Professor Jeff Degner Represents Cornerstone University at the Grand Rapids Hall of Fame 2018 Economic Symposium
by Jordan Grooters (B.A. ’17)
On Nov. 7, more than 100 area business leaders and students gathered in Calvin College's Spoelhof Fieldhouse Complex for the Grand Rapids Sports Hall of Fame 2018 Economic Symposium. Panelists from four local universities, including Jeff Degner, assistant professor of economics at Cornerstone University, shared relevant information on microeconomics, the state of the U.S. economy and the impact of mid-term elections on the economy.
Mark Kimball, president of the Grand Rapids Sports Hall of Fame, served as the moderator for the event which was sponsored by the Grand Rapids Sports Hall of Fame and Lighthouse Group. Other panelists included Dr. David Hebert, assistant professor of economics and department chair at Aquinas College; Dr. John Lunn, professor of economics at Hope College; and Dr. Adel Abadeer, professor of economics at Calvin College.
Lunn kicked off the morning with a reflection on the impact of the sports industry on the economy, noting that some of the highest paid employees in various states are athletic coaches. Next, Degner shared the historical impact of mid-term elections on the economy and the effect that protectionist policies can have on corporations. Herbert followed with a discussion on GDP and the large portion of GDP that is government spending. In closing, Abadeer discussed the current economy in regards to unemployment rates, the growth of GDP and President Donald Trump's trade policies.
This year's event marked the eighth time Cornerstone has participated in the local Economic Symposium; the university previously served as the host on two occasions.
"At Cornerstone, we place a high value on faculty involvement in community events and discussions," Dr. Shawn Newhouse, vice president for traditional undergraduate academics, said. "Our faculty are experts in their disciplines who consider it a privilege to contribute to conversations alongside colleagues from other higher education institutions in West Michigan."
Degner also affirmed the importance of the university's continued partnership with peer institutions to advance thought leadership on economics.
"It is a privilege to be able to speak in defense of free markets in light of the political challenges that we face in our country and in our world," Degner shared. "It's my hope that the symposium represented an opportunity to come together in pursuit of economic justice and reasoning."
The Economic Symposium was a prelude to the annual Grand Rapids Sports Hall of Fame Classic—a Thanksgiving weekend basketball event featuring the four area colleges.