After a lengthy process, Corban’s trustees selected a new university president — a 51-year-old alumnus with administration experience here at Corban, at other U.S. colleges, and overseas.
Dr. Sheldon Nord was officially announced as president-elect on Feb. 7. He will be the university’s 10th president.
Born in Bagley Minnesota in 1960, Nord was raised in a Christian home. He realized his need for a Savior at Vacation Bible School in 1968. Nord began to grow in his faith in the Lord at the young age of eight years old.
Nord attended Corban University (known as Western Baptist College at that time), graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Sciences. During that time Nord met his wife, Jamie, and they now have a daughter, Hannah, who is currently a junior at Corban.
Nord stayed at Corban after graduating, and became the President for Student Life and Enrollment Management/Dean of Students from 1990-93. During that time he was also a student at Oregon State University, majoring in College Student Services Administration.
At the end of 1993, Nord felt the Lord calling him to venture off to a new chapter in his life. Since he left Corban in 93, Nord graduated with a Ph.D. at Indiana University (1997) and a Doctorate at Harvard University (2011). He has served in a variety of fields, including the position of Chief Executive Officer at Universitas Pelita Harapan in Indonesia. Since 2010, Nord and his wife have lived in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho where Nord held the position of Vice President for Student Services at North Idaho College.
Understanding that current President Dr. Reno Hoff’s contract will expire in July 2013, Hoff felt the Lord telling him to not renew his contract. Hoff has suffered from two broken hips and prostate cancer over the past couple of years. He is pleased with the progress after the surgery, and is responding to the treatment he is receiving.
“I feel the best I have in over a year,” Hoff said.
Dr. Hoff has provided an unforgettable impact for Corban University during his time of service for the past several years.
Steve Hunt, Vice President for Marketing at Corban, said, “Dr. Hoff brought financial stability to the institution and through openness with the Salem community and name change, he brought credibility to the perception of our school.” Hunt encourages students to be thankful that they had the opportunity to benefit from Hoff’s leadership era.
When the time approached for the Corban board of trustees to seek out a new president elect for Corban, Dr. Nord was one of three candidates. Hunt said Nord stood out from the other candidates not only for his experience as a student, employee and board member, but also due to his vast experience from other institutions for 19 years.
“This well rounded approach gives him a lot of attractive qualities,” Hunt said.
Dr. Hoff feels very confident in Dr. Nord taking over his position.
“He understands our culture,” Hoff said.
Both are excited for the upcoming year when they work side by side as Nord transitions into his new position.
“He really is a part of the Corban family,” Hoff said.
Nord finds the process and experience he has been through in becoming the new president elect of Corban very humbling. He feels under qualified for the position, but blessed that God has provided him with so many experiences that he can now bring to Corban.
“I love working with college students,” Nord said. “I can’t believe it get paid to do something I love so much.”
Nord has been blessed to work with great people and is thankful for the large amount of experiences God has given him and his family that have enriched their lives so greatly.
Nord enjoys many outdoor activities including hiking, camping, snowshoeing, and golfing.
“I love being with my wife and daughter,” Nord said. “Anything I can do with my family is good.”
After getting over the “college reading overload” while earning his degrees, Nord has come to enjoy reading.
“I realized it was actually fun,” Nord said.
Throughout different times of his life, Nord has had different passages of Scripture that have been important to him.
As a college student, Philippians 1:21 — “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain” (ESV) — really impacted him.
“It was just so profound to me to think that dying is as good as or better than living,” Nord said. He knew the verse as a kid, but as an adult, it really struck him.
Colossians 3 is another passage that has been meaningful to Nord’s life. It is an important reminder to him how vital it is to demonstrate love to one another, and that everything needs to be done for the Lord.
“Whether I golf, or go to church, it’s always for the Lord,” Nord said. “In whatever job I have, I think of it as a mission field, whether in a public or Christian atmosphere.”
Though he is coming up on a time of transition, Nord is humbled knowing he will rely on the Lord.
“It’s a difficult time, but that’s when you realize you are the most spiritually alive,” Nord said.
Nord desires to build on the great work that previous presidents have had at Corban. He has been able to work with the past four Corban presidents, and been able to see their godly leadership and strengths. He admires how each one made their job their lifestyle, and hopes to do the same with his new position. He desires to continue to build on the student-centered foundation Corban has. Nord feels very strongly about the mission of Corban and wants to implement the Great Commission, found in Matthew 28 into the Corban institution.
He is excited to use his new position as a spiritual act of worship, and is excited to work in the Corban environment again. He has missed praying with Corban faculty and students, being closely involved in their daily lives at Corban.
“We feel like we are coming home,” Nord said.