Celebration is one of the core values of the Alumni Association and you are invited to participate in the celebration!
The annual distinguished alumni, staff, and faculty awards of Cornerstone University and Grand Rapids Theological Seminary recognize outstanding members of our community 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.
The annual distinguished alumni awards provide Cornerstone University and Grand Rapids Theological Seminary an opportunity to recognize outstanding alumni who have achieved success in their personal and professional lives. The following individuals are flourishing as influencers in our world for Christ, embodying the very mission and identity of Cornerstone University.
2017 Traditional Undergraduate Alumna of the Year
Anna Rapa (B.A. '00) is an attorney in Grand Rapids at the Law Office of Anna R. Rapa, where she defends clients and helps them through the legal system. She represents people in federal, state, and appeal courts in Michigan, and most of her community-oriented work is free or low-cost for those who are typically not able to afford a criminal defense attorney.
She is also is the Executive Director at the Carter-Alexander Institute for Law and Justice, which researches systematic oppression in the nation's legal and social systems and looks for ways to make such systems more just.
2017 Grand Rapids Theological Seminary Alumnus of the Year
Kyle Thompson (M.A. '01) is the Co-founder and current Executive Director of Beacon of Hope Ministries in Holland, Mich. Beacon of Hope was founded in 2002 and provides no-fee counseling services to the community.
Since the ministry's inception, Kyle has listened to the voice and direction of God to lead the ministry. This attention has allowed for the privilege of opening three satellite sites in Michigan (Grandville, Portland, Holt/Mason).
2017 Professional and Graduate Studies Alumnus of the Year
Dennis Van Kampen (B.S. '99, M.S. '03) is the Executive Director and CEO of Mel Trotter Ministries, an organization in Grand Rapids that seeks to end homelessness.
Dennis has not always been involved in non-profit ministry organizations. He initially went to school to become a police officer and served as a reserve and marine patrol deputy for 15 years in Ottawa County, while also obtaining his paramedic license.
Then he became the health officer for YMCA Camp Manitou-Lin, where he eventually became the Executive Director.
Faculty Hall of Honor
The Cornerstone University Faculty Hall of Honor pays tribute to past and longtime current faculty members for their uncompromising dedication, tireless service, and steady commitment to the school and its students. The impact of these "life-changers" is felt by their students and colleagues, and bestows glory upon Christ our Lord.
2017 Grand Rapids Theological Seminary Faculty Inductee
Dr. Gary T. Meadors was the Professor of Greek and New Testament at GRTS from 1995-2011.
He has received multiple degrees over the years, including a Diploma in Pastoral Studies from Shenandoah Bible College, a Bachelor of Theology from Piedmont Baptist College, Masters of Divinity and Theology from Grace Theological Seminary and a Doctor of Theology from Grace Theological Seminary.
During his time at the seminary, he taught Greek Elements classes, Greek exegetical classes and various New Testament book studies in Greek and English. He also taught the New Testament section of Biblical Hermeneutics, while Dr. John Lawlor taught the Old Testament section. He considers the class a highlight of his career because of their lively debates.
Staff Hall of Honor
The Cornerstone University Staff Hall of Honor pays tribute to past and longtime current administrators of staff members for their uncompromising dedication, tireless service and unfailing commitment to the school and its students. These staff members continue to mark the university community and embody the mission of Cornerstone University, creating a student-focused learning environment where Jesus Christ is central.
2017 Staff Inductee
Colleen Smith (M.R.Ed. '94) worked at Cornerstone for 24 years. She started as the Administrative Assistant to the Dean of Student Development for two years, then as Certification Officer in the Teacher Education Division for three years.
Colleen was part of the team that started Cornerstone's PGS division in 1993, and from 1993-2010 she served as the Director of Academic Services, which involved hiring, training, assigning and evaluating PGS faculty. She says that this was the most rewarding time in her career because of the challenges her team faced and the accomplishments they achieved.
2017 Staff Inductee
Scott Stewart (B.A. '87) is the Controller and Compliance Coordinator at Cornerstone and has been a CU employee for 30 years.
His job requires numerous responsibilities including managing the endowment and trust funds, supervising the accounting office, overseeing the property and liability insurance program, and developing university policies and procedures. He also works with auditors and management to prepare financial reports and ensures that campus departments meet federal regulations.
Following his graduation from Cornerstone in 1987 with a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration/Accounting, Scott started working in Cornerstone's Business Office.