Cornerstone University News

CU Grieves Loss of Former President’s Wife

With deep sadness, Cornerstone University announces the death of Mrs. Meryl Welch, wife and ministry partner of Dr. Wilbert Welch, chancellor and former president of the university.

Dr. Welch served as the fifth president of Cornerstone University leading the university from 148 enrolled students in a church basement on Wealthy Street to 119 acres on E. Beltline Ave. 

Mrs. Welch died July 3 in Grand Rapids.

Funeral services are planned at 11 a.m., Monday, July 8 at Berean Baptist Church, 1574 Coit, NE, Grand Rapids with Pastor Robert Welch and Pastor Steven Welch officiating.

Dr. Welch served as president until 1983, where Mrs. Welch was involved in the music department and played organ, piano, marimba for church, on a radio program and was a music instructor. Meryl became deeply involved in the growth of the Institute to the current Cornerstone University. 

The Meryl Welch Musical Arts Endowment was also founded to honor her legacy to financially assist students in their commitment to exhibit excellence in the field of music at Cornerstone University.

In 2006, the couple was honored with the naming of the campus clock tower. The structure is a central location on campus known as the Welch Clock Tower.

Born in 1921, Mrs. Welch married Wilbert in 1942 in Kent City. The couple from Greenville, Mich., had five children. 

Mrs. Welch is survived by her husband of 71 years, 10 grandchildren and 14 great grandchildren.  Proceeding Meryl in death were her daughter, Donna Jeanne at one and one-half years, and a son, David, in 1994, and a sister Darlene Myers 2008.