by Tiffany Kreh (B.A. '07)
Any new endeavor starts with a vision. For the Kinesiology, Science and Math Division at Cornerstone University, that vision began with the hope to offer students a state-of-the-art facility that would spark more conversations about how science can be explored from a Christ-centered perspective.
That vision is moving toward reality with plans and funding well underway for the $20 million science center. Slated for a location near the area southeast of the pond, the university hopes to break ground next summer.
"At CU, we are always looking for ways to stay relevant to student interests and market demands. Since STEM disciplines are front-and-center for many high school grads, offering a state-of-the-art facility in which to study is an important part of our commitment to providing top flight resources so that our students can thrive in their preparation for their careers and callings."
—Dr. Joe Stowell, President
Marc Fowler, executive vice president and chief operations officer, believes that anchoring a new science building in the center of campus signals the university's aim to keep Christ at the center of Cornerstone. "Our intention is to help shape young men and women with a strong faith, so that they can be influencers for Christ in today's culture. While our current science building has served us well for more than 50 years, in order to be relevant, we have to provide modern facilities to support our program’s goals of excellence."
Science and faith are often represented as being at odds with each other. At the core, it is the goal of Cornerstone faculty and students to first point to Christ as Creator, and further study God's creation through a lens of faith.
Dr. James Fryling, professor of chemistry, reflects that the study of science is heightened by knowing that all we do is for God. "God has given us the tools, resources and passions to study science. God is who reveals both scientific and spiritual truth to us. And God gives us success, and sometimes failure, in our pursuit of these truths. Our dogged pursuit of all that He might reveal to us brings Him both glory and pleasure."
With a worldview based in the truth of Scripture, science faculty and students at Cornerstone have a foundational perspective that is necessary in our ever-changing world. By bridging the gap between science and faith, graduates not only bring glory and honor to the Lord through excellence in their vocation, but also provide an essential Christian perspective to the science community.
Attracting High-Caliber Students
The study of science is ever-evolving due to advances in technology and increased market demand for science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) graduates. By 2020, approximately 1 in 5 new job opportunities in Michigan requiring education beyond high school will be in STEM job titles. Daverman Hall, home of the Kinesiology, Science and Math Division, was built in 1962 and is one of the original buildings on campus. Despite renovations in the early 1990s, limited space for laboratory work and the need for a facility to support the latest technology has become evident.
A new science facility will open the door to recruit high-performing students. The 41,000-square-foot building will overlook the campus pond and will include many small group collaboration areas, cutting-edge technology and sustainability features. It will also include nine labs and a research lab with support spaces, two general-purpose classrooms and a worldview classroom, a 100-person multi-purpose lecture hall, faculty offices and an administration area, as well as a gathering space and rain garden.
Preparing Future Christian Leaders
Dr. Stefanie Wise (B.S. '06) is an assistant clinical professor of emergency medicine and EMS at the Wayne State University School of Medicine. She also works clinically at Sinai-Grace Hospital and Harper University Hospital, both part of the Detroit Medical Center.
"Cornerstone University's science faculty has always sought to represent truth and to recognize science as the means by which we can seek further knowledge about God's beautiful and remarkable creation. It's exciting to know that future students will continue to have the opportunity to study science, grow in their faith and continue to be prepared to pursue careers or further training in science and healthcare."
Dr. Stowell reflects, "Just as Christ Chapel celebrates Christ as Redeemer, so our new science facility will be designed to glorify Christ as Creator. Having two major benefits of Christ's work on our behalf signatured in our community will be a legacy reminder that, at Cornerstone, He is preeminent."
Your prayers are coveted as the journey continues during the upcoming capital campaign. For more information about joining Cornerstone on this exciting new venture, call 616.254.1668 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.