Cornerstone University announces search for president

Joseph Stowell Courtesy Cornerstone University

The Cornerstone University board of trustees last week announced the search plans for its next president.

After serving 13 years as the 11th president of Cornerstone University, Dr. Joseph M. Stowell will complete his tenure in May 2021. He will then serve in the role of president emeritus.

The Cornerstone University board of trustees appointed a transition committee to design a comprehensive process toward an appointment of its next president.

“Our gratitude for Dr. Stowell’s 13 years of leadership is immeasurable,” said Carole Bos, chairman of Cornerstone University’s board of trustees. “He has enriched the Cornerstone community and the West Michigan community in so many ways. We are delighted to have him continue his support of the ongoing success of Cornerstone University as president emeritus.”

During his tenure at Cornerstone, the university added several undergraduate programs in nursing, innovation and engineering. Graduate degrees in leadership and social justice also were added.

Stowell oversaw the addition of over $40 million in new campus buildings and improvements: The $15.5 million Jack and Mary De Witt Center for Science and Technology opened January 2019, a new broadcast facility was completed this past summer for WCSG Radio and a renovated health sciences building will open in 2021.

“My wife Martie and I have been honored to play a role in the upward trajectory of the university — much of which would not have been possible without the blessing of our God, the contributions of a supportive board of trustees, our gifted faculty, a highly competent administrative team and donors who have embraced our vision,” Stowell said.

Before joining the Christian university, he served as a pastor for 16 years. Stowell also was the president at Moody Bible Institute for 17 years with oversight of the undergraduate and graduate schools, Moody Publishers and Moody Broadcasting Network. After leaving MBI, he served as a teaching pastor in suburban Chicago.

Stowell has served on numerous West Michigan civic boards and committees, including chairing the 2018 Grand Rapids CityFest event with Doug DeVos.

“I look forward to continuing to serve the unique mission and outstanding students of Cornerstone as president emeritus,” Stowell said. “I will serve the next president by representing CU in various venues along with continuing to support the vision and forward progress through fundraising activity. It has been, and will continue to be, one of my highest joys to watch our students flourish as they prepare to distinguish themselves in their careers and to be impassioned to influence their cultures for Christ and His kingdom. I share the community’s excitement about a new season of growth under the leadership of our next president.”

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