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Christian Union: The Magazine


June 3, 2021

Resurrection Power!

Students Organize Worship Meetings, Easter Celebration

By Kelly Parks, Staff Writer

As COVID-19 regulations slowly lifted for churches and campus events this spring, a group of students with Christian Union’s ministry at Cornell hosted an in-person Easter sunrise service at the John R. Mott Center with a limited number of attendees.

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May 18, 2021

Praying for Another Revival at Cornell

Santavicca ’73 Serves with Other Alumni on CU Vita Board

By Anne Kerhoulas, Staff Writer


The year of 1969 might call to mind images of anti-war protests, Woodstock, or landing on the moon, but for Ed Santavicca it was the year he experienced a revival on Cornell’s campus. Arriving as a freshman in Ithaca, New York, Santavicca’s world was saturated with the cultural upheaval of the Vietnam war, rigorous academics, and a very limited understanding of God.

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February 10, 2021

Pressing Toward the Mark

CU Bible Courses for Female Athletes Thrive at Cornell

By Anne Kerhoulas, Staff Writer

Athletes understand the concept of family; a group of people you might not have chosen becoming the ones with whom you share life. The team forms such a family where sacrifice and faith in one another drive these individuals towards a common goal. It’s no wonder that athletes share a particularly special bond when they come together around the Gospel. And the female athletes at Cornell have been doing just that.

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September 16, 2020

A Vessel in the Valley

Senior’s Faith Sustains Her during Abrupt End to On-Campus Semester

by francine barchett, cornell ’20

Nigerian-American. Singer/Blogger/Poet. Future physician/scientist. All are apt descriptors for Iyaniwura Olarewaju, a recent Cornell graduate in biological sciences who had an unexpected end to her senior year.

From reading and re-reading President Martha Pollack’s urgent email imploring students to leave campus, to completing her finals through “Zoom University,” Iyaniwura’s COVID-derived life has been at times “like an eerie dream.”

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June 22, 2020

The Voice in the Water

Miss America Contestant’s Faith Journey Includes God-Inspired Dream 

by francine barchett, cornell ’20

“Hey babe, you should get baptized.”

Synclair Gonzalez was ready to make her faith public. Her boyfriend’s voice, calm and reassuring, told her that now—the end of this church service—she should do it. So she went to the pool of shimmering water, letting the pastor guide her head under the rolling waves. But he kept her there…far too long. She felt herself flail, drowning.

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December 13, 2019

Designing Your Life

Dave Evans Lectures at Cornell 

By Zachary Lee, Cornell ’20 


In September, the Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management at Cornell University hosted Stanford Professor and author Dave Evans, who spoke about how the application of design thinking can bring fulfillment and meaning. Evans, co-author of the New York Times’ bestseller, Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well-Lived, Joyful Life,appeared as part of the Dyson Dean’s Distinguished Speaker Series.


Featuring his signature rapid-fire wit and humor, Evans lit up a full Statler Auditorium with anecdotes and constructive advice, speaking right to Cornell students’ penchant for problem solving and strategy. Even though he did not share specifically about his faith, an astute ear could catch allusions to Christianity. Evans previously wrote a companion to Designing Your Life that dives deeper into the themes of the book and examines their place within the Christian worldview.

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December 2, 2019

Reaching Out to Freshmen

Ministry Fellows, Student Leaders Host Welcoming Campaign

In August, Christian Union at Cornell hosted its annual pre-retreat, a strategic event for students and ministry fellows in preparation of its three-week Freshman Welcoming Campaign at the beginning of the academic year.

At the retreat, students were reminded of the importance of being centered on the Gospel as the motive for all that they do. Ministry Fellow Jordan Cooper spoke on Romans 1:16, emphasizing that Jesus ought to have the highest priority in our lives. Ministry Fellow Liz Thomforde echoed the sentiment, and reiterated the importance of being mindful that Christ’s sacrifice is why we serve in our different roles within the ministry. Through prayer, worship, devotionals, large group discussions, and conversations around the campfire, the focus was on Jesus Christ, and how He is the ultimate reason for reaching out to freshmen and welcoming them to Cornell.

