Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Random Musings from the President

Greetings Quinnites:
As Spring is the time for new beginnings, please allow me to introduce our new logo. The new PQC website will debut in about a week. It is as dynamic and thought-provoking a website as you will find anywhere in higher education. When you pair the new logo/website with the new landscaping, you begin to understand why we are so optimistic about our future.
Here are this week's musings:
1. This Monday, May 3rd, Paul Quinn College will be the site for the 2nd Annual Evening of the Classics. This free event is sponsored by the City of Dallas, Council District 8 and the Dallas Symphony and is hosted by Paul Quinn College. It's an amazing evening and a wonderful way to bring the Arts out of downtown and into the City. The music begins at 7:00pm.
2. On Wednesday, May 5th, at noon, we will be unveiling our Urban Farm and announcing our partner in the venture. The event will be a ceremonial planting and a lot of fun. Everyone is welcome as long as they come prepared to plant.
3. Saturday, May 8th, Commencement exercises at PQC will take place. Our speaker will be the Rev. Dr. Frederick Douglass Haynes, III, Senior Pastor, Friendship West Baptist Church and Trustee of Paul Quinn College. Commencement will begin promptly at 5:00 pm and will take place on the front lawn of the Richard Allen Chapel.
4. Congratulations to one of my all-time favorite Quinnites- Kenneth Boston, Class of 2009. Kenneth recently accepted a position with AAFES (the Army Air Force Exchange Service) and will begin with them on May 10th. Kenneth graduated from PQC with a 3.8 gpa and was the SGA President. He is an amazing father to his two sons and husband to his wife. He was the recipient of the very first "Quinnite of the Year" award and has been an exemplary employee of the College for the past year and a half. While we are sad to see him leave, we are incredibly proud of him as he enters the next stage of his life. Good luck Kenneth- keep making us proud.
Until the next one,
President Sorrell

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Random Musings from the President

Greetings Quinnites:

It's been another hectic week for the Quinnite Nation. We are rapidly approaching the end of the school year and I don't know if I've ever seen more construction activity on the campus. The best part is that it is simply the harbinger of things to come. If you are familiar with Gideon's story from the Bible, you'll understand how I can say that it really is a wonderful time to be a Quinnite.

Here are this week's musings:

1. The picture to the right is a sneak peak of our newly remodeled Tigers' Den (our student lounge). The picture on the wall is from the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City. We are still installing the new primary television and the video game stations. We will hold those until late July/early August when the students return. For those of you keeping track, in the last two and a half years we've remodeled the following parts of our Student Union: A) the Cafeteria; B) the Fitness Center; C) the Student Affairs Offices; and D) the Tigers' Den.

2. Off the Bone BBQ in Forest Hills, TX is supposed to be the number one BBQ restaurant in the DFW area. Now, I will preface my following remarks with this piece of background information: my parents owned one of the best BBQ restaurants in Chicago when my sister and I were growing up. While the food was very good, what always made it stand out in my mind was the way that my parents were maniacal about customer service. Everyone was greeted with a smile and my parents would not dream of turning a paying customer away regardless of when they arrived. If the grill was on, we were open. I mention this because last night, a group of friends and I tried to patronize Off the Bone and were turned away. We were part of a five person party and the first members of the group arrived at 7:58. The rest of us arrived by 8:02. They refused to serve those of us who arrived at 8:02 (even though we explained that we were part of the same party). First of all, how does a BBQ restaurant close at 8:00 pm on a Friday night? Secondly, how do you turn away paying members of the same party? I guess Off the Bone doesn't need a $50+ plus order. Perhaps the next time D Magazine rates BBQ restaurants they should evaluate service as well.

3. Congratulations to PQC Trustee Erma Johnson Hadley, the Chancellor of the Tarrant County College District. Last night her daughter and son-in-law hosted an amazing event in Ft. Worth celebrating her ascension to the Chancellor's position at TCCD. Her accomplishment is historic on so many different levels. We are huge EJH fans at PQC. I encourage everyone to find out what we already know- there are few higher ed administrators better than our own Chancellor Erma Johnson Hadley.

