Close to 200 potential students came to campus on November 11-12, making this fall’s Corban Experience the largest group of high school seniors, juniors, and transfer students to have attended a Corban Experience event in its recent history.
Like its predecessors, this year’s Corban Experience offered a wide variety of activities. Sunday night, the pumpkin smash put on by the men of Farrar residence hall was a popular attraction with current students as well as amused visitors. Comedian Bob Smiley was very well received by the crowd in the Psalm Performing Arts Center. Afterward, a huge game of bunko went late into the night, culminating in a midnight breakfast at the dining hall.
Monday’s activities included a student panel, classes to attend, financial aid workshop, a time to “Meet Our Professors,” on-campus club presentations, “Music at Corban” meeting for interested music students, and music auditions for potential majors.
With added parents and some family members, the influx was especially noticeable in Chapel and the dining hall, as interested high school juniors and seniors checked out every aspect of college life. After his Chapel message, College Pastor Kent Kersey judged the standing-room-only crowd as possibly the fullest of the semester. As for crowded dining conditions, Stacie Johnson, office assistant for Corban dining, said, “It went really well. We had plenty of time to prepare.” Current students and staff found the Manna Shoppe and a conference room nearby to provide alternatives to tray-dodging tactics in the dining hall.
The first occurrence of potential students coming to campus en masse was in 1960 for “Senior Days” on the El Cerrito campus in California. By 1969, when the College had moved to its current Salem location, numbers of interested students swelled the student body of 200 to one thousand. Dorothy James, Executive Secretary to the President, recalled hearing about the effort involved in packing sack lunches for that many students. “In those days, any high school students could come. Since then, they’ve cut it down to juniors and seniors,” she explained.
Comments from students included “What a beautiful campus!” and “What an awesome group of people—so welcoming!” A significant number of students said they could feel the Lord’s presence here, according to Sandy VanDyk, special events coordinator in the Admissions Office which hosted the weekend.
Evaluations turned in by Corban Experience participants revealed an extraordinary amount of interest in the school. VanDyk noted a recurring theme was “Lord willing, I’ll be here in the fall.”
High school juniors and seniors are already signing up for the next Corban Experience, set for February 10-11, 2008. For more information visit http://www.corban.edu/visitor/corbanexperience.html