Science and Wonders: Karen Meyers Reflects on Her Family's CU StoryBy Dennis Graham on October 26, 2018
Every so often, a university receives the rare privilege to shape and be shaped by an entire family.
Such is the case with the Meyers.
Cornerstone sat down with the family's matriarch, Karen Meyers, to reflect on her husband's role in establishing the Cornerstone Science Division, the significance of Christian education for her children and the overarching journey she herself has watched unfold over the last 40 years at CU.
The majority of those years included Karen's husband Ron showing college students the wonder and beauty of science through the filter of the Scriptures.
"When Ron began at Cornerstone, he was one of only two science faculty," recalls Karen. Over the next 30 years, Ron invested heavily in that department, hiring most of the faculty who still teach at Cornerstone today. He also served as the department chair for Science, Mathematics and Kinesiology for over 20 years.
However, Karen remembers that more than investing in the department, Professor Meyers' deepest passion was teaching:
"Integrating the Bible and science was Ron's passion. Demonstrating how the Bible is scientific and teaching evolution alongside it, he could emphasize the differences between the two and make a compelling case for creationism. That was his passion."
Professor Meyers found joy in the results of his work. Every time a graduate came to him with news of their future plans in a scientific field or their acceptance to medical or veterinary school, he felt a sense of affirmation—he was fulfilling his call by equipping the next generation of Christ followers to bring light and hope into research-based professions.
Not long before he passed away, Professor Meyers and an anonymous donor shared a vision to create a scholarship supporting Cornerstone science students in pursuing their degrees. Now, the Ronald Meyers Science Scholarship is awarded each year to a student who exhibits the qualities for successful scientific research. Not only does the scholarship empower students to enter scientific fields as Professor Meyers dreamed, but it also stands as a poignant legacy to Professor Meyers' impact at Cornerstone now that he has passed away.
"When he knew his health was failing, I remember Ron said to me, 'I just don't feel like I am finished yet. There's so much teaching I still want to do.'"
Karen's memory speaks to the unyielding passion of Professor Meyers and his enduring influence on CU students. In fact, one previous Christmas after his death, Karen ran into a former student of Professor Meyers, serving as a local youth pastor. The student stopped Karen to express his gratitude for Professor Meyers. He said the way Professor Meyers explained creationism in his "Origins" class still impacted this young man as he taught the Bible to his own students. The student confessed to Karen that Professor Meyer's legacy continues.
As a family, the Meyers have been involved in far more than Cornerstone's Kinesiology, Science, Engineering and Mathematics Division. With all three of Karen and Ron's children attending Cornerstone, each took a very different path: one focusing her studies in the humanities, another in the social sciences and the third in youth ministry.
"I think the value of a Christian education for Ron, myself and our kids is nearly indescribable. A lot of students arrive at college not really knowing why they are Christians. But when you deeply study and know the Scriptures, Christianity becomes your own. I knew a lot of 'good little lessons' in my faith, but when I left to attend Cedarville University, everything got put in perspective for me as I took classes such as Old Testament."
Karen has continued to remain involved at Cornerstone, even after her children's graduation and her husband's death. Cornerstone University helps students prioritize their relationship with Jesus, and that is what matters most to Karen. She has continued her involvement at the school as a host sharing her home, assisting in oversight for the scholarship created in her husband's name and through the Mountain Movers prayer group that regularly meets on campus. In her words:
"CU has just been such an important part of our life—the friendships, encouragement and ongoing community I have known at the university are just so lovely. Even after Ron is gone, I feel like I am connected to the university, perhaps even more so than when he was alive. Everyone has just shown so much care and love to me. It's been like a second family."
For Karen, her children and her husband's role in the CU story, Cornerstone is deeply grateful.