Paul Quinn College
MottoGreatness, One Step at a Time
TypePrivate, HBCU
Religious affiliationAfrican Methodist Episcopal Church
PresidentMichael J. Sorrell, Esq.[1]
LocationDallas, Texas,
United States
ColorsPurple and Gold
AthleticsNational Association of Intercollegiate Athletics Red River Athletic Conference
AffiliationsTransnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools

Paul Quinn College is a private, historically black college (HBCU) located on 144 acres just south of downtown Dallas, Texas (USA). The college is affiliated with the African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME).

HBCU Digest named Paul Quinn 2011 HBCU of the Year[2] and voted the college "the 5th most underrated HBCU in the nation".[3] In 2012, HBCU Digest also named the College's student government association the "2012 HBCU Student Government Association of the Year" and named the College President, Michael J. Sorrell, the "2012 HBCU Male President of the Year".[4]

Paul Quinn is also home to the WE over ME Farm, which was created through a partnership with PepsiCo to bring healthy food to the food desert of Dallas.[5]


Paul Quinn College holds the distinction of being the oldest historically black college west of the Mississippi River. The college was founded in 1872 in Austin, Texas by a small group of African Methodist Episcopal preachers at Metropolitan A.M.E. Church. Originally, the college was called the Connectional High School and Institute. The school’s original purpose was to educate freed slaves and their children.

In 1877, the College moved from Austin to Waco, Texas, and was renamed Waco College. Classes were held in a modest one-building trade school where freedmen were taught the skills of blacksmithing, carpentry, tanning, and saddle work.

Presidents of Paul Quinn College
1872 – 1876 Bishop J.M. Brown
1876 – 1880 Bishop R.H. Cain
1880 – 1883 H.T. Keling
1883 – 1891 I.M. Burgan
1891 – 1892 N.A. Banks
1904 – 1908 W.I. Laws
1908 – 1911 D.A. Butler
1911 – 1914 I.M. Burgan
1914 – 1924 J.K. Williams
1924 – 1926 J.F. Williams
1926 – 1928 N.A. Banks
1928 – 1932 Dean Mohr
1932 – 1939 A.S. Jackson
1939 – 1942 J.W. Yancy II
1942 – 1943 George Davis
1943 – 1946 George Singleton
1946 – 1951 Nanie Bell Aycock
1951 – 1953 Sherman L. Green, Jr.
1953 – 1956 Frank R. Veal
1956 – 1962 John H. Adams
1962 – 1969 L.H. McCloney
1969 – 1976 Stanley E. Rutland
1976 – 1978 Reuben D. Manning
1979 – 1981 William D. Watley
1981 – 1982 L.H. McCloney
1982 – 1984 Norman W. Handy
1984 – 1992 Warren W. Morgan
1992 – 1992 Winston D. Powers
1992 – 2001 Lee E. Monroe
2002 – 2005 Dwight J. Fennell
2006 – 2007 John Waddell
2007 – Present Michael J. Sorrell, Esq.[6]

Later, under the direction of Bishop William Paul Quinn (1788–1873), A.M.E. districts were developed throughout the South and tasked with raising funds to improve the College. During this period of time, more than twenty acres of additional land was purchased and the curriculum was expanded to include the subjects of Latin, mathematics, music, theology, English, carpentry, sewing, and household, kitchen, and dining room work. In May 1881, the College was chartered by the State of Texas and changed its name to Paul Quinn College to commemorate the contributions of Bishop William Paul Quinn.

Expansion and improvementsEdit

The campus was expanded, with new buildings constructed with capital raised from interested patrons. In 1950, the College began significant physical expansion. A campus church, student union building, gymnasium and administration building were erected between 1950 and 1954. Two new dormitories, a modern two-story classroom building, a fully equipped science department, and a new library were added to the campus.

In spring of 1954, the Waco Chamber of Commerce successfully completed a campaign which raised $100,000 for a new women’s dormitory to replace the one that had been destroyed by fire. Bishop O.L. Sherman was assigned to supervise the work of the A.M.E. Church in Texas in 1962. His first official act was to have the Charter of the College changed so that trustees could be elected without regard to race, creed, or color. Because of this significant innovation, some of the most outstanding civic leaders in Central Texas were able to be added to the Board of Trustees.

Dr. Stanley E. Rutland became President of the College in 1969. Under his leadership, the physical plant of the College continued to improve. Among the changes were the addition of a new gymnasium, the renovation of historic Johnson Hall and the development of the Ethnic Cultural Center. Under Dr. Rutland, the College received accreditation in 1972 with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) for the first time.[7]

Move to DallasEdit

The College relocated to Dallas, Texas in 1990. It acquired the former campus of Bishop College from African-American businessman Comer J. Cottrell.[8] During the first semester in its new home, the College boasted an enrollment of 1,020 students.

In 2006, Board of Trustees member Peggy Sterling and her employer, American Airlines, secured the services of global management-consulting firm the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) to analyze the operations and performance of the College. BCG’s work ultimately provided the Institution with a blueprint that eventually became the College’s Strategic Plan from 2007-2012.

