Parents and new students should hold on tight, because this weekend at Corban could be a wild ride.
Between Aug. 27 and 31, Corban University’s Salem campus will be an epicenter of activity as new students learn the ropes of Christian college life and have fun in the process. For Sandy Van Dyk, the special events coordinator in admissions, this weekend is the pinnacle of her year.
“This is what we work for all year in admissions,” she said. “This is the fruit of our labor.”
On Friday nearly 300 new students will converge upon Corban University and meet their core advisers as well as 16 to 23 other students they will spend much of their college careers with. Throughout the weekend, each student and their parents will get a personal look at Corban life and the resources offered.
While there will be time spent in group sessions, an old saying notes that “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy,” so the admissions department has created a weekend filled with fun. On Friday evening, Corban University President, Dr. Reno Hoff and his administrative team will serve ice cream to students and parents. This will be followed by a celebration of Corban’s 75th anniversary with a fireworks extravaganza. A students’ only concert by pop Christian artists Caleb and Sol will finish the night.
Saturday will be filled with workshops for students about budgeting, time management, balancing academics with fun and an intro to Salem, their new hometown. Parents will have classes specifically for them as well.
“We have classes on letting go, about the adjustments parents make when sending a child off to college,” Van Dyk said. “We also have the ‘Inside Scoop’ where we answer very practical questions such as what happens when your student gets sick.” Another forum is an open question and answer session.
On Saturday evening, a barbeque dinner is followed by a parent dessert as student core groups battle each other in wild competition for prizes during the Corban Games. A student dessert will follow.
On Sunday, students and parents can praise and worship God before separating for the new school year. Corban’s music department will lead worship and Campus Pastor Dan Huber will provide insight and inspiration through his message. Students will have time to further solidify their core-group relationships and settle into their new homes.
Throughout the day Monday, students will get tours of Corban and where to find anything they may need.
“This is really where we start getting down to business,” Van Dyk said. “They will learn about the library, go through their handbooks, learn the computer system and learn where to check their mail.” At 4 p.m. students will converge upon downtown Salem for a scavenger hunt and dinner.
On Tuesday they will finish orientation with a community service expo created to introduce them to Salem area non-profits to learn about community service opportunities and required CCS credits.
More than anything, Van Dyk said she hopes students will make a smooth transition to Corban from high schools or other colleges. She wants them to know they will always have the support and love they need through new found friends, core group leaders and Corban’s dedicated administration, staff and faculty. This year’s theme, “Dedicated to Community,” following the message of Ecclesiastes 4:12, exemplifies this desire she said.
“A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken” (NLT).
“It’s a special weekend for all of us,” she said. “We’ve gotten to know them throughout the year on the phone and now we finally get to meet them and invite them into our family. That is a cool thing.”