La Sierra University to mark 100 years with gala in downtown Riverside

La Sierra University will celebrate its 100th birthday with a gala event set for Monday, Oct. 3, in downtown Riverside.

The La Sierra University Centennial Gala will take place on the private Seventh-day Adventist university’s Founders’ Day — and 100 years to the day La Sierra’s first classes began.

Classical pianist Alpin Hong and La Sierra alum and operatic tenor Anthony León will perform. La Sierra’s school song — first performed Oct. 1, 1949, also will be presented, a university news release states.

James I. Robison was the founding principal of La Sierra University’s originating institution, La Sierra Academy, which opened Oct. 3, 1922. (Courtesy of La Sierra University Library Special Collections)

The original three buildings that formed La Sierra Academy in 1922 and 1923 are seen. They remain part of the La Sierra University campus. From left are South Hall, La Sierra Hall and Gladwyn Hall. (Courtesy of La Sierra University Library Special Collections)

A glass lantern slide circa 1929 depicts a bus of students from La Sierra Academy and Normal School, a La Sierra University predecessor institution. (Courtesy of La Sierra University Library Special Collections)

A glass lantern slide shows female students in a domestic science class learning to cook at Southern California Junior College, a La Sierra University predecessor institution. The photo was taken between 1927 and the early 1930s. (Courtesy of La Sierra University Library Special Collections)

A glass lantern slide shows the typing room at Southern California Junior College, a La Sierra University predecessor institution. The photo was taken between 1927 and the early 1930s. (Courtesy of La Sierra University Library Special Collections)

La Sierra University students are seen in 2015 using a campus computer lab directed by psychology professor Leslie Martin. (Courtesy of La Sierra University)

Jennifer Yoo, a 2019 biomedical sciences graduate, is seen in 2017 in a biology lab at La Sierra University. She was accepted in 2019 as a research trainee at the National Cancer Institute, part of the
National Institutes of Health. (Courtesy of La Sierra University)

La Sierra University President Joy Fehr is the first female to lead the institution in its 100-year history. Appointed in 2019, she is its fourth president since La Sierra’s inception as a university in 1990. (Courtesy of La Sierra University)

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Joy Fehr, president of the Riverside university, will present the 100 Presidential Awardees, given to those who have made significant contributions to the university, in their fields or whose work has displayed innovation and excellence. The awards will include some posthumous recognitions.

The honorees include:

Stan Morrison, a former college basketball coach and athletics director and current chair of La Sierra University’s foundation and athletics advisory boards
Cindy Roth, outgoing Greater Riverside Chambers of Commerce president and chief executive officer, a  past recipient of an honorary doctor of laws from the university
Larry Geraty, La Sierra University’s president emeritus whose tenure included creation of the foundation board and a $100 million endowment through redevelopment of university property
Brian Wright, general manager of the NBA’s San Antonio Spurs, a Zapara School of Business graduate, former Golden Eagles basketball player and Riverside Sports Hall of Fame honoree
The late Frank Jobe, a La Sierra alum and sports orthopedic surgeon who invented Tommy John elbow ligament reconstructive surgery

During a gala reception, the university will release a book on its history written by current and past faculty members and administrators. The authors will be available to meet guests.

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The gala will be the last centennial event of the year. Commemorations began in February with the unveiling of a new sculpture.

“We have been planning and anticipating this magnificent gala all year long, and are eager to celebrate with our supporters and friends,” Fehr said in the release. “… We are humbled to celebrate this tremendous milestone and grateful for God’s unending provision as we move forward into an even brighter future of opportunity and growth.”

The gala, set for the Riverside Convention Center, will begin with a 5:30 p.m. reception. The program will start at 6 p.m. Individual tickets are $100. Table sponsorships begin at $1,000. Proceeds will benefit La Sierra University.

Registration information: 951-785-2500, [email protected] or https://lasierra.edu/centennial/