New directionEdit

In September 2007, Michael J. Sorrell, Esq., a former member of the Board of Trustees, assumed the position of president, after serving as the interim president since March of that year. Sorrell quickly established an aggressive agenda designed to transform the school into one of America’s great small colleges.[9]

Since his arrival, the College has raised academic standards; embarked on an ambitious revitalization of the campus, which has included spending over $4 million in capital improvements; reduced institutional debt by 40 percent; and eliminated all previous audit findings.

Sorrell instituted a "business casual" dress code on campus in order to prepare students for life after college.[10] His next set of plans for the college call for an increased commitment to recruitment and retention.[11]

In 2009, the College's accreditation was challenged by SACS, based on problems with institutional effectiveness and financial stability.[12] Following a lawsuit, a judge issued an injunction which reinstated accreditation prior to hearing of the lawsuit.[13]

Since that time, Sorrell has continued improvements: the College produced over $2 million in budget surpluses in fiscal 2009, 2010, and 2011; achieved unqualified audits for 2009 and 2010; invested more than $4 million in infrastructure improvements without adding any debt; and formed a groundbreaking partnership with PepsiCo to convert an unused football stadium into a fully operational urban farm.[14][15][16]

In 2011, the college received membership into the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools (TRACS)accrediting agency.[17]


Academic ProgramsEdit

Department of Business and Legal StudiesEdit

  • Bachelor of Science in Business Administration: Accounting
  • Bachelor of Science in Business Administration: Management
  • Bachelor of Science in Business Administration: Social Entrepreneurship (approved for Fall 2013)
  • Bachelor of Science in Business Administration: Fundraising and Philanthropy (approved for Fall 2013)
  • Bachelor of Science in Legal Studies

Department of EducationEdit

  • Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies (EC-6)

Department of General EducationEdit

The College is in the planning stages of adding the following majors and concentration areas:

  • Bachelor of Science in Liberal Arts
  • Bachelor of Science in Religious Studies
  • Bachelor of Science in Health and Wellness

Campus LifeEdit

The WE over Me Farm at Paul Quinn CollegeEdit

The WE over Me Farm at Paul Quinn College, formerly called the Food for Good Farm at Paul Quinn College, began as an answer to the food desert conditions in the Southern sector of Dallas.[18][19][20][21][22][23]

The reconstruction of the football field into a 100-yard farm that produces spinach, herbs, watermelon, potatoes, sweet potatoes, argula, and other produce has produced partnerships with Yale University and other institutions for the continued study of the impact of urban farming.[24][25][26][27][28] The dedication of the farm was on May 10, 2010. The farm tithes 10 percent of the gross yield to the community.[29][30][31][32][33][34] The dedication of the farm was on May 10, 2010. The farm tithes 10 percent of the gross yield to the community.[35][36][37][38][39]

In April 2011, the farm hosted its first major fundraising event. "A Community Cooks" featured 13 top local chefs cooking various dishes for the community. Will Allen, the keynote speaker, is a MacArthur Fellow and one of the foremost thinkers on urban farming. "A Community Cooks" is an annual event.[40][41][42][43][44][45][46]

Citing health concerns, in August 2012, Paul Quinn banned pork and pork products from campus. [47]

We Are Not TrashEdit

The College ended 2011 locked in a battle with the city of Dallas over the McCommas Bluff Landfill, which is approximately 1.5 miles east of the campus. The city's decision to re-route all of Dallas' waste to the landfill, effectively transforming it into one of the largest landfills in the southwest, infuriated the student population. This anger was exacerbated by the fact the school is located in the middle of an area the United States Department of Agriculture has labeled a food desert.[48][49][50][51][52][53][54]

In June 2011, the students organized a town hall meeting and invited city officials to explain the efficacy of expanding the landfill.[55] More than 250 residents attended.[56] This was the largest town hall meeting in this city council district in more than 20 years. The town hall meeting eventually turned into "I AM NOT TRASH", two student-led demonstrations at the Dallas City Hall.[57] Despite the students efforts, the city council voted 8-7 to move forward with the plans to dump all the city's waste into the landfill without any prior study as to the effect of such a decision.[58][59]

In response, the Quinnite Nation mobilized into WE ARE NOT TRASH, a student-led, community-oriented effort to advocate for thoughtful, citizen-oriented policy-making from their elected leaders.[60] On Saturday, November 5, 2011, approximately 500 people marched alongisde a group of civic leaders from south Dallas across one of the Trinity River bridges into Downtown Dallas.[61][62][63][64]

Trayvon Martin RallyEdit

On March 23, 2012, hundreds of community members joined Paul Quinn students to protest the shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Florida by George Zimmerman on February 26 of the same year.[65][66]


Paul Quinn teams, nicknamed athletically as the Tigers, are part of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), primarily competing in the Red River Athletic Conference (RRAC). Men's sports include basketball, cross country and track & field. while women's sports include basketball, cross country and track & field.

