Six years ago, wooing a high-profile commencement speaker was the last thing on Paul Quinn College's to-do list. The southern Dallas school, the city's only historically black college, was in disrepair, physically and academically, after years of mismanagement. With its accreditation set to be revoked, the entire institution was about to collapse.
What happened next was detailed in Greg Howard's cover story last year. The Cliff Notes version is that Michael Sorrell, a Chicago-born, Duke-trained lawyer, took the job as president and set about resurrecting the school.
His approach was unconventional, a self-conscious effort to jolt the school's mostly black and Hispanic students out of an educational malaise. That's why he turned the football field into a working farm, banned pork from campus, and helped organized protests against the city's plan to dump trash nearby.More »