The mission of Redeemer University College is to equip students for lives of leadership and service under the Lordship of Jesus Christs. That is worked out in the classroom, on campus, and in all the communities where they are making a difference. At the final Chapel service of the academic year, the Redeemer community celebrated its mission by awarding Tahlia Knight and Jon Schuurman the Student Life Award.
The Student Life Award is presented annually to one female and one male student who are completing their third year or above at Redeemer and who “exemplify a Christian commitment expressed in all areas of University life.” That commitment is recognized through academic diligence, involvement in co-curricular activities, a positive influence on campus culture/morale (concern and care for that morale) and leadership that is respected by peers, faculty and staff.
“This is one of the highlights of my year,” noted Dr. Karen Cornies, Dean of Students, as she announced the winners. Quoting staff, faculty and peers, Dr. Cornies said that Tahlia, a fourth-year physical education student from Minesing, ON, “has been a huge blessing to the community.” “She is a very positive influence on campus culture, she is very encouraging and a great resource for student leaders and others. Respected by students and faculty alike, she is a reliable, dedicated and enthusiastic student leader.”
In awarding the male Student Life Award to Jon, again quoting peers, faculty and staff, Dr. Cornies said “I have been deeply impressed by his selflessness, openness and intentionality. His positive outlook, passion for community and genuine interest in others has positively influenced the Residence Life community. In addition, his commitment to service in Hamilton has inspired and challenged others to reach out beyond the Redeemer community.”
Jon, a fourth-year political science student from Hamilton, ON, is also the son of Professor of Computer Science Dr. Derek Schuurman, and Carina Oussoren Schuurman ’91. Because Dr. Schuurman is on faculty, Dr. Cornies asked for his perspective: “More than any academic accomplishments or credentials, our wish as parents has been that you would love and serve the Lord. We are grateful to have watched you grow and develop during your time here at Redeemer. May God bless you and keep you, and may you seek to act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with your God, wherever he may call you as you move on from here.”
Dr. Cornies also noted that while Redeemer recognizes only two students with an award, their work is representative of the service to the community with which so many Redeemer students are engaged. Jon and Tahlia will have their names engraved on a plaque which hangs in the Student Life area to recognize their achievement and encourage other students. Also, a donation of $250 is given to the charity of their choice in recognition of their good work both on and off campus.