Dr. Gerson Moreno-Riaño Inaugurated as 12th President of Cornerstone University
Faculty, staff, students and community members gathered on Friday, Sept. 22 to welcome Gerson Moreno-Riaño, Ph.D., and officially inaugurate him as 12th president of Cornerstone University.
Before the ceremony, students gathered with the president for a breakfast, where they prayed for him and his leadership. Then, the campus community gathered for a worship service to praise God for His goodness and providence at Cornerstone.
The official inauguration ceremony began at 2 p.m. Delegates from Grand Rapids Community College, Calvin University, Spring Arbor University and other local and national colleges were in attendance.
“As we have prepared for this day, I and the board of trustees, our cabinet and our entire Cornerstone community have committed ourselves to prayer,” said Carole Bos, chair of the Cornerstone board of trustees, during the investiture ceremony. “It is no small thing to welcome someone new to lead our university and lead it well.”
During the ceremony, Steve Hawks, vice chair of the board of trustees, presented the university medallion to Moreno-Riaño. The medallion is a symbol used on many college campuses to signify the power and integrity of higher education.
“Cornerstone University is in the business of cultivating students to influence their world for Christ,” said Jeff Manion, senior pastor of Ada Bible Church in Grand Rapids, Mich., in his charge to the president during the ceremony. “My prayer for you as a leader is that your ambition blesses our city, that you cultivate a heart alive to God and achieve greatness by serving the least.”
Moreno-Riaño also had the opportunity to address the congregants for the first time officially as Cornerstone’s newly-inaugurated president.
“It is the complete and humble dependence on the all-sufficiency of our great God that has made Cornerstone University great in its past, that continues to make Cornerstone great in its present and that will undoubtedly make Cornerstone University great in the years ahead,” he said. “Today, I commit my work at Cornerstone University in accordance with complete and humble dependence on our all-sufficient God.”
The ceremony also included remarks from current students, alumni, community members and supporters of Cornerstone. The program included greetings from Maddie Marks (B.A. ’22), student body president; faculty member Dr. Jason Stevens; Dr. Bill Pink, president of Grand Rapids Community College; Carl Dufendach of Warner, Norcross & Judd; Dr. Steven Triezenberg of the Van Andel Institute; Grand Rapids Theological Seminary alumnus Terrance King; and incoming president of Orphan Outreach Dr. Rey Diaz.
Audrey Wierenga (B.A. ’18) is the copywriter for Cornerstone’s Marketing & Communications Office. She graduated from Cornerstone in 2018 with a degree in broadcast communication. Audrey also serves on the Young Alumni Council.
In her spare time, Audrey enjoys working on her own full-length work of fiction, co-hosting a podcast about the Academy Awards and participating in local theatre productions.