MICHAEL J. SORRELL
Michael J. Sorrell is the 34th President of Paul Quinn College. Under his leadership, Paul Quinn is experiencing one of the greatest turnarounds in the history of higher education and is now regularly mentioned nationally as one of the most innovative small colleges in higher education. Michael’s vision is to permanently transform PQC into one of America’s elite small colleges by focusing on servant leadership, entrepreneurship, and academic rigor.
Among the school’s numerous accomplishments during President Sorrell’s six year tenure have been: winning the “2011 HBCU of the Year” and the “2012 HBCU Student Government Association of the Year”; 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); attaining five consecutive unqualified audits for the first time in school history; creating a new admissions policy (and 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; earning six and seven-figure year-end budget surpluses in four of the last five years; and modernizing all institutional operations.
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.
The President is a member of the Alpha Epsilon Boule of Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity and a life member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. Among the boards he serves on are Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy, Center for Minority Serving Institutions (CMSI) at the University of Pennsylvania, Amegy Bank, Teach for America, the North Texas Public Broadcasting Company, Inc., bcWorkshop, and the Department of Education Policy and Leadership for the Simmons School of Education at SMU. Michael was the “2012 HBCU Male President of the Year” by HBCU Digest and 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. He has also been named the Educator of the Year by several different organizations and honored by the NAACP, Heart House, the State Fair Classic, 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.
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.