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“Building Resilient Universities for Resilient People,” the next installment of the 2019-2020 Chautauqua Lecture Series, will be presented by Michael Sorrell on Thursday, Nov. 7 in O’Donnell Hall of the Whitlock Building. The lecture, beginning at 7:30 p.m., is free and open to the public. 

When Sorrell first became president of Paul Quinn College, a Historically Black College or University (HBCU) in Dallas, Texas, the institution struggled in many ways. Now, under the “urban work college model” that Sorrell pioneered, it has become one of the most innovative colleges in America. The college was honored as HBCU of the Year, the HBCU Student Government Association of the Year and the HBCU Business Program of the Year, and was named to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll. It also became one of only a handful of federally recognized work colleges, a key component of the school’s reality-based educational approach.

Sorrell is the only three-time recipient of the HBCU Male President of the Year award and was named one of America’s 10 Most Innovative College Presidents. He also received Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr. and PUSH/Excel’s Education Leadership Award, the Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education and the A. Kenneth Pye Award for Excellence in Education from Duke University’s School of Law. 

Sorrell has inspired crowds at TEDx, SXSW EDU, The Aspen Institute and Duke University, and numerous other venues with his vision for education, uniting communities and leading through challenges. His memorable speeches often include his formula for success at Paul Quinn College: preach hope, practice patience, instill resilience, be entrepreneurial in thought and action and most of all, lead with love.

This lecture is sponsored by the Office of the President, the Division of Student Success, the Office of Retention and Graduation and the Honors Program.

For more information about the Chautauqua lecture series, visit, or contact Chautauqua Lecture Coordinator Erik Liddell at