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  • Class of 2000

    Shawna Thackrah

    My story actually starts when I was in 2nd grade. My Dad was a pastor and we moved to La Mirada to be closer to our church. We moved into the yellow house across the street from Biola, directly across from the flagpole. Little did I know how significant this move would be in my life.
    At that time I did not understand what a college was other than it was a school for "big people" and eventually I learned that Biola was a University for "Christian big people". My brother and I used the Biola land as our playground- riding our bikes along the winding streets, swimming in the pool during the summer and buying snacks in the small cafeteria that has now become the Eagle's Nest. I still remember the exact type of candy that we would buy that we could only find at Biola.

    Soon enough, I told my parents that when I grew up, I was going to go to Biola. That dream was strong for quite a few years as we moved several times and each time, further away from BU. By God's grace, there were different activities that I was a part of like the Awana Olympics which allowed me to come back to BU. Each time I returned to the campus I truly felt like I was home again. I knew that Biola was a special place and I just HAD to be a part of it someday.

    Finally, I was graduating from high school and had told everyone that I wanted to attend Biola. I was accepted in '92 but because of finances, was unable to become a student. I remember sitting in Rose Chapel, crying and praying that God would grant me the desire of my heart and allow me to someday attend BU. I left it in His hands and His will.
    I worked my way through my AA and vocational school, still with the intent to transfer to Biola. In 1998, at 24 years old, God granted me my deepest desire (in regards to college) and allowed me to attend Biola. I still remember that one of the first things I did when I arrived for registration was to return to Rose Chapel to pray and thank the Lord for his provision and for granting me the desire of my heart. As I reflected over the process that God used to bring me to that moment, I could see how He had continuously brought me back to the campus over the years and sitting there in Rose Chapel as a student was like he had finally brought me full circle.

    My time at Biola was sweet and life-changing both spiritually and mentally. I never took one day for granted and always walked around the campus in a state of awe that I was a part of such an incredible place and student body.

    Today, I have taken the route that many who love Biola have the privilege to take and that is that I am a staff member. This summer will mark my 5th year with the BOLD program and I couldn't be more excited or humbled by God's provision in bringing me full circle again, allowing me to use my education to help others have the privilege of graduation from this incredible and blessed institution.
    Praise God!