Annual Alumni Awards

Corban Alumni Awards

The true measure of a university’s greatness can be found in the achievements of its alumni. Corban strives to equip its graduates with a biblically centered education, training, and service so they can make a difference in the world for Jesus Christ. With these tools, countless alumni have gained unique distinction in their professions, ministries, and communities. It is our pleasure as a university to recognize and celebrate these achievements.

Sheryl Rasmussen – Distinguished Alumni

“Nurses meet people at very emotionally and physically vulnerable points in their lives,” says Sheryl (Ruhlman) Rasmussen (’86). “We have the privilege of caring for everyone, without judgment— in their best times and their worst times—in their living and their dying.”

This year’s recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award, Sheryl Rasmussen, has worked in the field of nursing for over 30 years, and from almost every angle: as a registered nurse at University of Washington Medical Center, as a childbirth educator, lactation educator, researcher, and professor of nursing at three universities. In her career she has served countless patients and trained thousands of aspiring nurses.

Rasmussen has also used her years of experience to give back to the university that first equipped her to serve. With the launch of Corban’s new nursing program, she has been instrumental in the early shaping of its trajectory, leveraging her years of experience and passion for nursing education into a new offering she is certain will impact the community and the world. “I’m looking forward to seeing Corban serve the Willamette Valley and to seeing students bring their whole selves to nursing, ready to make an impact for Jesus Christ at home and around the world,” she says. “Over a career of nursing, they will touch so many people with the love and hands of the Lord, wherever they choose to work and serve.”

As she looks back on years of sacrifice and service, Sheryl Rasmussen has seen almost every angle the world of nursing has to offer, working part time, full time, per diem, and more than full time—holding life and death in her hands, grace and truth—sharing in moments of profound joy and deepest sorrow, and equipping the next generation to do the same.

Dr. Mandy Vance – Distinguished Young Alumni

Dr. Mandy Vance was recently honored by the Oregon Department of Education as Teacher of the Year for the 2023/24 school year, and is currently on special assignment at Cedar Ridge Middle School where she teaches creative science and STEM classes.

For Vance, this special assignment marks the challenges and joys of the profession. “I feel challenged in a way I never have, but it’s been so good,” she says. “I’m a first-year teacher again. It has humbled me and made me step up my game.”

While this year’s Teacher of the Year may feel like a first-year teacher, an irony she contributes to the ever-present need for personal growth and innovation in the profession, Vance has been a mainstay in her district for years. She was instrumental in revamping her school’s advisory program to focus on social-emotional well-being rather than purely academic performance. During the COVID pandemic, she spearheaded a light-hearted, teacher-run morning news show for her school to help encourage distance-learning students, and the sports management course she has developed, which values leadership over talent, is now taught district-wide.

“There are not a lot of other professions that rival the opportunity we have as educators to not only make a difference in the world, but to make a difference in the lives of students,” she says. “It’s such an amazing profession for giving back and making a difference in the world, which is what Corban prepares you to do. It’s my ministry every single day, and I love it.”

Chad Harms – Christian Ministry

Chad Harms is the lead pastor of Pathway Church in Gresham, Oregon—a role he recently stepped into after 18 years of ministry at Creekside Bible Church in Wilsonville. He also holds the role of Second Vice President of the Northwest Baptist Convention. Harms began serving at Creekside Bible directly after his college graduation, starting as a youth pastor and progressing to the role of lead pastor. “I thought I would be there forever,” he says. “I wanted to be like a John Piper in the longevity of my ministry, but God had other plans for me.”

Harms has built a ministry philosophy around the idea that attendance numbers, business meetings, and even modes of service and ministry don’t define a church. “With any church I serve in, I want it to be true that if a church around us copied the things that we are focused on, not just the things we do or how we do them, but what we believe, then they would be living out the will of God,” he says. “I want us to be a church that is obedient to what Scripture not just says, but commands.”

After 18 years of faithful service, Harms’ commute may look a bit different, the faces in his congregation new, but his passion and approach to ministry remain unchanged. “It means a ton to me to receive this recognition because Corban has meant a ton to me in my life,” he says. “I tell everybody that I left Corban really prepared to do everything that I do in ministry. Anything I do as a pastor I can almost directly attribute to the work God did in my life at Corban.”

