Student spotlight: Anne Cornelius, ’26 EMU


Why they LovEMU: Forced to leave one home, she found another at EMU

by Ryan Cornell for Eastern Mennonite University and available here

Anne Cornelius ’26 is a sophomore from Yangon, Myanmar, majoring in international business and business analytics. She is vice president of marketing for the Student Government Association, a digital media ambassador for undergraduate admissions and is a community assistant for her residence hall. She said the values of inclusion and the tight-knit community drew her to EMU. (Photo by Macson McGuigan/EMU)

Editor’s Note: This profile is the third of six about students and alumni leading up to LovEMU Giving Day on April 10. For more information about the day and to donate, visit  

Three years ago and about 8,600 miles away in Yangon, Myanmar, Anne Cornelius ’26 boarded a plane and left the only home she had ever known.

Escaping the ravages of a civil war that tore apart her country, she and her family sought asylum in the U.S. A kind host family from Maryland welcomed them in, and Cornelius soon adjusted to life in America. She learned that a close friend from her home city, Rachelle Swe ’21, had just graduated from Eastern Mennonite University and was working there as an admissions counselor. Cornelius decided to pay her friend a visit and take a campus tour of EMU.

She never imagined attending a college, let alone one in America. Her family wasn’t exactly flush with cash, especially after uprooting their lives to settle in a new country.  

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