Read President Sorrell’s Biography

Dear Quinnite:

presidentsThank you for accepting the challenge of becoming a Quinnite. By joining the Quinnite Nation, you have chosen to live a life committed to achieving the “Four Ls of Quinnite Leadership”:

Leave places better than you found them.
Lead from wherever you are.
Live a life that matters.
Love something greater than yourself.

Your decision to attend Paul Quinn College means you have answered the call of eternal leadership. It’s your announcement to others that you will embrace the legacies of Imhotep and Hippocrates; Sun Tzu and Marcus Aurelius; Mother Theresa and Gandhi; Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. DuBois; Malcolm X and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.; and Nelson Mandela and Cesar Chavez. Just as these great leaders did, you have chosen to be a change agent whose voice will tell the stories of your era.

You are now in the lineage of Bishop William Paul Quinn, the original Quinnite, who was the fourth Bishop of the AME church and was there at the denomination’s organization in 1816. He served as the Bishop of the Church’s Western States for nearly 30 years. He was a visionary and a leader. It is his path that you travel and from which you can never turn.

As a Quinnite, you must accept that in your lifetime, others will disappoint you and fail to live up to the grand standards of true servant leadership. You must also accept that many who are your color will not be your kind and that many of your kind, will not be your color. It is for this very reason that in the world of purple and gold, production triumphs over protocol.

You must understand that the journey to greatness will be filled with difficult decisions, painful choices, and moments of self-doubt. However, this is the route that you have selected. You have decided to work harder and become stronger. You have dared to lead. Because at the end of the day, you are a Quinnite and for you there is no other choice.

Lean on the words of Isaiah 58: 9-12 and stop making trouble for others and using cruel words. Feed the hungry and take care of the needs of the troubled. Then your light will shine in the darkness and the Lord will always lead you. He will satisfy your needs and give strength to your bones. You will be like a garden that has much water and a spring that never runs dry. Your people will rebuild old cities and you will be known for rebuilding the roads and the houses.

Quinnites, become the “Men in the Arena” that Teddy Roosevelt spoke about. Men and women who know that it is not the critic who counts; not the ones who point out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the men and women who are actually in the arena . . . [T]he men and women who actually strive to do the deeds; who know great enthusiasms and great devotions; who spend themselves in a worthy cause; who at their best know, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who at their worst know, that if they fail, at least they failed while daring greatly, so that their place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

My Quinnite, Paul Quinn College is a special place because of its spirit. The Quinnite spirit has been forged through 138 years of adversity and an unwavering belief that tomorrow will always be better than today.

It is into this tradition that you now step. Always be mindful that you stand here not by yourself or on your own. You have joined a family in every sense of the word. Your joys are our joys; your sorrows are our sorrows. We will stand by you today, tomorrow and forever.

I am proud to be your President and I am proud to have you as a member of the Quinnite family.


Michael J. Sorrell, Esq.
Paul Quinn College

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