Awards

Celebration is one of the core values of the Alumni Association and you are invited to participate in the celebration!

The annual distinguished alumni awards of Cornerstone University and Grand Rapids Theological Seminary recognize outstanding alumni who have achieved success in their personal and professional lives or who have distinguished themselves through volunteer service to the university. The individuals we’re seeking embody the mission of the university, having become empowered men and women who excel as influencers in our world for Christ. 

You are invited to nominate alumni who fit the criteria of the six alumni awards. *Nominations submitted are for 2016 Award Recipients.


Traditional Undergraduate Alumnus of the Year
Stan Jensen, Ph.D. (BA '75, MDiv '79)

2015 Recipient: Dr. Stan Jensen is a 1975 graduate with the Bachelor of Arts in Speech Communication and a 1979 graduate with the Master of Divinity. After completing seminary studies, he served in pastoral ministry for five years, establishing a new church in Monticello, Iowa. He then transitioned into education, serving as Dean of Students at Faith Baptist Bible College and Seminary, and earning the Ph.D. from the University of Iowa. His career includes founding and serving as President of Leadership Enterprises, and serving as President and CEO of Colorado Mountain College.

In 2013, Dr. Jensen became the fifth president of Henry Ford College of Dearborn, Michigan, which serves over 26,000 students. In his first 21 months, Dr. Jensen and his team led the college to reverse a $16.6 million deficit to a $24 million turn to the positive. In addition to being honored tonight, he has been chosen as the 2015 Business Leader of the Year for Dearborn, Michigan. Jensen says that he faces the day-to-day challenges in his work with God’s promises in Joshua 1:9. “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid and discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

     

GRTS Alumnus of the Year
Katya Covrett (MTS '02) 

2015 Recipient: Katya Covrett completed the Master of Theological Studies at Grand Rapids Theological Seminary, graduating with highest honor in 2002. Just three months after graduation, she landed an editorial assistant position at Zondervan Academic, which publishes biblical and theological books that are used worldwide in academic institutions, churches, and personal studies. Her role at Zondervan was foreshadowed during her studies at GRTS when she received the Zondervan Greek Award for demonstrating outstanding achievement in the study of biblical Greek. Covrett was promoted several times in her first few years at Zondervan, moving from support roles to becoming one of the primary acquiring editors for academic books. Her handprint is on a lot of what you see in the Zondervan Academic catalogs from the past decade.

As Executive Editor, she works with authors from that initial stage, which she describes as, “a spark of excitement,” to holding the book in hand. On average, she manages an active list of about two hundred projects and authors at one time. Old Testament scholar and prolific author, Christopher J. H. Wright, describes Covrett, saying, “Katya Covrett has been among the most encouraging and attentive editors I have ever worked with.” Individuals, churches, and institutions like GRTS rely upon the diligence and hard work of Covrett and her colleagues in the Christian publishing industry.

    

PGS Alumnus of the Year
Wade Wyant (B.S. '02) 

2015 Recipient: Wade Wyant completed the Bachelor of Science in Management at Cornerstone University. He is President and Founding Partner at ITS Partners, a North American technology consulting firm that serves hospitals, universities, and companies like oil and gas giant BP and Disney. Wyant and his team have grown ITS Partners from 5 employees in 2006 to over 80 employees in 2015. Last year they surpassed a goal that they had set six years earlier – a goal that they believed was nearly impossible – by achieving more than $34 million in revenue. Their excellence has been marked by distinctions such as Symantec partner of the year, Altiris Partner of the year, and Inc 5,000’s fastest growing company for 4 years straight.

Wyant and his wife, Alicia, are involved in their community by donating their time and resources to the work of Habitat for Humanity, and by serving as coaches at Ada Bible Church, assisting the Senior High Youth Pastor with administrative duties. They enjoy traveling throughout the U.S. and around the world with their four children: Ethan, Elijah, Ian, and Elora.

    

Faculty Hall of Honor
Brenda King, Ph.D. 

2014 Inductee: Dr. Brenda King has been teaching at Cornerstone University since 1976, and currently serves as the Social Science Division Chair and Professor of Sociology. King supervises Social Science and Social Work faculty, manages the Social Science division budget, advises transfer students in the division, schedules courses, teaches classes in sociology and social psychology, and serves on the Undergraduate Academic Council. She is well respected by students and known for her academically rigorous courses.

One way in which King has been instrumental in shaping the university is by advancing the interests and inclusion of students of minority communities. Her colleagues describe her approach as gracious, persistent, and educational - as she helps faculty and administrators understand the issues and identify areas for growth. Those who know Dr. King and her husband, Burnell, recognize that the Christian worldview that she teaches in the classroom springs forth from their passionate pursuit of Christ. She is the 1993 Alumnus of the Year award recipient for Grand Rapids Theological Seminary.

    

Faculty Hall of Honor
David Kennedy 

2014 Inductee: David Kennedy taught at Grand Rapids Theological Seminary for thirty-two years as Associate Professor of Old Testament. Prior to joining the faculty at GRTS, he served in pastoral ministry in Texas, Oklahoma, and Illinois. In addition to teaching at GRTS, he concurrently served for more than thirty-three years as Chaplain (Colonel) in the U.S. Army Reserve. One of his final assignments before retiring was in the Pentagon as Deputy Staff Chaplain for the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Kennedy served the university as a teacher and mentor to students, administratively on university-wide committees, and as a teacher and liaison for Asia Biblical Theological Seminary. His ministry continues in retirement as adjunct professor of Old Testament at Grand Rapids Theological Seminary, interim pastor at his church in Grand Rapids, and as a professor for Asia Biblical Theological Seminary of Cornerstone University.