Paul Quinn teams have won eighteen conference championships since 1983. The men's basketball team won two national championships in the early 1990s,[67] and the men's track and field team won two Regional Red River Men's Track and Field Conference Championships in 2006 and 2007.[68]

Student OrganizationsEdit

Student organizations on campus include the Student Government Association, class organizations, the Vocal Ensemble, and the PQC Spirit Team. Furthermore, students can be initiated into honor societies, such as Phi Delta Kappa and Alpha Chi National College Honor Society, as well as National Pan-Hellenic Council fraternities and sororities.

Dress CodeEdit

Since the 2007 academic year, the College has embraced a strict "business casual" dress code. Students are not allowed to wear jeans, flip flops, gym shoes, pajama bottoms, sweatsuits, or shirts without collars outside the dormitories.[69][70]


The John Hurst Adams Administrative Building, formerly Price-Branch Classroom Building, contains the presidential suite administrative offices and classrooms. In the fall of 2011, two fully interactive technology classrooms were built on the second level of the building. These classrooms have state of the art video conferencing capability.

The Isabel and Comer Cottrell Student Union Building, also known as the SUB, was completed in 1970. The SUB includes the cafe, the Tiger's Den, the student lounge, and the student workout facility. In the fall of 2012, the institution will convert the student workout facility into the Quinnite Retention Center, a 24-hour study facility that will aide in the College's efforts to improve retention rates. The space that was formerly the campus bookstore will now be a state of the art gym facility that students, staff, and faculty can use. The Grand Lounge is the campus' primary meeting space. It is also where the weekly Chapel services are held.

The Richard Allen Chapel, formerly Carr P. Collins Chapel, completed in 1970, is currently under renovation. The lawn of the Chapel is the venue for the annual commencement exercises. completed in 1970, serves as the religious education building.

The gymnasium was completed in 1961. In spring 2011, the gymnasium was outfitted with a new HVAC system.

Zale Library was completed in 1963. The library contains a 9x23 foot mural that was painted by artist Louis Freund in 1968. The mural depicts the progression and struggles of African-Americans in the pursuit of an education. In spring 2011, more than 900 volumes of legal publications were donated by Hunton & Williams, LLP to start the Paul Quinn College Law Library.

The school has one residence hall, the Lucy Hughes Hall, formerly Pearl C. Anderson hall. the dormitory for females opened in 1969 as a facility of Bishop College. It currently serves men and women. The other dormitory buildings were demolished in a 15-building demolition that began in 2010.[71]

The campus is 91 miles (146 km) from Waco, 190 miles (310 km) from Austin, 230 miles (370 km) from Houston, and 520 miles (840 km) from New Orleans.[72]

Notable alumniEdit

In popular cultureEdit

Paul Quinn College was mentioned in Stephen King's 2011 novel 11/22/63.


  2. "HBCU Awards", HBCU Digest
  7. "Paul Quinn College". Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. 2011. Retrieved 2011-04-14.
  8. [1], Texas State History Online
  9. [2], Paul Quinn College Website
  10. "Dressing Like the Big Man on Campus." Fox News. Accessed September 28, 2008.
  11. [3]
  12. "Paul Quinn Loses Accreditation". Inside Higher Ed. Jun 26, 2009. Retrieved 2011-04-14.
  13. "Questions Regarding Status of Paul Quinn College". Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. December 10, 2010. Retrieved 2011-04-14.
  14. "PepsiCo and Paul Quinn College Seed a New Enterprise with the Creation of an Urban Farm From a Football Field", Press Release, Fritolay.
  15. Marybeth Gasman, "There's Something Good Happening in Texas", Chronicle of Higher Education, July 1, 2010
  17. "Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools: Institutions". Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools. 2011. Retrieved 2011-04-14.
  18. The Dallas Morning News. July 14, 2011.
  19. Fox News
  20. Austin American-Statesman.
  21. Connecticut Post.
  22. The Columbus, IN Republic.
  23. The Columbus, IN Republic.
  24. The Victoria Advocate.
  26. Salt Lake City Deseret News.
  27. Yale News.
  28. Edible Communities.
  29. Texas Farm Bureau.
  30. AgriLife Today.
  31. United States Department of Agriculture, USDA Blog.
  32. KJDL 1420.
  33. Texas Farm Bureau.
  34. Dallas Observer.
  35. Texas Farm Bureau.
  36. AgriLife Today.
  37. United States Department of Agriculture, USDA Blog.
  38. KJDL 1420.
  39. Dallas Observer.
  40. D Magazine:
  41. Dallas Observer.
  42. Dallas South News:
  43. Dallas Morning News:
  44. Dallas Observer:
  45. Dallas Morning News:
  46. The Dallas Morning News:
  49. NBCDFW:
  50. Dallas Morning News:
  51. KERA:
  52. Dallas Morning News:
  53. Dallas Morning News:
  54. 24Wired.TV:
  55. Dallas South News:
  57. Dallas Observer:
  58. Dallas Observer:
  59. Dallas Observer:
  60. The Dallas Morning News:
  61. The Dallas Morning News:
  62. WFAA:
  63. WFAA:
  64. The Dallas Morning News:
  72. "Visit us." Paul Quinn College. Retrieved on February 16, 2012.
  73. Chris Saunders on set at TV-13 in The Bahamas

Additional readingEdit

External linksEdit

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