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Michael Cromartie ’76, 1950-2017

Michael Cromartie ’76, Covenant College alumnus, passed away on August 28, 2017.


Cromartie was named Covenant College’s Alumnus of the Year in 1988. In January 2017 the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities presented him with the Mark O. Hatfield Leadership Award for demonstrating uncommon leadership that reflects the values of Christian higher education.


Cromartie served as vice president of the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, DC, where he directed the Center’s Evangelicals in Civic Life and Faith Angle Forum programs. In 2004, President George W. Bush appointed Cromartie to a six-year term on the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom. Cromartie published numerous articles and book reviews and edited a number of volumes, including A Public Faith: Evangelicals & Civic Engagement. In addition to his work at the Center, Cromartie served as a senior adviser to the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life and as a senior fellow at The Trinity Forum.


“In so many respects, Michael exemplified the sort of biblically faithful engagement with the world that we hope would be characteristic of all of our graduates,” said Covenant College President Derek Halvorson. “To know Michael was to know a saint who loved the Lord with his whole heart and soul and strength and mind, and whose joyful witness displayed his love for his neighbor."


Covenant College Professor Emeritus Donovan L. Graham wrote:

“I write this on behalf of myself and my wife Wilma who were privileged to know Michael Cromartie during his days at Covenant College. I think I was the dean of students during his years there. There have been many students who have taken to heart all that the college had to offer, but no one would surpass Mike in that regard as evidenced by what he gave his life to professionally after he left. Washington, D.C., and the USA are indeed the poorer with his departure. Our hearts ache with you his family, and all those who so happily loved him. One thing I can imagine happening now though, is that Jesus' heart is laughing at some of the many funny, funny comments that Mike was always full of. Pain is gone for Mike, and smiles and laughter abound in heaven, even while tears of grief are shed and hearts empty in his absence grieve deeply. Only God can hold those two things together.“


Michael is survived by his wife, Jennifer ’77, and their three children.


The Ethics and Public Policy Center has published a collection of online tributes to Michael here.