Student leadership matters.

Each year, President Joe Stowell presents the President's Award at commencement to two traditional undergraduate members of Cornerstone University's graduating class. The award recognizes students who have embodied excellence in all areas of life during their college experience and is based on the following criteria:

  • Academic excellence. Students nominated possess a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.25.
  • Excellence in leadership. Students nominated have excelled in positions of leadership in a variety of contexts on campus.
  • Excellence in Christian service. Students nominated have embodied the servant heart of Jesus Christ in their interactions with people inside and outside the Cornerstone community.
  • Excellence in campus involvement. Students nominated have invested themselves in the life of Cornerstone both inside and outside the classroom.

President's Award Recipients

Recipients of the President's Award exemplify the fulfillment of our mission to develop graduates who will distinguish themselves as influencers in our world for Christ. In May 2019, Joe Corsten and Rita Zoumbatlis received the award from Dr. Stowell.

2019 | Joe Corsten

President Joe Stowell and Joe Corsten at graduationJoe Corsten is known for his servant leadership, academic success (as evidenced by his Summa Cum Laude honors) and his athletic ability. As a starter on our baseball team and a team captain, he distinguished himself as a National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics "Scholar Athlete" and also received the NAIA's prestigious Duer Scholarship Award which honors athletes who have excelled in scholarship, character and citizenship.

Joe made a big impact at Cornerstone not only on the baseball field but in the classroom and in the community as well. It has been said of him that "he always puts others before himself regardless of circumstances … he understands and models what it is to be a great teammate, leader, student, worker, friend and follower of Jesus."

2019 | Rita Zoumbatlis

President Joe Stowell and Rita Zoumbatlis at graduationRita Zoumbatlis studied digital media to develop her communication skills with a desire to influence the world for Christ. She actively participated in the CU MultiCultural Organization, and as an international student, she effectively served as a Peer Guide to help new international students and missionary kids acclimate not only to Cornerstone but to American culture as well.

Rita is known for her love of Jesus, her love for God's Word and for her passion for discipleship. It has been said of her that she "exemplifies what servant-heartedness, compassion and leadership look like. She resembles flexibility, a willingness to learn and humility that speaks to her maturity: spiritually, scholastically and socially."

Past Honorees

  • Seth Miller (2014)
  • Susan Whaley (2013)
  • Jordan Vasicek (2013)
  • Janelle Brown (2012)
  • Robert Bodtke (2012)
  • Elizabeth Kool (2011)
  • Matthew Elmore (2011)
  • Stephen Winkelman (2010)
  • Katherine Wisen (2010)