Cornerstone University News

CU Adds Two New Trustees

Cornerstone University welcomes Lori Cook, known as “Maranda” on WOOD-TV8, WOTV 4 and WXSP-TV, and Brian Sikma, a developer and broker with Highpoint Real Estate and Development, to the Board of Trustees.

Sikma, 54, is a graduate of Calvin College and has been in the commercial and industrial real estate business in Grand Rapids for more than 30 years.

“Although my ministry is to adult men, I believe Christian higher education can potentially be the most effective means of carrying out the great commission, and providing hope in a country that is becoming increasingly antagonistic toward Jesus,” said Sikma, who attends Crossroads Church in Grand Rapids with his wife of 26 years. “Having said that, I find this to be an exciting time in history, as the lines are becoming more distinct in education, business and the church.”

Dr. Joe Stowell, president of Cornerstone University, believes Sikma will be a great addition with his many talents.

“We're delighted to welcome Brian Sikma to our Board of Trustees,” said Dr. Stowell. “Brian has deep roots in West Michigan and is held in high esteem for his savvy business sense and integrity within the real estate and development communities. He'll bring the advantage of networking and creative and entrepreneurial ideation to the Board and the University. We're honored to have a man of his caliber.”

Cook has served as Children and Family Services Manager for WOOD-TV8, WOTV 4 and WXSP-TV since 2001. She oversees the development of station projects on-air, online and in the community that target kids and families. Prior to that she worked at Fox 17 as Kids Coordinator.

“Lori brings a wealth of wisdom regarding marketing and public relations,” said Dr. Stowell. “Her long-term commitment to West Michigan as a major media anchor gives her immediate recognition and credibility. We're convinced that Lori will make an outstanding contribution to the public articulation of our mission and the significant initiatives of the University. We are honored to welcome her to the CU Board.”

A 1985 Hope College graduate, Cook has received several awards, including a Distinguished Alumni Award from her alma mater, a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Michigan Chapter of the National Association of Women in Broadcasting, a 1998 Fox Kids Monument Award, a "Volunteer of the Year" award from Very Special Arts of Michigan and Distinguished Service Awards from the Kent and Lakeland district libraries.

Cook makes more than 250 appearances a year at charity events and serves on several local boards.

She and her husband, Ron, have two daughters and attend Blythefield Baptist Church in Grand Rapids.

For a complete list of Cornerstone trustees, visit