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WHAC - Fri, Jun. 30, 2017

Cornerstone junior Jon Stewart was named the Dr. Leroy Walker Champions of Character Award winner for the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference (WHAC). The award, named after United States Olympic Committee President Emeritus Dr. Walker, a former president of the NAIA, recognizes a student-athlete who excels academically, athletically, and embraces the core values of Champions of Character. Stewart, along with winners from other NAIA conferences, now advances for national consideration.

On the baseball field, Stewart is a natural leader. He is a selfless captain who is loved by his teammates and coaches. A two-time WHAC Gold Glove winner, he also earned CoSIDA All-District and second-team CoSIDA Academic All-American honors this past spring. He accomplished this by excelling in the classroom and posting one of the best single seasons by a Golden Eagle since the re-start of the program in 2013. All while treating his teammates and his opponents with respect. 

"Stew, as his teammates call him, has earned a great deal of respect and trust in how he handles adversity and in how he treats others," said Cornerstone head baseball coach Chuck Lowitzki. "He is respected by professors, staff members, and students as well." 

On the academic side, Stewart maintains a 3.9 GPA as a physical therapy major. He founded Cornerstone's Physical and Occupational Therapy Club and was elected to the Student Government Council for the upcoming year. 

Stewart's will to succeed is matched only by his drive to inspire others. He's the ultimate teammate: mentoring younger students, encouraging others to prevail, and setting a good example. While battling a back injury, Stewart played at a high level each day with a smile of his and never complained. 

A member of Terra Firma, an organization that helps freshmen make the transition from high school to college life, Stewart helps young people build a firm foundation as they continue their academic careers. His impact can be felt in the community as he also volunteers at Sabaoth ministry for inner city kids. In 2016, he traveled to the Dominican Republic as part of a mission trip and has a similar trip planned this summer.

"To lead is to serve," said Stewart. "And serve is an action word - it takes great initiative and provides an example to those you are leading on how they are to act."

WHAC Dr. Leroy Walker Award Winners
2009-10: Brianna Chrenko, Siena Heights
2010-11: Janelle Brown, Cornerstone (national winner)
2011-12: Isaac Grotenhuis, Cornerstone
2012-13: Bobby Naubert, Madonna
2013-14: Heidi Walburg, Cornerstone (national winner)
2014-15: Brittany Murray, Cornerstone
2015-16: Sidney Bosley, Concordia

 
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