The night before parents left for home from Orientation Weekend, they were hosted at a special dessert in their honor. While new students were off watching a movie in the Amphitheater, parents were welcomed into the Gym. There they heard from President Hoff and Vice President Mike Bates and enjoyed dessert around tables with other parents and faculty members.
It answered the “What now?” question for parents in the middle of a schedule designed to keep new students busy. With welcoming words from college administrators, it assured parents that Corban welcomed and accepted their children with gratitude. When an opportunity for prayer came a little later in the evening, it was also a way to deal with the variety of emotions parents may have felt.
Some 250 were in attendance at the dessert, only the second one ever held. At least one set of parents were alumni—Doug Beals, ’87, and Larissa Smith Beals, ’85, of Salem.
“This is my third child to take to college, and I’ve never gotten a gift bag before,” one parent told Deleen Wills of the College Advancement Team which hosted the event. She was referring to the bright yellow or blue bags given to each parent, designed just for the occasion. Moms loved the tissues, not to mention the map of Salem. If dads were ready to celebrate with one leaving the nest, then finding Starburst candies in the bag added to the mood.
A time of prayer before dessert added to the spiritual side of the whole weekend . Silently or out loud, prayers at each table went up for whatever came to parents’ minds and hearts—like the friends their child would make, the first night in their dorm room, faculty and staff at Corban, and the parents themselves returning home after a very busy, and perhaps emotional, two days.
“It’s the right thing to do for parents—to pray and release,” said Bates about guiding the group in prayer that evening. “It showed the importance we place on prayer at Corban, and it gave them a bit of closure at the end of a long day.”