1990 was a big year for ETBU. The decade began with a generous gift from Louise Ornelas, who wanted to “Do something to honor Dr. Craig,” then ETBU president. One year later, students walked into the Ornelas Spiritual Life Center that boasted an impressive 1,500-seat auditorium with a wide-deep stage, as well as the latest sound system, lighting, and projection equipment. The facility provided an impressive venue for religious services, performances, conferences, and the chapel meetings required for a growing student body. The Ben and Mary Dean Healthplex and Louise and Joseph Ornelas Gymnasium were also completed. Students, faculty and staff now had a handsome basketball court, with seating for 1800, a jogging track, an athletic training room, meeting space, four racquetball courts, a spacious workout room, state-of-the-art training facilities, and new classrooms and offices. In 1992, the university joined the Council of Christian Colleges and Universities, an elite Christian organization that required strict criteria for institutional membership. Academically, the university added a Master of Business Administration and an undergraduate degree in nursing. The first class of nursing graduates walked across the stage in 1994. ETBU also entered into an affiliation with the International Center for Advanced Studies at Mare Nostrum in Alta, Spain. Each summer ETBU professors and students enjoyed teaching and taking classes on the beautiful Spanish Riviera.
The sports programs also expanded. In 1994-95 men’s soccer was added as a varsity sport, along with women’s cross country and women’s tennis. The next year the Tigerline was formed, a “pom squad,” which added short drill routines to athletic contests. A marching band became part of the program, which made it possible for music students to qualify as directors. In the fall of 1996 the Lady Tiger volleyball team made its debut. Lady Tiger softball began in spring of 1998 and that fall the women’s soccer team opened varsity play. In 1999-2000 a collegiate golf team took to the links. The university transition from NAIA to Division III of the NCAA late in the decade led to some adjustments, but within a couple of years, ETBU teams were thriving on this new level of competition, winning conference titles and playoffs deep into the NCCAA national tournament by the end of the decade. Even better was the men’s soccer team, winning consecutive NCCAA national championships in 1998 and 1999. The triumphant teams of Coach Jose Alonzo thus captured the first national titles in the long history of ETBU.
For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations. ~ Psalm 100:5
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