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November 11, 2019

Political Union Disinvites Speaker

Stewart Says She was Silenced Because of Religious Beliefs   

By Francine Barchett, Cornell ’20


Jannique Stewart, a pro-life advocate, was disinvited from speaking at Cornell Political Union this spring. In a Facebook post, Stewart, who was scheduled to appear in April, said her right to free speech was violated and the cancellation was due to her “outspoken beliefs regarding sexuality,” namely, that sex should be reserved for marriage, and her affirmation of marriage as a male-female relationship.


Cornell Political Union (CPU), which seeks to promote “discourse with those from both ends of the political spectrum” and discuss “today’s most pressing political issues,” invited Stewart to speak about pro-life issues.

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October 4, 2019

A Semester of Service-Minded Outreach

Christian Union Hosts Three Engaging Events

During the spring semester, Christian Union’s ministry at Cornell organized three different outreach events in an effort to serve the community and further God’s kingdom in big and small ways.

In March, the ministry hosted a screening of the documentary Liberated: The New Sexual Revolution to spark a conversation on the dangers of the hookup culture. A panel discussion and Q and A session followed.

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September 25, 2019

Solidarity with the Persecuted Church

Chesterton House Hosts Speaker from Open Doors

By Zachary Lee, Cornell ’20


Vaughn LeMoss, the vice president of Open Doors International, a non-profit organization that supports persecuted Christians in over 60 countries, was the featured speaker when the Chesterton House at Cornell hosted its Friday Conversation Series on April 19. The theme of the evening was “Solidarity with the Persecuted Church.” LeMoss exhorted the audience to use their college degrees and future influence to aid global missions. He weaved practical advice in between touching anecdotes from his testimony, all the while expanding the students’ vision of God’s kingdom.

LeMoss hit the ground running by demystifying the fallacy that missions work is set apart solely for those in vocational ministry or “super Christians.”


Open Doors International supports the persecuted church around the world. 

“You can serve the Lord in whatever capacity you’re in,” he said. “So often we say to ourselves, ‘I need to become a pastor first’ or ‘I should go to seminary.’ There is nothing wrong with those paths, but do not discount the place where God has you now.”

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June 17, 2019

Reach the Class of 2023

Your Gift by June 30 Will Share Gospel and Change Lives

donate nowPlease consider a special gift to Christian Union by June 30 to support the next Freshman Campaign. The Class of 2023 will be here before we know it!

The ministry will connect with freshmen before they even set foot on campus to welcome and warmly invite them into biblical studies, Christian community, and spiritual and leadership growth.

Your gift helps set lives on a new course!


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June 1, 2019

Senate Chaplain Chief of Staff

Q and A with Lisa Schultz

Lisa Schultz is the Chief of Staff for United States Senate Chaplain Barry C. Black. She directs all of Chaplain Black’s programs and outreach to Senators, their families, and hundreds of Senate staff. Schultz has spent 15 years overseeing Capitol Hill-focused ministries, first as Director of Outreach for the D. James Kennedy Center for Christian Statesmanship and the last 11 years for the Senate Chaplain. Prior to her time serving on Capitol Hill, she lived as a missionary in Schladming, Austria, for seven years under the umbrella of Torchbearers International.


At Christian Union’s Nexus Student Conference in February, Schultz was a member of the law and government panel during the vocational breakout sessions.


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June 1, 2019

A Harvest of Righteousness

Susan Stover and Arthur Stella

He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness. 

- 2 Corinthians 9:10


Early in Susan Stover’s life, her parents, Bob and Joan Stover, sowed the seeds of generosity. “My parents’ faith journey had a tremendous impact on me,” Susan noted.

“My father became a Christian as a young man after serving in the Navy during World War II. His life reflected his personal belief that he needed to use his talents and resources in the Lord’s service.” After the war, Bob Stover began a temporary employment agency in San Francisco.

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June 1, 2019

Revisiting the Sabbath, One Sunday at a Time

Students Step out to Lead Prayer Meetings

by francine barchett, cornell ’20

God entrusts His precious seconds, minutes, and hours to each of us. But how can we best use them? This semester two Cornellians who are active in Christian Union prioritized one day each week as God’s day. In those twenty-four hours, they rested from their studies, engaged in fellowship with other believers, and spearheaded an initiative to untangle what biblical rest and the Sabbath really mean.

