It might have been 14 years since graduation, but this alumnus still works side by side with Trinity professors and friends.
by Donna Parker
Dan Cornell (right) graduated magna cum laude with a degree in computer science from Trinity in 1998 and received a minor in math. Along with these high honors, Dan established lifelong friendships which have morphed into business relationships.
While still in school, Dan founded Atension with fellow alumni Sheridan Chambers '97 and Tyson Weihs '98. They sold that company and in 2001, Dan and Sheridan founded Denim Group in San Antonio-a leading secure software development firm-which continues to prosper.
"We employ a hefty number of Trinity grads," laughs Dan. "Sheridan and I first worked together on the Coates Center Program Board and now on the Trinity Advisory Council which brings bands and entertainment to campus."
"We found that we had complimentary skill sets and I feel incredibly fortunate to work with Sheridan. There is just a high level of trust."
"I see other people's ventures and having trouble with a partner is like having trouble with a spouse-it's a real challenge. We are fortunate to have top-notch relations."
Denim Group recently was named by Inc. magazine as one of the fastest-growing private companies and serves a national and international client base of Fortune 500 organizations.
"Denim is a challenge because it includes two processes. We get to go into companies and help them do security testing and on the software development side, it is cool to build new stuff! We invent systems that don't even exist yet and it's a good, creative process where we can utilize our tech knowledge."
Fortunately, for Dan, even though he keeps long hours, he really doesn't consider it work.
"Hanging around and networking at the end of the day is the way you learn new things and keep on top of stuff," says Dan. "It's not like we're the Flintstones sliding down the dinosaur tail when the whistle blows!"
On the home front, Dan is married to Lisa Moore '03 and he even met her through a Trinity connection-Sheridan's younger brother set them up on a blind date. Now, the couple loves to spend time on their ranch in Blanco with their dog Cody and horse Boomer.
Dan's other avocation is reading. He has a room in his house called the Dan Cornell Memorial Librarywhich is lined with real books-not e-readers which is ironic for a techie.
"I can't get into e-readers," explains Dan. "I know where my books are on the shelves and there is a much different, more tactile feel with books."
"We bought a house and plan to stay here for a very long time. When I think back to my Trinity days, I appreciate the access to the professors and to equipment, which state schools don't let you use while you are an undergrad. The close relationships that I established with professors like Gerald Pitts, department of computer science, are still going strong. He always made sure that I knew what I was doing in school-helping me find scholarships and conveying his real passions for what he taught."
"Really, our growth at Denim Group is a real accomplishment to see how we've grown this enterprise. We have a greater reach with larger companies and cool startups and as time passes, we're even more proud of what we've built."
"I was able to make the most of my time on campus with access to all great things and a collaboration with classmates that has served me well."
You may contact Dan at dan [at] denimgroup.com.