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Cornerstone Names Keys and Wittmer to the Faculty Hall of Honor

News May 29, 2024

Cornerstone University’s 82nd Commencement ceremony on May 4 honored 380 graduates for their achievements; featured an inspiring address from distinguished guest speaker Reverend Corey Brooks Sr., founder and senior pastor of New Beginnings Church of Chicago and the founder and CEO of Project H.O.O.D. Communities Development Corporation; and recognized this year’s faculty and alumni award winners for their outstanding service. Together, the university’s 2024 faculty awardees have boldly lived out their commitments to making Jesus Christ, our greatest influencer, known in their respective vocations. Amidst cheers from ceremony guests, students, and colleagues following introductory remarks from Dr. Gerson Moreno-Riaño, president of Cornerstone, Dr. Robert Keys and Dr. Michael Wittmer took to the stage as the newest inductees into the Cornerstone University Faculty Hall of Honor.

“Both Dr. Keys and Dr. Wittmer deeply intertwine the Christian worldview, Biblical truth, and their discipline throughout their courses and are excellent mentors as well as teachers,” said Dr. Bradford Sample, vice president for academics and chief academic officer. “In the course evaluations filled out at the end of each semester, students often praise both men for their practical instruction and advice and for showing them how to better understand the world God’s made.”

Continue reading for a transcript of President Moreno-Riaño’s introduction of the professors newly inducted into the Faculty Hall of Honor, including a summary of their career highlights and outstanding service.

Dr. Robert Keys, 2024 Faculty Hall of Honor Inductee

Dr. Keys is a long-time and beloved faculty member who graduated from Cornerstone University with a Bachelor of Arts in biology in 1984. After graduating with his doctorate and spending time working in the field, he returned to Cornerstone and became a professor of environmental biology and science education in 1998. Students rate his classes highly, and he has earned the respect of colleagues both at Cornerstone and in the environmental scientific community, where he sits as a representative or trustee on six institutes, foundations, or councils.

With more than 50 professional presentations and publications and nearly 20 grants, Dr. Keys is a well-rounded scholar on numerous fronts and has served with distinction these past 26 years, but it is his love for Christ and His church, this love of God’s good creation, and his goal of instilling these loves into his students that shines the brightest.

Many students fondly remember following Dr. Keys into forests and swamps; the Au Sable Institute; and local lakes, bogs, and fields, bringing God’s creation to them outside the classroom.

Dr. Michael Wittmer, 2024 Faculty Hall of Honor Inductee

Dr. Wittmer is a compassionate ministry leader with career experience as a pastor and theological editor. He is a professor of systematic and historical theology as well as a dedicated scholar and blogger who writes accessible books on theology and Christian worldview for the church.

Dr. Wittmer earned a doctoral degree in systematic theology from Calvin Theological Seminary. He serves as a pastor of a local church congregation, important work that complements his academic teaching at Cornerstone University Theological Seminary. He has consistently shown a deep love for Christ, God’s Word and Christ’s church as he teaches Christian theology and worldview from his grounded position within Christ’s preeminence.

A member of the Evangelical Theological Society, Dr. Wittmer regularly presents at the association’s regional and national conferences. From 2016 to 2018, he also served as a member of the regional discussion fellowship for the Creation Project, an initiative hosted by the Henry Center of Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and funded by the Templeton Foundation.

Dr. Wittmer serves as an example of excellence in the classroom and in scholarship. His classes are regularly sought out by students. In addition, he has published eight well-received books and numerous articles and book chapters.

Congratulations to Dr. Keys and Dr. Wittmer on joining the Cornerstone University Faculty Hall of Honor! To watch the presentation of the 2024 university awards and celebrate the Class of 2024, visit the Commencement webpage for a recording of the 2024 Commencement ceremony and other event resources.

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