Bria (Bissell) Hyink

Bria (Bissell) Hyink


I still remember my first day at Linfield. I transferred in from a giant public school at the start of freshman year and was so nervous to start somewhere new. I was anxiously quiet, my tummy twisted in knots. I paced around the house, equally paranoid that I would either be dress coded or that my uniform would be considered too “uniformy.” I remember praying with my mom in the car at the freshmen drop-off and then fighting to find my locker (and my voice) in the midst of the early morning commotion.

But I also remember the friends I made that first day, girls who invited me to sit on a blanket on the grassy hill during lunch. The words that were anxiously suppressed that morning bubbled up as I texted my mom about my day and told her that “I think I might like this school.

My Love for Linfield

A year and a half later, that anxious feeling was back, deep in my belly. ASB elections were here! This meant I would have to stand on a lunch table and deliver a speech to the entire student body. I prayed hushed words to myself as I stood next to my best friend who was speaking after me. My mom had even secretly parked in an adjacent lot and had rolled down her windows to hear me. As nervous as I was, I found my voice again that day, speaking impassioned words to faculty and friends about my love for Linfield and how I wanted to serve this place.

In the years that followed, I took the stage many more times. I stood in front of the people I loved, my Linfield family, to dedicate class gifts, to lead award ceremonies, and to encourage my class to fight during the Great Race. I even sang the fight song next to our Head of School at graduation as we ceremoniously tossed our caps in the air.

“Working at my alma mater was never something I had planned.”

Then several years ago, I found myself on a similar stage, but this time I was officially the Assistant Director of Admissions at Linfield. Working at my alma mater was never something I had planned. But there I was as a college graduate, having come full circle by speaking at the New Family BBQ, praying over the night and for the nerves of the 150 new students who were about to start their Linfield journey. I saw myself in their eyes, their worries written all over their faces as they looked onto this new start with apprehension. I watched as their moms looked on, eager to take away the anxiety and make it all okay for their kids. I answered questions about uniforms and dress code, pointed out where drop off would take place, and alleviated fears about what it would be like to be a new kid.

But then the perks of my job really began! I got to celebrate as I heard the words bubble out of them throughout the school year. They raved about how much they loved Linfield and the friends they had made. I got to cheer them on as they stood on stages of their own, making impassioned speeches about making this place they love even better. I watched as they went to Mexico and served their community, as they excelled in their classes, made deep friendships, won athletic championships, and performed brilliantly in school performances.

I recently left my position at Linfield to stay home with my baby daughter, but I hope she finds opportunity like I found at Linfield. I can’t wait to pray over her as she heads to school one day, probably feeling anxious about making new friends and fitting in, and more than anything, I hope she gets to do that at the school I love, surrounded by people who I know will cheer her on and give her the confidence to find her voice like I did.

As much as I loved being a student at Linfield, I didn’t necessarily expect God to bring me back. But serving in Admissions and working to advance the mission of the school blessed me immeasurably. I got to watch students complete the full circle, transforming from nervous new students to articulate and confident alumni, and it made me even more grateful for my own experience.

Bria (Bissell) HyinkClass of 2011

Linfield Alumni
Serving the Lord and the World
Through Their Character and Leadership