Special to The Dallas Examiner
Paul Quinn College announced on Monday that it received a $3.5 million gift from the Harold Simmons Foundation. The college will use $2.5 million to help finance the construction of the Trammell S. Crow Living and Learning Center, the first new building on the campus in almost 40 years, which was announced last year.
“We continue to be deeply appreciative for the support of the Simmons Foundation,” stated Dr. Michael J. Sorrell, PQC president. “The Foundation was one of the first institutions to believe in our vision for creating a new New Urban College Model, one that prepares students by providing them real world work experiences at an affordable rate. We vow to live up to their faith in us.”
The Crow center will address Paul Quinn’s need for additional student housing created by an increase in student enrollment. Since the spring of 2010, enrollment increased by more than 180 percent and by 55 percent alone from fall 2014 to fall 2015.
The remaining $1 million will support the college’s work program. The gift will support the college’s transition to becoming a federally recognized work college. Paul Quinn began this conversion process in the fall of 2013. When completed, it will become the nation’s first urban, and eighth overall, work college. By implementing the work program format, the college was able to reduce student tuition and fees from $23,800 to $14,275 and reduce student debt.
“We at the Harold Simmons Foundation are very happy to be a part of the Work College Program at Paul Quinn College,” foundation president Lisa Simmons said. “This innovative model takes up the national challenge to prepare students for successful work lives without the burden of crushing debt that puts so many dreams out of reach. The Harold Simmons Foundation is proud to invest in Paul Quinn because it is an institution leading the way.”
The Harold Simmons Foundation is based in Dallas and seeks to improve the quality of life of all members of the community by supporting programs that promote human dignity, a safe and enriching environment, and comprehensive support systems for individuals, children and families.
“The Board of Trustees of Paul Quinn is incredibly grateful for the confidence that the Simmons Foundation continues to show in the college,” explained recently installed Board Chairman Don Clevenger, senior VP of Strategic Planning for Oncor. “Their most recent gift is an excellent statement not only about the school’s vision for the future. A vision that has found a home both locally and nationally.”