Brown to Receive Recognition as Valedictorian of Cornerstone's 2018 Traditional Undergraduate Class
by Kristina Garvelink (M.S. ’15)
On May 5, Cornerstone University will confer degrees to 266 traditional undergraduate graduates during the institution's morning Commencement ceremony. As part of the program, Dr. Shawn Newhouse, vice president for traditional undergraduate academics, is scheduled to recognize Julie Brown (B.S. ’18) as valedictorian of the graduating class.
"Julie Brown has been a superb student whether in the traditional classroom or taking independent studies," Dr. Brad Stamm, professor of economics and chair of the Business Division, said. "Students turn to her for help in both the fields of accounting and business finance because of her strong grasp of both subject areas. In addition, she has faithfully served on the Business Division's Student Advisory Council and not only learned more about leadership but practiced it."
"I have always loved math," Brown said. "Over the years I also developed an appreciation for the serving and competitive aspects of business. When I combined them together, I got accounting and have never looked back.
"Professor Loiselle, the main accounting professor for upper-level accounting courses, has been instrumental in developing my knowledge and passion for accounting. I now feel well prepared for graduate school next year and looking forward to beginning a career in public accounting."
Chris Loiselle, assistant professor of business, praised Brown for her driven commitment to understand the content for each of her courses and master its applications.
"Julie always attends my classes with a positive spirit and truly loves learning," Loiselle said. "She is driven to be excellent in everything she does, which I believe reflects her understanding of what kind of attitude it takes to bring glory to God through her life's effort."
Outside of the classroom, Brown also excelled on the court as a member of the women's basketball team. She is the recipient of this year's Golden Eagle Scholar Athlete Award, earned academic all-conference honors for the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference (WHAC) and helped this year's team attain CU's first women's basketball WHAC championship since 2009.
In reflecting on her years as a Cornerstone student, Brown shared how the university's student-focused learning community positively shaped her perspective as a follower of Christ.
"Cornerstone has helped me to be conscious and intentional with spreading my faith across all aspects of my life," Brown said. "Cornerstone continuously addresses the challenge and need to apply faith everywhere in one's life. Through conversations and studies on the topic in many of my courses along with various chapel messages, I feel that I have learned how to live out being a Christian throughout every facet of my life. Going forward, I feel well equipped to continue this throughout the various stages of my life."
Upon graduating from college, Brown plans to serve as an audit intern with CapinCrouse, an accounting firm that specializes in working with nonprofit organizations, and then earn a Master of Accounting degree from the University of Michigan.
"In the long term, I hope to combine my accounting expertise with my passion for nonprofit organizations through helping them improve in efficiency and effectiveness," Brown concluded.
Cornerstone University is a Christ-centered university with a passion for global influence through the transforming power of the gospel. As an interdenominational institution located in Grand Rapids, Mich., Cornerstone offers traditional undergraduate programs as well as adult undergraduate and graduate programs through the Professional & Graduate Studies division, Grand Rapids Theological Seminary and Asia Biblical Theological Seminary.