GRAND RAPIDS — The Cornerstone University board of trustees announced today that it has named Dr. Gerson Moreno-Riaño as the 12th president in the private, faith-based school’s history.
After being selected in a six-month nationwide search, Moreno-Riaño comes to Cornerstone after serving as executive vice president for academic affairs and chief academic officer at Regent University, a private Christian school in Virginia Beach, Va. Under his leadership, Regent University experienced significant growth in enrollment, from 5,881 students in 2014 to 11,000 currently.
“Cornerstone University has a rich history of educating students to influence the world for Jesus Christ,” Moreno-Riaño said in a statement. “I believe that my selection as president was a true move of God for both the committee and for myself, and I am honored and privileged to have been called to continue building upon the outstanding Christ-centered, student-focused and academically excellent foundation driven by the board of trustees, (former president) Dr. Joseph Stowell and Cornerstone’s rich 80-year history of building lives that matter
Moreno-Riaño replaces Stowell, who served as president of Cornerstone for the last 13 years. The school’s board of trustees announced in November of 2020 that Stowell would end his tenure in May of 2021 and then transition to serve as president emeritus.
In Stowell’s 13 years at the helm, Cornerstone invested millions of dollars in new campus facilities and expanded program offerings, including the new $3.5 million Mary De Witt Center of Nursing in April and a planned bachelor of science in nursing.
Cornerstone’s nationwide search, conducted by executive search firm CarterBaldwin Inc., turned up 70 viable candidates, a pool that was whittled down to three finalists. The board of trustees unanimously selected Moreno-Riaño, citing his experience, vision and faith.
“The board of trustees is incredibly excited to welcome Dr. Moreno-Riaño as our 12th president,” said Carole Bos, chair of Cornerstone’s board of trustees. “As an institution, we anticipate a future of immense possibilities and growth under Gerson’s leadership.”