Derrell Cornell (39) graduated cum laude as a History Major before returning to his hometown of Akron, Ohio where he then studied at Kent State University to get an Ohio teaching certificate. Derrell, who was born in 1915 and accepted the Lord at age 12, graduated from high school during the Great Depression in 1933 and enrolled at Akron University. He left after a semester because he felt his Christian faith was being belittled by some. When an ENC quartet visited his Akron Nazarene church and said there was work at ENC for students, he headed east in 1935 with $10. Derrell worked on the college grounds in the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) program and also at other jobs including window washing for Professor Bertha Munro and doing yard work for Dr. G.B Williamson and the Spangenbergs. Impressed by professors who hired him even though they were making very little money during the Depression, he established the Derrell and Ruth Cornell Scholarship Fund and made regular contributions to ENC.
In 1939 Derrell was hired in Akron by Firestone Tire and Rubber Company in their new Safety Department. He and Ruth (Hilton) married in 1940 before he was called to serve in the Army a short time before WWII ended. After the war Derrell returned to Firestone, later moving on to Goodyear until 1959 and then on to work in the Safety Department for Portland Cement Association in IL. For two weeks each month he traveled in the U.S. and Canada doing cement plant safety inspections and faithfully attended hundreds of Nazarene churches during those 20 years. Derrell was involved in two building programs at the Lombard, IL Nazarene church, where the Cornells received the denomination’s Distinguished Service Award. After retiring, he worked full-time for Canon USA until age 80.
After 59 years of marriage Ruth passed away in 2000, and Derrell moved to CT where he attended the Manchester, CT Church of the Nazarene with his son, Bob, and his family. Derrell took care of the 5 acres of church property for the past 10 years and still worked on the lawn most days during three seasons, continuing the service he began at ENC many years before. All of his children graduated from ENC: Kathleen (Cornell) Foster (64), Darlene (Cornell) Stottsberry (70) and Robert Cornell (76) plus Bob’s wife, Phyllis (Cox, 78). One granddaughter, Ashley Cornell (09), received her Master’s Degree in Education from ENC and married Jeremy Stanford (09). Two other granddaughters, Alison and Amy Cornell, are currently ENC students.