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Corban University

June 10, 2020

A Message From Dr. Nord

Dear Friends of Corban, 

have followed the recent news stories and watched a Washington Post video timeline of events in Minneapolis on May 25, 2020, my 60th birthday, in the state in which I was born and raised through high school. The news stories and social media posts surrounding the death of George Floyd last week tell an alltoofamiliar story of racial violence and injustice toward our Black brothers and sisters. Not 100 years ago, not generations ago, not decades ago, but last month, in our country, in one of our communities. I must confess to you all that I am weary of the alltooregular occurrence of a sacred being, a precious life, turned into a hashtag after brutal and abhorrent incidents of people abusing their positions of power and killing others who are made in the image of God.  

In the wake of George Floyd’s unnecessary and senseless death, I am determined. I am determined that Corban University will be a center of empowerment and witness to the lives and work of a generation of student standardbearers. I am determined that Corban University in Salem, Oregon, will produce attorneys, physicians, social workers, dentists, teachers, media professionals, and business leaders of color, who will join us to combat systems of oppression. Oh, that Corban University graduates be firm in their faith, strong in their convictions, resolute in their compassion, leaving Corban not simply to make a dollar, but to make a difference. George Floyd, and all of the George Floyds of the past 400 years, deserve this commitment from our institution. Moral passivity is not an option!  

The Corban University community extends our sympathies to the families of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and all of the other families who have been touched by the tragedy of unexpected and unnecessary death. We further call upon the thousands of devoted law-enforcement officers, who every day serve and protect our communities, to stand up to bullies and bad actors. I pray that Corban’s criminal justice program would be one part of the solution, producing graduates who “do justice, and love kindness, and walk humbly with our God” (Micah 6:8).    

As a Christ-honoring, Bible-centered institution, Corban University will not condone racial discrimination or violent speech or conduct of any kind. Ever. We strive to be a campus community that is free of discrimination and is, at our core, anti-racist. In our striving, we must recognize that to be anti-racist requires us to be intentional about and active in addressing the inequities and injustices we see in the world today.  

I ask that you join me in condemning these incidents of violence and offer support to one another, particularly those who are feeling the weight of, and grief from, these violent events. There are some in our community who may be grieving, outraged, and fearful, and others who perhaps are trying to understand the plight of those who are feeling fear, anger, or even hopelessness. If you are feeling this, please know that we are with youWe want to listen, learn, and lean into the tension and hard work of justice and racial reconciliation together. This is sacred work. It won’t be easy. But it is absolutely necessary.  

As followers of Christ, we must be bold, exercising truth in love. “Fret not yourself because of evildoers; be not envious of wrongdoers! For they will soon fade like the grass and wither like the green herb. Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness. Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in Him, and He will act. He will bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday” (Psalm 37:1-6).   

I am encouraged by the work that has already gone into Corban’s understanding and support of multicultural diversitySo many in our community are already engaged in conversations and action, but we can do more. We must do more.   

To Christ be all Glory, 

Sheldon C. Nord, Ph.D.