Cornerstone Prepares for STEM Facility Construction
by Allison Todd
Construction on the new state-of-the-art science facility will soon be underway at Cornerstone University. On Oct. 11, the public is welcome to come join the CU community as we celebrate the groundbreaking of the newest building.
The ceremony will begin inside Christ Chapel at 10 a.m. and will transition outside if weather permits.
The Jack and Mary De Witt Center for Science and Technology, which has an estimated cost of approximately $15.5 million, is expected to be completed in time for Spring 2019 classes.
The Center is meant to be more than just another campus building. Rather, it will serve as a reminder to students and faculty that through everything God is the Creator. That is why it is being designed on the premise "Creation Matters."
"I think 'Creation Matters' is a double-entendre,"said Dr. Ned Keller, chair of the Kinesiology, Science & Mathematics Division. "We think of God as the Creator, but it is also very important how we treat that creation. Creation matters to God, and He made this planet for us and we need to take care of it."
"I'm so excited to see how this is all going to work out," added Keller. "Not only will we have great lab facilities, but every time we walk in we are going to be impressed again as 'Christ is the Creator.' And, it will be a place where all of us can be together for the first time in years."
The new facility will also represent science on display. Large windows into classrooms and laboratories have been implemented into the design. The building architect is emphasizing environmental stewardship by using materials that are eco-friendly as often as possible to help sustain the environment inside and outside the building.
"Not all of the equipment is going to be new," Keller said. "Anything we can use that we already have, we are carrying over. But, we are requesting some things we've never had that will put us to the next level to help students be able to learn and be skilled with equipment they haven't been able to use before."
With a focus on science, technology, engineering and math, CU is excited to showcase more opportunities for students interested in these majors, especially due to the growing interest seen throughout high school students.
"STEM career opportunities offer outstanding opportunities for employment and career advancement," said Dr. Joseph Stowell, president of the university. "We are committed to serving the best interests of our students, both present students and prospective students, so offering a robust menu of STEM courses and degrees fulfills that desire.
"We love the thought of graduating students to go onto STEM related fields as advocates for Kingdom values in these strategically influential fields," Stowell said. "Think of health care professionals who advocate for the sanctity of life and graduates who bring Biblical moral values to bear on technology and its various applications."
STEM is versatile and growing in interest in the United States, but CU is also fascinated in seeing how offering these majors expands God's kingdom globally.
"These disciplines open up a door certainly for global impact because it'll allow you into countries where they wouldn't let you in as a missionary, but they will let you in as an engineer or a nurse or science teacher," Keller said.
Partner with Us
Currently, CU is nearing $13 million raised and continues to accept contributions for the new facility. For more information on how to donate, visit our Jack and Mary De Witt Center for Science and Technology webpage.
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.