Homecoming/Parent Weekend packs the house
November 4, 2009
The President’s Luncheon on Saturday, October 24, brought together alumni and friends at Homecoming 2009 alongside parents participating in this year’s Parent Weekend. The celebrations were combined as a special time to recognize Corban’s 40 years in Salem. Three-hundred and twenty guests enjoyed the program highlighting students through music and life stories, an alumni awards presentation, and President Hoff’s traditional “State of the College” address, which followed the campus-wide theme for 2009-10, “Dedicated to the Journey.”
Deleen Wills, Director of Alumni Services, said about 100 more alumni attended Homecoming Weekend over last year’s count. “We fit an extra 10 tables on the stage of the Psalm Performing Arts Center—we didn’t know we could get that many tables up there!” Wills described, “With 240 people on the floor and another 80 on the stage, the place was packed. You couldn’t help but catch the excitement and enthusiasm.”
Two music affinity groups reunited over the weekend and performed selections at the President’s Luncheon: Joyful Sound, singers from the 70s; and MastersTouch, a full-time traveling singing group of the late 70s and 80s. Ruthie Edwards La Freniere (’67) led the Joyful Sound reunion singers. Peter Kobe, former MastersTouch Director and Music Department Chair from 1978-1983, returned to lead the MastersTouch reunion performance. Suzanne Riffle (’76) of Salem—alumna, MastersTouch singer, and also a parent—said, “I had a great time at the reunion and thought the whole thing went amazingly well.”
Friday night’s reunion dinners included the two affinity groups as well as the classes of ’69, ’79, and ’89. The Class of ’99 held their reunion after the President’s Luncheon Saturday afternoon. Wills characterized those dinners as “precious time with each other.”
Jerry Cudney said the Class of ’69 Reunion Dinner was a big deal to them because they were the last class to graduate from the El Cerrito (Calif.) campus. He also commented that they felt particularly blessed by the open mic format which accommodated sharing what God had been doing in their lives over the past 40 years. “Some shared the struggles they had been through. Everyone had blessings they could share as well. It was a wonderful evening of getting reconnected.”
Other weekend activities the alumni attended included the men’s and women’s soccer games, the volleyball game, visits to classes and professors, campus tours, seeing the Prewitt–Allen Archaeological Museum, and the Choir and Orchestra Fall Concert. The parents also were invited to these events, plus they participated in a financial aid seminar, dinner in the Psalm Center featuring speaker Marty Trammell (English Department Chair) and his wife Linda, as well as their students’ residence hall activities. Alumni also attended a reception in the Alumni House, and the decades of the 50s and 60s were hosted by President and Mrs. Hoff for an evening in their home.
Highlights of the President’s Luncheon were special music including the Corban Jazz Band, student testimonies of Corban’s impact, and President Hoff’s speech. Hoff said one sign of Corban’s growth is reaching the record-high enrollment of 1100, well ahead of strategic projections. Additionally, 41 acres of property have recently been purchased. Administrators are working on a 100-year plan with their architect for good stewardship of the property’s development. The president’s speech concluded, “Our journey in the past 75 years as an institution is an example of our fearless commitment to growth in order to expand the mission of the institution.”
Alumni award recipients have embodied the ideals and mission of the College. The 2009 recipients are Eric Rasmussen (’87), Distinguished Alumni of the Year; Ryan Dempster (’99), Distinguished Young Alumni of the Year; Steve Hunt (’69), Outstanding Service; and Rocky Hartung (’68) and Arlene Brogdon Hartung (’69), Special Achievement Award. Honorary Alumni Awards, newly instituted, were given to Peter Kobe and to Bob and Rita Wright for their outstanding interest, commitment and involvement toward the enhancement of Corban. To read the biographies of the award recipients, click here.
By Jenny Hirschfelder, Staff Writer, Office of Marketing & Communications
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