Meet Klaudia Kokoszka and Alanna Staffin. Kokoszka is a junior economics and government transfer from Rutgers University and a relatively new Christian. In one short year, she has undergone a transformation; the Lord has given her an insatiable desire to understand His Word and share its love-infused message. Staffin, a leader with Christian Union’s ministry, is a graduating dairy science major.

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May 6, 2019

A Night of Glorious Praise

Local Ministries, Musicians Unite for Worthy ’19

By Grace Choi, Cornell ’22

Loud echoes of worship could be heard from Barnes Hall on Saturday, March 9, as a crowd gathered for Worthy ’19, a campus and community-wide effort that drew musicians, singers, artists, and performers from Cornell University, Ithaca College, local churches, and community organizations during the Lent season.


Jazz musician and visiting lecturer Joe Salzano organized the unique, multimedia worship night.

This year’s event, titled “Song of Salvation,” featured a mini-orchestra, a brass ensemble, members of Christian Union and Cru’s worship teams, and two of Cornell’s a cappella groups: Measureless A Cappella and Baraka Kwa Wimbo Gospel Ensemble. The event was sponsored by Campus On A Hill, Cornell Worship Workshop, and the Cornell Department of Music and was well attended by students. 

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May 5, 2019

Truth and Tolerance

Veritas Forum Features Volf, Dean of Students    

By Zachary Lee, Cornell ’20


In March, the Veritas Forum at Cornell University posed the question Can Truth and Tolerance Co-Exist?


Dr. Miroslav Volf, director of the Yale Center for Faith and Culture, and Dr. Vijay Pendakur, Dean of Students at Cornell, addressed  that imposing inquiry, while Dr. Ludmilla Aristilde, an associate professor in the Department of Biological and Environmental Engineering, facilitated the discussion.


Dr. Miroslav Volf, director of the Yale Center for Faith and Culture (right), and Vijay Pendakur, Cornell Dean of Students, tackled the question of whether truth and tolerance can co-exist.

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March 14, 2019

Seeking God, Seeking Justice

Arce ’19 Has a Heart for Public Service

by catherine elvy, staff writer

A Cornell University senior is establishing the groundwork for a legal career centered around his passion for aiding refugees and immigrants.

“As a Christian, I’m called to love my neighbor and the marginalized,” said Chris Arce ’19.

Arce, who is actively involved with Christian Union at Cornell, plans to use his leadership talents and drive to pursue a career in the public sector. Arce serves as co-president of Cornell Interfaith Council, and has served as co-president of the Puerto Rican Students Association at Cornell and as vice president of Cornell Welcomes Refugees.

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November 24, 2018

Summer of Service

Christian Union Students Minister in U.S. and Abroad 

by francine barchett, cornell ’20

It would be hard not to find a Cornell student who longs for a relaxing summer vacation. Instead, social and career pressures often compel them to pursue summer internships, research, and more “notable” experiences. Several students with Christian Union at Cornell, however, bypassed resume-building this summer in favor of serving at Christian camps and on missions trips.

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October 5, 2018

The Abundant Life and Greek Life

Christian Union Students Serve in Sorority, Fraternity 

by francine barchett, cornell ’20

DavidCornellIn February, a Cornell fraternity made national headlines for a disturbing hazing incident that awarded points for sexual activity and simultaneously degraded women.

Negative press on fraternity and sorority culture is hardly a Cornell-specific phenomenon. It reinforces a long-enduring sentiment that Greek life and high ethical standards are mutually exclusive. However, for Alanna Staffin ’18, David Navadeh ’19, and Chris Arce ’19, that perception is far from the complete picture. They maintain that fraternity life has not drowned their Christian faith; it has grown it.

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June 24, 2018

2018 Conference Highlights

The Christian Union Cities Conference convened graduate students and diverse professionals, from recent graduates to seasoned pros, from across industries, to explore compelling ideas about faith and its relevance to every facet of our lives. Graduates of Columbia, Dartmouth, Harvard, University of Pennsylvania, Princeton and Yale explored their role in becoming Christian leaders. (2:26)

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