“When you leave God out of your plan, there is a lot of opportunity for mistakes,” Scott Stewart (BA ’87) said, controller and director of student financial services. Stewart was a business administration major with an accounting emphasis and a computer science minor. After graduating from Cornerstone, he received a master of business administration degree from Grand Valley State University in 1992.
On a daily basis, Stewart oversees two departments. The controlling department includes accounts payable, accounts receivable, the accounting manager and the staff accountant. The student financial services department oversees financial aid and student account billing and collections. “I came to college in 1983 and I thought I wanted to be a teacher because both of my parents were teachers,” Stewart said. “I thought it would be cool to have breaks off, but once college came, I thought my gifts fell in a different area.”
Stewart said his grandfather encouraged him to go into the field of accounting because he enjoyed math. He was one of the first graduates of the accounting emphasis, and after graduation, Stewart said he did not know what he wanted to do with that degree. “As I pursued internship opportunities, God kept on closing doors at big corporations, but He opened up an opportunity to do my internship here at the business office,” Stewart said. “A few of the full-time employees resigned, so I was the business office manager the Monday after graduation.”
While at Cornerstone, Stewart said professor Bill Riter impacted him. “[Riter] was probably the most influential professor that I had,” Stewart said. “He helped develop me in the accounting field because of his vast knowledge and experience in the field. His general love for God and his desire to help students was a great encouragement for me.”
Stewart said his responsibilities have increased over the years since he first started. “After I finished my master’s degree, CU asked me to set up a human resources department,” Stewart said. “I spent half of my time developing the human resources department for five years.” The controller department and human resources both developed into full-time departments. Stewart said he had to decide on which department he wanted to work in, so he chose the controller department, and about a year ago took on student financial services.
Stewart said he often keeps in contact with his classmates. “I desire to have my old classmates experience what I experience today,” Stewart said. “I organize reunions, but that is one way to keep in contact. I have a handful of friends that were roommates and classmates, and at our church, there are a lot of alumni that attend.”
One of the alum that Stewart still keeps in contact with is his wife, Sheila. “My first year as an employee, Sheila was a freshman,” Stewart said. “Back in those days, there were not a lot of mission trips. I had signed up as an employee to go to the Florida trip, and she went as well. I got to know her a bit, and a few weeks after that I asked her out to the Cornerstone musical. Now we have been married 22 years in May.”
Stewart said his faith plays into his job on a daily basis. “No matter how busy I get or how stressed out I may feel, I know that God is with me during my responsibilities each day,” Stewart said. “Although I didn’t have childhood dreams of what I am doing now, I just have been following God’s steps,” Stewart said.