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Cornerstone University Welcomes Rev. Corey Brooks as 82nd Commencement Distinguished Guest Speaker

News February 7, 2024

As the Class of 2024 prepares for Cornerstone University’s 82nd graduation ceremonies on May 4, 2024, the university is pleased to announce Reverend Corey B. Brooks Sr. as its distinguished guest speaker.

A pastor, businessman, philanthropist, mentor and visionary, Pastor Corey Brooks founded New Beginnings Church of Chicago, an urban, nondenominational inner city church on Chicago’s south side with 250 members in November of 2000, now supporting over 2,000 members.

“Having Reverend Corey B. Brooks Sr., with his remarkable academic achievements and unparalleled commitment to community service, address our graduates is a privilege,” stated Dr. Gerson Moreno-Riaño, president of Cornerstone University. “His life’s work and educational journey resonate with our mission to empower students to excel as influencers in our world for Christ. We are eager for our graduates to be inspired by his message of hope, resilience and transformation.”

Pastor Brooks, the “Rooftop Pastor,” is celebrated for his profound impact on Chicago’s South Side through his leadership as the founder and senior pastor of New Beginnings Church of Chicago and CEO of Project H.O.O.D. Communities Development Corporation. His commitment to community transformation has been demonstrated through initiatives such as his notable rooftop vigils, which played a pivotal role in raising awareness and funds for urban revitalization and violence prevention.

A cornerstone of Pastor Brooks’ fundraising and advocacy efforts was his engaging “Rooftop Revelations” series on FOX News. Through this platform, he shared daily insights during his 2021 rooftop vigil, captivating a nationwide audience. This series significantly contributed to raising over $28.5 million and securing more than 20,000 new donors for Project H.O.O.D., supporting the development of the Leadership and Economic Opportunity Center — a future hub for education, economic empowerment, and community safety.

In addition to his extensive ministry and social work, Reverend Brooks boasts an impressive academic background. He pursued his education at Ball State University and the University of Florida, furthering his theological studies at Dallas Theological Seminary and Grace Theological Seminary. His scholarly and practical contributions to community development and leadership have been recognized with an honorary doctoral degree from Warner University, affirming his dedication to faith, education, and service.

The university will celebrate its 82nd Commencement ceremonies, honoring over 370 graduates educated through academically excellent, bold, Christ-centered, influential undergraduate, graduate, and theology degrees that serve the marketplace and ministries in Michigan and beyond.

Cornerstone’s Commencement ceremony begins at 10 a.m. on May 4, 2024, in the Bernice Hansen Athletic Center. More details on the 2024 Commencement ceremony can be found on the Commencement webpage.

Cornerstone University congratulates the Class of 2024 and celebrates their dedication to academic excellence and their commitment to influence the world for Jesus Christ. Our 82nd Commencement allows us to commit our graduates to God’s service and great purposes throughout their lives, and we invite friends and family to join the celebration.

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