When TCU’s Ranch Management program needed a new director, Kerry Cornelius became the man for the job.Cornelius, who has been a part of the Ranch Management program for more than 11 years, received the news he had become the director Aug. 21.
After he was chosen for the job, Cornelius met with the board of trustees about the director position.
“After the meeting, I wasn’t sure if I had gotten the position,” Cornelius said. “Luther King, chairman of the board of trustees, then walked over to congratulate me.”
Cornelius believes the Ranch Management program is bigger than any one person, even the director, said Eric Brast, assistant director of Ranch Management and a former student of Cornelius.
“Instead of telling us what to do, he’ll ask questions about the best ways something can get done,” Brast said. “I believe out of all the candidates for the position, he is the right man for the job.”
Cornelius said he plans to maintain the integrity and rich history of the Ranch Management Program. He also said he wants the program’s endowment to increase.
“I would like to see a raise in the scholarships to make it more affordable for students that become a part of the program,” Cornelius said.
Cornelius credits alumni for the program’s success.
“Alumni are our best source of recruitment,” Cornelius said. “It is rewarding to receive phone calls and letters from past students who talk about things they learned in the program that has worked for them.”
Cornelius’ son Kacey Cornelius, a senior accounting and finance major at TCU, said he remembers TCU’s alumni cattle ropings his father would take him to.
“He would participate in the alumni rodeo once a year,” he said.
His perfect Sunday afternoon is riding with a herd of cattle, Cornelius’ son said.
Cornelius understands the cattle business through personal experience and is involved in it on a daily basis by managing his own cattle, Brast said.
“I enjoy the business,” Cornelius said. “Some people play golf for fun. This is my golf game, and I get to make money doing what I enjoy.”
Brast said Cornelius is in constant contact with industry leaders. When students go on day trips and field trips, Cornelius travels with them.
“He is well-known and respected by the hosts that speak to the students,” Brast said.
Clay Neel, alumni president for Ranch Management, said Cornelius carries his knowledge of the industry into the classroom and is truly dedicated to the program.
“When you’re in his class, instead of giving you the answer to a question, he’ll walk you though it, to provoke students to think,” Neel said.