Terry Williams – Outstanding Service

“I’ve always been a builder, simple as that,” says Terry Williams. Throughout his nearly 50-year career coaching basketball at virtually every age-group and level imaginable, Williams has built up program after program—practice by practice and shot by shot. In doing so, he has built more than winning cultures and championship teams. He has built up his community and the lives of the individuals within it. In the 14 years Williams coached at Corban, his teams made the post season 13 times, with seven appearances in the national championship tournament, and two NCCAA National Championship titles.

This year’s winner of Corban University’s Outstanding Service Award has seen plenty of accolades printed in newspaper headlines, awarded at banquets, or hoisted into the rafters of gymnasiums. But the walls and the shelves in his home office are vacant. “They’re in a box in the garage, and I’m not even sure where that box is exactly,” he says. “But those aren’t me. You can’t win something on your own doing. Players win games, and I told my teams, ‘I am 0-0 for life. You win and lose these games, and you deserve the awards.’”

For Williams, the accolades he cherishes aren’t collected in some dusty cardboard box in the garage. They are scattered across the community, state, and country, making an impact through the game he loves. “It’s always a reward to see former players coaching,” he says. “That’s the greatest tribute I could ever receive.”

Distinguished Alumni of the Year

Distinguished Young Alumni of the Year

Christian Ministry

Outstanding Service

Honorary Alumni

Award Criteria

Alumni status is determined by successful completion of one semester at the University. All alumni statuses are eligible for consideration. Priority will be placed on degreed alumni to include associate’s, bachelor’s, and graduate degrees. Submitted nominees are identified as eligible according to the general criteria identified below:  

  • Demonstrates a serious Christian faith and a continued support of the Christian community.  
  • Displays a servant’s heart through service to the community.  
  • Displays leadership, responsibility, and expertise in his/her chosen profession.  
  • Embodies the values, mission, and ethical standards of Corban University  
  • The individual’s personal lifestyle exhibits exemplary character and exemplifies Christ, scholarship, community, and service.  
  • Is a loyal supporter, and in good standing with the university.  
  • Attended for at least one semester or has a degree from the College/University (with exception of the Outstanding Service and Honorary Alumni Awards.) 
  • May be nominated as an individual, married alumni couple, or organization where two or more alumni are in leadership positions such as president, owner, CEO etc.  
  • Alumni cannot nominate themselves, and nominees cannot be current full-time faculty and staff.  

You may not know if your nominee meets all the criteria above. It is still okay to submit your nomination. We will take care of confirming eligibility.

Award Categories

Distinguished Alumni of the Year
Nominated no earlier than 10 years after graduating or leaving the University.

Distinguished Young Alumni of the Year
Nominated within 10 years of graduating or leaving the University.

Outstanding Service to Corban University
10 years (present or past) of exemplary volunteer service to the College/University. This may include non-alumni.

Christian Ministry Award

Recognizes long-term service and excellence by an individual(s) in his or her field of ministry/mission.  The award is presented to Corban alumni whose career contributions have significantly made a difference in the world for Jesus Christ.  

Outstanding Service to Corban University

10 years (present or past) exemplary volunteer service to the College/University. May include non-alumni 

Honorary Alumni Award

Created for the purpose of recognizing and honoring those individuals who, though not alumni of Corban, have demonstrated outstanding interest, commitment, and involvement in the life of the university. Recipients embody the notion that friends of the University, in addition to its alumni, play a significant role in the enhancement of the institution.  This recipient perhaps has been mistaken as an alum.  

Honorees maintain these distinctions in perpetuity, though the award may be rescinded if the awardee no longer meets the eligibility requirements.

Alumni Award Nomination Form

Thank you for your interest in nominating a Corban Warrior! Nominations are accepted year-round, and eligible nominees will be kept on file for up to three years. Visit the Alumni Award Criteria tab for detailed information on the various awards.

Complete the form below to submit your nomination.