Valentine’s Weekend events are a community gift
February 18 , 2009
On February 13, two Corban-community members delightfully contributed to campus event offerings for ages 9 to 90. Assistant Professor of History John Scott honored Oregon’s Sesquicentennial in the Emitte Center, while Senior Karen Wright dazzled the Psalm Center audience with her forte in piano performance.
More than 60 attended the “Reflections on Oregon’s History: the Sesquicentennial and Corban College,” including college students, professors, and members of the greater Salem community. According to Assistant Professor of History Scot Bruce, the group sang the Oregon State Song rather robustly after the first try. Professor Scott then enlightened listeners with tidbits about the settlers who homesteaded on and around this land in the years surrounding Oregon’s recognition as a state.
Most of the stories centered on William H. Rector (1806-1890) who, among other ambitions, successfully homesteaded the property where Corban now sits, helped blaze the Barlow Trail, minted Beaver coins after the California Gold Rush, built the first State Capitol, and helped to found the Willamette Woolen Mill, the first mill on the Pacific Coast.
Scott’s original research uncovered documents such as was written about the oak tree under which the Herren family was buried. “This is what happened to the Herren oak,” Scott announced holding up a slice of tree limb the diameter of a basketball: “it was demised in December’s ice storm less than two months ago.”
With contemplation and wit, Scott illuminated his lecture’s purpose. Commenting on his visual of a pioneer’s tombstone reading, “Gone but not forgotten,” Scott said, “That’s true! That’s why we’re here tonight. These pioneers were people of strength, courage, and grit. They deserve any and all recognition we give them.”
Provost Matt Lucas called Scott’s presentation a “phenomenal lecture.” He reports it was taped and will be available for others to enjoy.
Another entertainment the same evening was Karen Wright’s outstanding piano recital. While the senior completed this in partial fulfillment of the requirements of her music performance degree, she offered the community, with grace and poise, a high-quality connection with the arts. The 200 concert-goers were touched by her performance of Ravel’s “Sonatine,” and they laughed aloud as she and co-musicians presented movements from Saint Saen’s Carnival of the Animals, such as those repetitive two notes of the cuckoo bird. Wright’s closing performance brought a long standing ovation.
Corban faculty member and student, in their elements, not only amused crowds but also shared a learning opportunity with weekend guests.