By Betsy Simon
Apr 28, 2020
Senior Antonio Cornelius’ passion for speaking, performing and giving a positive message made him a perfect fit to serve as a student speaker for 2020 spring commencement ceremony at Indiana State University.
It wasn’t until Andy Morgan, interim vice president of student affairs, told him that students can openly apply for it that Cornelius decided to throw his hat in the ring.
“The message I want to give it to my peers, especially since we can’t see each other face-to-face, is enjoy the time with your families as this moment is happening,” said Cornelius, a financial service major from Gary, Ind. “All you’ve done is not a waste because getting a degree is more than just walking across stage; it is what you’re going to do with it in the future.”
During his time at Indiana State, Cornelius was co-chair of Gentleman’s Society and served as treasurer for three organizations, including Collegiate Entrepreneur Organization, National Association of Black Accountants and National Society of Collegiate Scholars.
Cornelius made the most of his time at State, beginning with freshman year when he came to campus a week early because of the Multicultural Men Achievement Scholarship Program. It was also the year that he got involved as a cheerleader, pledging in his fraternity, Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc., and started to understand college life.
“I feel like Indiana State was far enough away from home but close enough to where I would not have any issues,” he said. “I felt like from jump Indiana State has taught me that it doesn’t matter where you are as long as you know where you’re going because the quality of people make the college.”
Following graduation, Cornelius plans to continue his education, be a part of the NAACP NEXTGEN program and focus on his investments.
“The best advice I can give my future Sycamores is to not come in to anything thinking about the worst without trying to achieve the best,” he said. “Enjoy your time while achieving your goals. Be creative while doing it.”
The virtual spring commencement ceremony will be livestreamed beginning at 2 p.m. Saturday, May 16.