Our Alumni Spotlight for January shines on Mr. Charles H. Cornish, III, a native of New Orleans, Louisiana but calls Marshall, Texas home. Charles, followed in the footsteps of his parents, Charles and Debrah Woodkins Cornish, and graduated in 2008 from Wiley earning a Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education with a minor in English. Currently, he serves as the Director of Major Gifts and Planned Giving for the College.

Mr. Cornish is a fundraising professional who has secured more than $10 million by way of his philanthropic work. He is certified in the areas of donor relations, major gifts and crisis management fundraising. Charles has continued his education at the University Texas and is currently pursuing a Masters degree in Philanthropic Studies from the Indianan University School of Philanthropy.

Mr. Cornish is a pillar in the Marshall Community. His involvement in the community includes serving as a board member for the Marshall Symphony, Marshall Regional Arts Council, Boys and Girls Club of the Piney Woods, Harrison County Historical Museum, the Marshall Public Library, and formerly served as Rotary Club President. He is a member of both Rotary International and Jerusalem Missionary Baptist Church where he serves as the treasurer. In 2010, Mr. Cornish was voted as the Wiley College Outstanding Young Alum. He is a 15 year member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity,
Incorporated and a 2016 Chamber of Commerce – Leadership Marshall graduate.

When asked why he felt it is important to give back, he stated, “I am a firm believer of giving back. We should not only invest our finances into our alma mater, but also the gift of our time. As alumni, we should always be in the lead when it comes to giving back. When we give back, it helps to increase the overall stature of Wiley by the way corporations, foundations, employers, graduate schools and friends of the College appreciate our loyalty and they will be more inclined to support Wiley.”

One of the many fond Wiley memories that Charles has was becoming a member of the Wiley Pre-Alumni Council. Joining this organization led him to representing Wiley by holding national offices with UNCF and stimulated what has become his lifelong passion for philanthropy and advancing the HBCU legacy.

Mr. Cornish lives by the quote of Robert Green Ingersoll, “A great man does not seek applause or place; he seeks for truth; he seeks the road to happiness, and what he ascertains, he shares with others.”