MICHAEL J. SORRELL
Michael J. Sorrell is the 34th President of Paul Quinn College. Under his leadership, the school is experiencing one of the greatest turnarounds in the history of higher education. Michael’s vision is to permanently transform PQC into a nationally elite small college by focusing on entrepreneurship, innovation, academic rigor, and servant leadership.
Among the school’s numerous accomplishments during President Sorrell’s almost seven year tenure have been: winning the 2011 HBCU of the Year, the 2012 HBCU Student Government Association of the Year, and the 2013 HBCU Business Program of the Year awards; being recognized as a member of the 2013 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll; demolishing 15 abandoned campus buildings; partnering with PepsiCo to transform the unused football field into the two acre “WE over Me Farm”; achieving full-accreditation from the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools (TRACS); earning six consecutive unqualified audits; enrolling the top academic class in school history; establishing the Presidential Scholars Program; adopting a school-wide business casual dress code; securing the largest single donor gifts in the history of the institution; regularly achieving six-figure year-end budget surpluses; and restructuring the curriculum.
Michael received his J.D. and M.A. in Public Policy from Duke University and is currently a doctoral student at the University of Pennsylvania. While in law school, he was one of the founding members of the Journal of Gender Law & Policy and served as the Vice President of the Duke Bar Association. Michael was a recipient of the Sloan Foundation Graduate Fellowship, which funded his studies at both Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government (as a graduate fellow) and Duke University. He graduated from Oberlin College with a B.A. in Government, served as Secretary-Treasurer of his senior class, was a two-time captain of the men’s varsity basketball team, and graduated as the school’s fifth all-time leading scorer.
Among the entities that President Sorrell serves as a trustee or director are Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy, the College Board, the Center for Minority Serving Institutions at the University of Pennsylvania, Amegy Bank, Teach for America, the Perot Museum, and the Department of Education Policy and Leadership for the Simmons School of Education at SMU. Michael was named the 2012 HBCU Male President of the Year by HBCU Digest and tabbed as a member of the “Root 100” (a list of the top 100 emerging leaders in America) by the Root On-line Magazine. He received the Excellence in Education Distinguished Alumni Award from his high school, St. Ignatius College Prep in Chicago, Illinois; the A. Kenneth Pye Award for Excellence in Education from the Alumni Association of Duke University’s School of Law; and the TRACS Leadership Award. The Dallas Historical Society has also honored Michael for Excellence in Educational Administration and the NAACP, Heart House, the Dallas Furniture Bank, and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Dallas for his civic leadership. He is a past recipient of the Dallas Urban League’s Torch for Community Leadership and both the President’s and C.B. Bunkley Awards from J.L. Turner for his outstanding contributions to the Dallas legal community. Additionally, in 2002 the Dallas Business Journal named him one of Dallas’ Forty Under 40 and in 2011, the same periodical awarded him a Minority Business Leaders Award. The President is also a life member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.
President Sorrell is married to the former Natalie Jenkins. Natalie is an alumna of Spelman College and received her MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. They have one son, Michael Augustus.