic Excellence


Presented by John Siefker, Chair, Board of Trustees

Since its inception, Biola University has been an institution firmly committed to the integration of faith and learning. This is a place where students are challenged both in the development of character and in the discipline of the mind. Both are essential to the training up of Christian leaders who embrace and live out a thinking person’s faith.

As a premier Christian university, we believe it is our obligation to empower each new generation of students to think and practice from a biblical worldview, across all fields of study. In so doing, it is our desire to equip all students to excel in the vocations to which God has called them.

As we continue onward with a vision to be a global center for Christian thought and spiritual renewal, it is my privilege to present President Corey with this academic medallion, a symbol of Biola’s commitment to academic excellence.

President Corey, may this medallion serve as a reminder to you of Biola’s commitment to academically rigorous, biblically centered education. And may Biola continue to be a place where students are stretched intellectually to become leaders in the church and society.

On behalf of the Biola community and the Board of Trustees, we commission you to uphold the University’s commitment to academic excellence throughout your presidency.