Included among Paul Quinn’s numerous accomplishments during President Sorrell’s tenure are the following: improving graduation rates by more than 30%; reducing the average student loan debt by $30,0000; building the first new buildings on campus in 50 years; creating the Urban Work College Model; winning the HBCU of the Year, HBCU Student Government Association of the Year, and HBCU Business Program of the Year awards; demolishing 16 campus buildings; partnering with PepsiCo to transform the football field into the WE over Me Farm; achieving full-accreditation from the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools (TRACS); creating the College’s first faculty-led study abroad program; and rewriting all institutional fundraising records.
Dr. Sorrell is one of the most celebrated college presidents in America. Among his most notable awards and recognitions are the following: being named one of the World’s 50 Greatest Leaders by Fortune Magazine; receiving the George W. Bush Presidential Center’s Bush Institute Trailblazer Citation; being the only three-time recipient of the HBCU Male President of the Year Award (2018, 2016 and 2012); and winning Education Dive’s Higher Education’s President of the Year Award. Time Magazine listed him as one of the “31 People Changing the South.” Washington Monthly Magazine identified Dr. Sorrell as one of America’s 10 Most Innovative College Presidents and Rev. Jesse Jackson, Sr. and PUSH/Excel honored him with its Education Leadership Award. Michael is the recipient of both the Dallas Bar Association’s Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Justice Award, and the City of Dallas’ Father of the Year Award.
Additionally, Dr. Sorrell has received Distinguished Alumni Awards from Duke University, the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education, and St. Ignatius College Prep in Chicago, Illinois, and the A. Kenneth Pye Award for Excellence in Education from Duke University’s School of Law Alumni Association. Michael is a past recipient of the Dallas Urban League’s Torch for Community Leadership and the President’s and C.B. Bunkley Awards from J.L. Turner for his outstanding contributions to the Dallas legal community. Michael has received honorary degrees from Austin College and his alma mater, Oberlin College.
Michael received his J.D. and M.A. in Public Policy from Duke University and his Ed.D. from 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 a 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.
President Sorrell serves as the chair of the Board of Governors for the Dallas Foundation and is a member of the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees for both the Hockaday School. He is also the co-chair for the Aspen Prize. He is a trustee for the American Council of Education, College Track Duke University’s School of Law, and the Graduate School of Education at the University of Pennsylvania. Michael is also a member of the advisory boards of Advancing Black Pathways (JPMC), Handshake, GSV, Guild, and Amegy Bank. He is a corporate director for Mainstay.
President Sorrell is married to the former Natalie Jenkins. Natalie is an alumna of Spelman College and the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. They have two children, Michael Augustus and Sage Louise-Sinclair.