DALLAS — It is a special time at Paul Quinn College. The only HBCU in Dallas is celebrating its 150th anniversary.
“It is 150 consecutive years,” said the college’s President Dr. Michael Sorrell.
During the college’s Convocation on Friday, a special surprise was delivered to a large group of Lancaster ISD students in attendance.
“There were so many thoughts. So many emotions,” said Lancaster high school student Boston Kimmons.
The seniors thought they were on campus for a special college tour. They visited classes and the college’s new Health and Wellness Center, among other areas.
The teens never expected the Paul Quinn College’s president would reveal a huge secret.
“All Lancaster ISD students with 3.0 or better will automatically be admitted to Paul Quinn College,” Sorrell said.
Thunderous applause followed. More than 200 students present at the ceremony were surprised with automatic acceptance to the historic institution.
“We didn’t expect it at all,” said student Dajaiya Pegue.
Some students described the announcement as a game-changer for college access.
“That gives people another option and another outlook on college. And also, being accepted to this school, my momma went to this school. So, it’s surprising for me and her,” Pegue explained.
The surprises didn’t stop there. Sorrell delivered more good news to those high schoolers eligible for Pell grants.
“Not only do you get to come to Paul Quinn College, but you get to identify two members of your family or your friends to bring to college with you,” Sorrell told the students.
The move is part of a new partnership between Paul Quinn College and Lancaster ISD called "Tiger to Tiger." The school offered similar acceptances to some students in Dallas ISD and Fort Worth ISD.
“I also have a grandfather who didn’t get a chance to finish college. So, if I decide to come here, I also get to bring him along with me,” Kimmons said.
Paul Quinn College also announced expansion plans. It is hoping to be the first HBCU campus in northern California.
“We are committed to the inevitability of your success. You now belong to all of us,” Sorrell told the students.