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Corban University

Alumni Stories


May 8, 2021

Forging New Connections: Alumni Todd Kleppin and Brian Vaughan Start Forge Youth Mentoring Ministry

Todd Kleppin’s (’93) journey toward youth mentoring initially had very little to do with youth. After helping his church team with the city to build a state-of-the-art skate park on their property to connect with and serve the youth of their community, Todd was surprised to see each day that, among the 100-plus kids who flocked to the park, there was never an adult in sight.


March 16, 2021

Corban Alum Mare Johnson’s COVID Experience Helps Spread Positivity to a National Audience

Long before her story received national attention, Corban alum Mare (Suddarth) Johnson (’15) was just one of the unfortunate first individuals to have contracted the COVID-19 virus.


December 2, 2020

Betty Balyo, Beloved Friend of Corban and Wife of Former President Dr. John G. Balyo, Passes Away

We are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of our beloved friend and advocate, Betty Balyo. Betty was a devoted mother, grandmother, constant friend to the University, and loving wife to former University President, Dr. John G. Balyo.


October 1, 2020

A Ministry of Giving: Marvin and Danalee Leadham

Marvin Leadham (class of ’57) couldn’t sleep. Recently two of the missionaries he supported were set to retire from the field, leaving him with what he considered to be a new hole in his giving


April 13, 2020

Love Sinks In: Alumni Jenni and Courtney Install Sinks for the Homeless in Downtown Portland

When Jenni Burke’s coworker, Tawney Johnson, first mentioned one of their client’s new initiatives to set up handwashing sinks for the homeless in impoverished downtown areas


February 18, 2020

“Each Little Victory”: Alumna Dani Thoren Helps Empower Women in Transition at Grace House

Most people envision using their intercultural studies degree in an overseas context—perhaps serving with a missions agency, a relief organization, or even a foreign embassy. But Dani Thoren (’18) has found a way to use her Corban degree without even leaving the city of Salem.


December 16, 2019

What’s an Accountant Doing in Missions? Tiana Shares Her Story

“I probably won’t translate a verse in my life,” says Tiana Nisly. Although she works for Pioneer Bible Translators, Tiana isn’t actually a translator. Nor is she an evangelist, a pastor, or a church planter—she’s an accountant. Learn how God called Tiana into missions and why she’s passionate about working for Pioneer Bible Translators.


October 30, 2019

Corban University Announces Kayli Hanley (’14) as 2019 Young Alum of the Year

Kayli graduated from Corban in 2014 with a Bachelor of Science in Communication. Even before she graduated, Kayli began utilizing her gifts in communications and public speaking as she served on the student newspaper and yearbook staff, interned with Corban’s advancement department, and engaged in several public speaking events for the University, including the Scholarship Luncheon.


October 17, 2019

Esther Lehmann Cultivates a Heart for Medical Missions at Corban University

Esther Lehmann, class of 2013, was nominated for this year’s Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU) Young Alumni Award! The Young Alumni Award recognizes an individual (or a team of individuals working in a joint venture) who has achieved uncommon leadership or success in a way that reflects the values of Christian higher education. Learn more of Esther’s story below.


August 4, 2019

Corban University Announces Col. Dean Bonura (’78) as 2019 Distinguished Alum of the Year

Col. Bonura has served in the 101st Airborne (Air Assault) Division, the 3rd Infantry Division (Mechanized), the 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment, and the 1st Armored Division, with whom he deployed to Iraq in 2003-2004.  He also served with the 1st Corps Support Command during Operation Desert Shield in Saudi Arabia and Operation Desert Storm in Iraq (1990-1991).



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