First Homecoming Weekend now history

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


The first weekend especially devoted to all alumni of the College took place October 5-7. Looking back on Friday’s Chapel service through the championship volleyball team reception Saturday night, Homecoming proved to be a time of reconnecting with old friends and seeing, maybe for the first time, the many changes made on campus. Alumni also had ample opportunities to appreciate students on campus, who may have greeted them or scored a soccer goal.


Chapel in the Psalm Performing Arts Center included a piano solo by Ruth Edwards LeFreniere, ’67, who single-handedly played “To God Be the Glory.”  Dr. Virginia Cross commented that she played with a lot of piano skill and artistry, and many might not have known that she played with only her right hand.  Corban sophomore Bill DeHaven said her performance inspired him and made him think of the verse from the Bible, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”


At the Resurrection sculpture dedication, a poignant visual presentation illustrated the life of Doug West, former staff member in whose memory the outdoor sculpture was made.   His daughter Rebecca West Alburn, ‘04, attended and stood outside the Psalm Center afterward, her own 6-week-old daughter in her arms as she remembered her father’s impact on the campus.

Alumni from the 50s and 60s gathered on Friday afternoon for a special President’s Reception with Reno and Linda Hoff.  Over 60 attended—some came to Corban for this event alone—and found a warm welcome at the Hoff home.

Dr. Hoff made the rounds of other reunion gatherings on campus on Friday and Saturday nights.  At each of the reunion dinners, he said that he heard over and over how much alumni loved Corban as students and their continued affinity for the school today. Everyone was amazed at the visible progress on campus, too, he noted.

One sign of progress, although ongoing, is the Clock Tower. The dedication of its construction on Saturday morning drew a small crowd of onlookers.  As a misty rain fell, Board of Trustees chair Tom Carlson prayed that “people all over the Salem area would be reminded of what’s up on the hill here” by the chimes of the Clock Tower. He included, “Lives are being changed here to make a difference for Jesus Christ.”


Alumni awards were only part of the Saturday noon luncheon.The gathering in the Psalm Center was also marked by outstanding music, comments from current students, and Dr. Hoff’s keynote address in which he stated, “Our success is based on the Word of God.” 


Award recipients each shared remarks upon receiving their plaque from Dr. Hoff.  Distinguished Alumnus Dan Wilder, ’75, said “Nothing has had a bigger impact on me than my four years here.  I’m deeply honored.  I can’t thank you enough.”  Reid Saunders, ’98, Distinguished Recent Alumnus acknowledged, “This award is a true honor, but it takes a team.  Corban has really sculpted me for my life of ministry.”  Dr. Rich Meyers, ’67, recognized family and friends at his table, and spanned the audience as well, saying, “This award if made up of all of your contributions." 

During the Saturday evening women’s volleyball game against Albertson College, five returning members of the 1997 NCCAA national championship team were honored. The original team consisted of Heather Voss Dunn, Cassie Steed Terry, Gina Smith Diaz, Elisa Barfknecht Hunter, Chris Neely Porter, Kim Segrin Satterthwaite, Sara Reeves Hills, Aimee Kischenmann Brockway, Jen Herndon Carter, Paige Stewart Glass, and Jenni Rainbow.  Current volleyball coach Heather Dunn remarked, “This was and still is a great group of women. The relationships with some of the girls I played with are still a huge part of my life." 
With an attendance of over 250 alumni and many positive remarks that have come back to the College since then, organizers of the weekend’s festivities—the Alumni Office--are already planning for next year’s Homecoming.  After all, in keeping with the many references to “a new day” for Corban, the start of a new Homecoming tradition is only fitting.

  • The volleyball team in 1997

  • Returning team members Jen Krug (athletic trainer), Tracy Smith (head coach), Tim Smith (assistant coach), Heather Dunn, Chris Porter, Gina Diaz, Elisa Hunter, and Cassie Terry.

  • Alumnus John Wack and Professor Jim Hills reminisce at Class of ’77 Reunion Dinner.

  • Corban's President, Reno Hoff, speaks at the Clock tower dedication ceremony.

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