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
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
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
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
2015 Inductee: Dr. Judith Fabisch taught at Cornerstone University for 28 years as professor of English. Her education includes two degrees from Cornerstone, the Master of Arts from Western Michigan University, and Ph.D. from Michigan State University. Prior to joining the faculty at CU, she served as a teacher with a mission agency for four years in Papua New Guinea. Her tenure at CU was marked by a commitment to Christ-centered teaching and a dedication to academic excellence in the classroom. One way in which she was instrumental in the lives of her students was through her Tuesday morning women's Bible studies. Students gathered in her office on a weekly basis to journey together and to pray with and for each other. One of her former students, Amy Nemecek, describes Fabisch in this way, "Jude was hands-down my favorite professor at CU, and she has remained a mentor and close friend to me since my graduation in '97. Over the course of 4 years, I wrote about 350 pages for Jude. And yes, I did count them. I am a writer and editor today because of her influence." In 2013, Fabisch was distinguished at CU as Emeritus Professor of English. She currently lives in India, where she teaches English classes to secondary school students.