Nothing is quite like change! For any of you who have experienced change and transition, you know exactly what I mean. I have a good friend and great mentor in my life who, several years ago, started to encourage me to think about what was next. He had just undergone a significant transition in his own life when the large medical instruments company where he worked in senior management for several decades was sold (he was part of the negotiations), and he was suddenly out of a job.
He shared with me the importance of what he called reinventing yourself in order to stay current and on the cutting edge, for the ultimate purpose of best using the gifts and abilities God has given you. Interesting concept, as change doesn’t come easy to me or many of us. I watched as he landed well and is busier than ever as he works and serves on several boards and companies. He has certainly not retired as he continues to be a great model for how to handle the “second half.”
Well, whether I was ready or not, I am excited to say that Biola has given me the opportunity for change and a bit of reinvention. Effective July 1, 2017, I took on a new role at Biola as the senior director of advancement, and my more than 35 years in alumni and parent relations was transitioned to something entirely new.
Is it an easy transition, you ask? Well, not really, and I have experienced some serious moments of alumni and parent relations withdrawal! I will always be “Rick Biola!” — the name an off-campus vendor gave me when they didn’t know what the “B” stood for. That won’t change. But the institutional need for my work in Biola’s Office of Advancement and assistance in helping to develop and fund exciting new programs in this season well outweighs the role I have been honored to serve with alumni and parents.
So what’s next for the alumni and parent programs? If you aren’t already aware of it, a national search is underway for a replacement, and if you are interested in knowing more, you can check out the posting on jobfitmatters.com/biola. I can attest that it’s a great job, and if you love people and helping them reconnect, you should check it out! I will also be working with our great alumni and parents team through the hire of my replacement. After the senior director’s position is filled, they will be seeking several new staff to grow the program as they plan and strategize for the future service of alumni and parents.
I want to thank all of you for your love and support of Biola and our alumni and parent programs for the last three decades. As volunteers, you have served on alumni boards, parent councils, as event and program volunteers, and are faithful donors and partners in the work of Biola. And you have meant so much to me and made such a significant difference in the work of this institution. Thank you for your partnership!
And change, as we all know, can bring some amazing opportunity and growth. I can’t wait to see what God will do!