Cornerstone University Remembers Jack De Witt


On Friday, June 22, 2018, the Cornerstone University community was saddened to learn of the passing of Jack De Witt, founder of Request Foods and a long-term friend of the university. His death at age 75 marked the end of a lengthy struggle with brain cancer.

Jack and his wife, Mary, have a longstanding legacy of philanthropy in West Michigan and beyond. Together the couple supported numerous faith-based organizations and private higher education institutions, including Cornerstone.

At Cornerstone, Jack's vision to revive baseball at the university led to the establishment of De Witt Field and the building of Central Hall, a residence hall that uniquely overlooks the campus' baseball diamond. Following the completion of the university's Beyond Baseball initiative, the De Witts served as key supporters of Christ Chapel. Most recently, the couple's desire to seed the job market with Christ-centered, highly qualified STEM graduates resulted in the construction of a state-of-the-art science education facility.

Dr. Joe Stowell, president of Cornerstone, recalls how Jack's faithfulness as a follower of Christ marked his life as a husband, dad, grandfather and area business leader.

"Jack has been a great friend to Cornerstone and has generously enabled us to move our mission forward in significant ways," Dr. Stowell said. "His partnership played a significant role in the development of our baseball complex, Christ Chapel and our new Center for Science and Technology which will bear his name. He has also sponsored many students through the De Witt Scholarship Program that has helped underwrite CU costs for students from Ottawa County.

"Jack has been a personal friend as well. Spending time with Jack was impressive. Jack was a devoted family man whose passion for Christ and Christian higher education was unquenchable. His love for his wife Mary was always evident, and the stewarding of his wealth to empower many ministries to thrive was his joy. I will miss him personally and also miss his partnership with us here at Cornerstone."

Memorial Service

A memorial service will be held for Jack at Central Wesleyan Church on Saturday, June 30. To extend your sympathy to the De Witt family, you are invited to sign an online guest book coordinated by Langeland-Sternberg Funeral Home.