Clyde Cook

June 1, 1935 - April 11, 2008
President Emeritus
Biola University

Dr. Clyde Cook served as Biola University's president for 25 years, from 1982 to 2007, with a unique background as an educator, administrator and fourth-generation missionary.

Both his great-grandparents and grandparents were missionaries to China, and his mother followed in their footsteps. While traveling there by ship, she met her future husband, an officer on the ship, and a year later was married to this Christian sea captain from Scotland.

Born in Hong Kong, the fourth of six children, Clyde was faced with adversity at an early age when the Cook family was imprisoned in three different concentration camps during World War II. In 1942, by God's grace they were reunited in South Africa.

After five years in South Africa, the Cooks came to the United States and settled in Laguna Beach, California, where Clyde was named California Interscholastic Federation basketball player of the year in 1953. He was offered athletic scholarships to thirteen different major universities.

Clyde received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Biola University (1957) and his Master of Divinity (1960) and Master of Theology (1962) from Talbot Theological Seminary. He earned his Doctor of Missiology (1974) at Fuller Theological Seminary.

After graduating from Biola, Clyde served as the school's Athletic Director from 1957 to 1960. From 1963-1967 he and his wife, Anna Belle, were missionaries with O.C. Ministries (Overseas Crusades then) in Cebu City in the Philippines. During this time Clyde participated in pastors' conferences, city-wide crusades, lay institute training, youth conferences and Bible school teaching. He traveled extensively, visiting more than 72 countries in athletic and drama evangelism and to represent Biola University. In 1971, he spent six months in the Philippines helping to set up theological extension education programs.

Returning to Biola in 1967 as an Assistant Professor of Missions, Clyde was then appointed Director of Intercultural Studies and Missions and helped to develop Biola's nationally acclaimed program in cross-cultural education. Called to the presidency of O.C. Ministries in 1978, he ably guided the mission organization to an increased level of financial stability and multiplied foreign field effectiveness.
Clyde served on the Biola Board of Trustees from 1980 to 1982 when he was invited by a unanimous vote of the Board to assume the seventh presidency of Biola University on June 1, 1982 and became president emeritus on July 1, 2007.

Dr. Cook served for seven years on the Board of Directors of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities, and one year as its chair. He also served for six years on the Board of Directors of the American Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, and served as the president of that organization for two years. He served on the Western Association of Schools and Colleges accreditation task force as well as serving as a member of the steering committee for the Fellowship of Evangelical Seminary Presidents. He served for six years on the executive committee of the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of California.

On Friday, April 11, 2008, Dr. Cook passed away at his home in Fullerton, California.



The Writings of Clyde Cook

My Testimony

My great grandfather went to China as a missionary in 1848 with the American Presbyterians. Their daughter, my grandmother, was born in China and after graduating from college went back to China with the China Inland Mission as a missionary. While serving there she met an American Presbyterian missionary and they married and had my mother... Read more

Lessons in Leadership

As I reflected on my years as a president, I would say that his advice is excellent, not just for new presidents, but for any president. The people in the organization need to sense that you are providing leadership and direction and that the organization is moving ahead. However, particularly in academic institutions, they don’t like sudden, jerky movements. I have found that faculty and staff appreciate consistency and are unhappy with surprises... Read more

Accepted in the Beloved

One of the occupational hazards of the ministry is high expectations: expectations of yourself, and the expectations of others. So often these expectations are linked to performance and it is easy to feel that how we are accepted before God and before others is how well we do... Read more

Think It Over

I was so tickled with myself. I was prowling the upper deck near Nordstrom’s looking for a parking place when all of a sudden I saw some back-up lights coming on so I whipped myself into position and aced out another car. After I was safely in my space, I noticed it was a lady and I felt a twinge of guilt because of my upbringing... Read more

More Writings