On Nov. 15, Corban University’s ninth president lost his battle with cancer at his home in Lincoln City, Ore.
Dr. Reno Hoff spent 43 years at the university, beginning in 1969 when the school was moved from El Cerrito, Calif. to Salem, Ore. In May 2013, the Corban University School of Business was renamed the Hoff School of Business in recognition of his contributions.
A public memorial service is scheduled on Corban University's Salem campus on Sunday Nov. 24 at 3 p.m. in the Psalm Performing Arts Center. The University is located at 5000 Deer Park Dr. SE.
Hoff was born to Edwin and Hilda Hoff, June 9, 1935, in Eureka, S.D. Soon afterward the family moved to Aberdeen, S.D. where he spent his childhood with five siblings. He attended college at Northern State Teachers College in Aberdeen, and Stockton College in Stockton, Calif. He later completed his studies at the American Institute of Banking. He married Linda Dollinger in 1958 in Lodi, Calif. They were blessed with a son, Rodney, born in 1959.
His education has continued throughout his career with a Bachelor of Science degree in theology and finance from Western Baptist Bible College (WBBC) in 1973, a master of science in academic leadership from the Oregon College of Education in 1978 and an honorary degree bestowed by Western Baptist College in 2000.
He served in the 5th Infantry Division as an Army news photographer from 1953-1956, and afterward worked for Bank of America from 1958-69. He received 11 promotions in 11 years before coming to WBBC in 1969. At the college, he began his work with a new vision.
“I viewed my work here as a ministry and not a job,” Hoff said earlier this year.
Hoff’s contribution to the university covered a wide range of work. He was originally hired as business manager and dreamed of developing the business influence beyond his title. One of the highlights for him was the establishment of the Business Management program.
“It was the first step toward a comprehensive college, culminating in the addition of the MBA program in 2008,” he said. “I see that as my favorite highlight of my career.”
He assumed the position of vice president for administration until becoming executive vice president/provost under President David Miller, and served in that capacity until assuming the presidency in Oct. 1999. His achievements included certification as a certified financial planner, a licensed tax consultant, enrolled agent–IRS, certified tax advisor and registered investment advisor.
Looking back, Hoff saw the value of doing his best and letting God take care of the future. His work philosophy was “to give leadership to carry out the vision of my predecessors, and to be an implementer in order to see how God will bless.” He summarized his career with this observation: “working with people who have the same vision and a common bond in Christ, with a goal to make a difference in the world, is what has made it a rewarding experience.”