Biola Announces Recipients of 2013 Alumni Awards

Feb. 18, 2013 By Jessica Airey

Each year, Biola recognizes the outstanding accomplishments of alumni with six awards each honoring the work of an individual or family selected: The Lifetime Achievement Award, Legacy Award, Cultural Impact Award, Young Alumni Award, Stewardship Award and Clyde Cook Missions Award.

Glen Thomas will receive this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award for his 41-year career in education influencing the lives of thousands of students, hundreds of educators and many leaders in the California State Capitol. Thomas completed his undergraduate studies at Biola and then completed his master’s degree at Washington State and his doctorate in education the University of Southern California. He has held positions such as special education teacher, assistant superintendent and executive director of the State Curriculum Commission as well as being selected by former governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to be California Secretary of Education.

The Legacy Award will honor Samuel Philip Sutherland, the son of Biola's fifth president and the former chair of the psychology department. He started the first psychology lab at Biola as well as a 24-hour hotline manned by students in 1967. He also opened a preschool on campus which offered classes to train students to work with this age group. He was instrumental in getting the first computers on campus and bringing former university president Clyde Cook to Biola. Related to Biola’s former president Samuel Sutherland, with several other generations at Biola, this family has left a legacy to remember.

The passionate apologist and cultural critic Jonalyn Fincher will be the recipient of the Cultural Impact Award. Fincher and her husband, Dale, speak at schools, churches, camps and conferences representing their non-profit organization Soulation, all over the nation with the commitment of helping others in their spiritual journey. She uses her bachelor in literature from the University of Virginia and masters in philosophy of religion and ethics from Biola Talbot School of Theology to speak and write on women and spirituality, including her book, “Ruby Slippers.”  Her work has appeared in many notable magazines and several books.

Samantha Payne was nominated for the Young Alumni Award because of her dedication to improving education specifically in the Los Angeles area. Payne graduated from Biola in 2009 with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. She currently works as a manager of teacher and leadership development for Teach for America, a program offering education to children in low-income areas. Payne serves on the Biola Alumni Board of Directors.

The Stewardship Award will be given to the Andrews family for their commitment to service and generosity toward the Biola community. Duane Andrews, who graduated from Biola in 1985, is founder and CEO of Clear Capital, a leading adviser company for mortgage and lending industries. His wife Rebecca Andrews also graduated from Biola in 1985 and their daughter Amanda will graduate this spring. Amanda is very involved with social justice issues affecting women and children and has been a guest on the Frank Pastore Show.

Glen and Shelly Volkhardt will receive the Clyde Cook Missions Award. Glen is CEO of Paraclete, an organization that serves Christian mission agencies and churches overseas. Previously, Glen and Shelly worked with HCJB Global of Colorado Springs and were missionaries in Ecuador for 20 years. Shelly has authored three Christian books on topics such as counseling, trust and living a holy lifestyle.

Biola University honors alumni every year during Biola’s founding month — February. If you are interested in nominating an alumnus, please contact Alumni Relations. 

Written by Jessica Airey, Communications Coordinator. For more information, contact Jenna Bartlo, Media Relations Coordinator, at 562.777.4061 or at

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  • Nadine Deal May. 29, 2013 at 7:20 AM

    Congratulations Phil, we go way back when we were students. God bless Nadine Deal

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