Sending one daughter off to college is an investment. Sending two to the same school could be considered an endorsement. But this is not how Paul and Darci’s experience began with Corban University.
Originally, as they began the search process with their daughter Avari, now a graduate of the class of 2022, Corban University was admittedly not at the top of the list. Both Avari and younger sister Ainslie were incredible volleyball prospects coming out of nearby McMinnville High School, each with major interest from numerous college programs.
When Paul arrived on Corban’s campus, his initial impression didn’t check the boxes he had in mind. “I thought it was tiny and perched on a cliff,” he laughs. The relationship began through volleyball, their longheld family pastime. “The biggest piece was initially Kim and Dick McClain,” Darci says. “They pursued Avari for several years. But when Avari came and visited, she just felt at home. And I felt it too. There was just this sense of peace. We prayed about it, and it became pretty evident that this is where Avari, and eventually Ainslie, needed to be.”
Though it may not have been the large school they originally envisioned, it didn’t take long for the decision to be affirmed. “We love Avari and Ainslie, but how well they are loved here has been a highlight,” Darci says. “They have thrived. I think Avari, now that she’s graduated, has come into the truth of who she is, and that will be with her forever.”
For Paul, the experience his daughters have found at Corban has made all the difference. And he has been able to watch firsthand, often from the C.E. Jeffers Sports Center bleachers, seeing his daughters grow in confidence and character both on and off the court. Avari has enjoyed a historic career for the navy and gold, capping this current season as a member of Corban’s NAIA National Champion women’s beach volleyball team, and by being named an NAIA First-Team All-American for the indoor season, with both daughters contributing to Corban’s most successful indoor season in program history. “Now that we’ve had some time here, I really believe that Corban shapes young people into incredible adults,” Paul says. “I feel ten times better than I did that first visit when I thought it was tiny, because the mission behind the school is not just to educate, but to develop good people. It’s a wonderful place to continue to grow.”
“It’s worth the investment,” Darci says. “I think colleges often aim just to make kids better in the workforce, but Corban teaches people who they are, and whose they are, and sets them up to be successful in ways that nothing else could come close to. They’re on fire for life and Jesus, and we are all in.”
Darci, in fact, is so “all in” that she is currently following in her daughters’ footsteps, studying in Corban’s Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program. “I feel at home here,” she says. “There’s something that happens every time I drive on campus. Corban and this program have been a dream for me and something that I didn’t know I could do.”
Sending kids off to college is undoubtedly an investment, but it’s one that Paul and Darci have not regretted since their daughters arrived on Corban’s campus. “They love this place and wouldn’t consider going anywhere else,” Paul says. “And that’s a pretty good recommendation in my book. It’s been a joy.”