4. Phase II of the campus landscape re-design is in full swing. We are about to install the roses for the "Avenue of Roses" and plant the Live Oaks. For those of you who bought into the former look of the campus, you are about to be shocked. The grounds will be "nice" for graduation in two weeks. However, the campus will be "beautiful" come new student orientation this fall and "amazing" for Commencement 2011. We don't call it "Greatness . . . One step at a time" for no reason.

On to the next one,
President Sorrell

Friday, April 16, 2010

Random Thoughts from the Road

Greetings Quinnites:

I spent the majority of this week on the road driving through the states of Virginia and Mississippi. Both are beautiful, but very different states. Here are a few of this week's random thoughts from my time in transit:

1. Contrary to some of the things that I continue to hear and read, PQC remains fully accredited. I guess the confusion on this fact speaks to the complexity of the subject matter. I just wish folks would call or email me for clarification instead of spreading erroneous information (which only serves to hurt their credibility and unfairly damage my students).

2. Driving through the Mississippi Delta was a journey back in time for me. One part of my family is from Natchez, MS and as a boy, I rode through some of these towns with my grandparents to visit relatives. Even though it has been more than 30 years since I last made that trip in the back seat of my grandfather's car- today as I drove, I was taken back to being a ten year old boy fascinated by the sight of the farmland and the sound of the Blues.

3. I very much enjoyed my visit to Delta State. Very impressive campus and staff. Great facilities. It has to be considered one of the hidden gems in higher education.

4. I also enjoyed meeting my fraternity brothers (Kappa Alpha Psi) from Mississippi Valley State University during my impromptu visit to their campus. They may be from the new school, but their spirit is reminiscent of the days of yore. Keep achieving brothers.

5. It was a bit eerie to watch ESPN's documentary on Allen Iverson ("No Crossover") while in Hampton, VA. As I watched the young Iverson, I could not help but be saddened by what his life has become. I hope that there is time to avoid a tragic ending.

6. Good luck to the PQC Track & Field Team as they compete in the Red River Conference track meet tomorrow. I'm proud of your effort and your pride. You are true Quinnites.

Until next week,
President Sorrell

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Random Thoughts on Living in Southern Dallas


Just some random thoughts on life south of the Trinity River:

1) Why can't the City of Dallas figure out how to address the stray dog problem in the southern sector? Interestingly enough, for as much time as I've spent in northern Dallas, I don't ever recall seeing a stray dog. Perhaps all of the stray dogs in the northern part of the city are bused to the southern side of the Trinity River. The problem has become so overwhelming, and the animal control people so inept, that it is almost pointless calling them for help. Historically, it is in moments like these where a small cadre of citizen leaders often take matters into their own hands and solve the problems that the government cannot. I wonder what would happen if that cadre of citizen leaders in the southern sector started capturing stray dogs and dropping them off at the animal control shelters (or other municipal locations)? Would that finally bring some attention to this persistent and nagging problem? Or does a child have to be attacked and killed for anyone to care? As an expectant father, that notion sends chills down my spine.

2) It's comforting to know that Simpson Stuart Rd. is safe from the scores of speeding motorists that plague it. Too bad the other streets of the Highland Hills community aren't as safe from drug-trafficking, theft and burglary. I wish there was as much revenue in fighting those versions of crime as there is in curbing routine traffic violations. Maybe then we'd all feel safer at night.

3) Do you ever wonder why there's no police sub-station on the part of Simpson Stuart Rd. where there's actually the most crime?

4) If you would like to see a football field truly become a field of dreams, stop by PQC and witness the transformation of our football field into an urban farm. By mid-summer, our near two-acre plot will be producing more wins for the PQC/Highland Hills community than the football field ever did. If you really want to lift someone out of poverty- plant a garden, not a sports field. It's great if you can have both. But, if you can't, it's always better to choose sustainability over fleeting glory. Hunger pains have a way of staying with you long after the crowd leaves and the cheering ceases. At that point, it's simply you and the cold darkness of an empty cavern. No child deserves that feeling- ever.

5) A non- Southern Dallas thought- congratulations to my alma mater, Duke University, for winning the 2010 Men's Basketball NCAA National Championship. As thrilled as I am for the Blue Devils, I left truly impressed by Butler's brilliant young (33 years old) coach. He is special. I hope that Butler fans understand what they have.

Until the next time,
President Sorrell