Paul Quinn College today announced a $3.5 million gift from the Harold Simmons Foundation, the second-largest single donation in the college’s history and school’s second multi-million donation in three years.
College officials say the gift will help finance construction of the first new building on the campus in almost 40 years, and to fund the college’s transition as the nation’s first historically black work college.
Executives with the Simmons Foundation credited Paul Quinn’s commitment to alleviating student debt while enhancing professional access for students in spite of socioeconomic challenges.
“We at the Harold Simmons Foundation are very happy to be a part of the Work College Program at Paul Quinn College,” said Foundation President Lisa Simmons. “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.”
Simmons Foundation officials pledged $2.5 million towards building the Trammell S. Crow Living and Learning Center, named for the Dallas-based entrepreneur in 2014 gave the school $4.4 million. The Center will create new student housing to accommodate a student enrollment spike, exceeding more than 180 percent over the last five years.
“We continue to be deeply appreciative for the support of the Simmons Foundation,” stated Paul Quinn College President Dr. Michael J. Sorrell. “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.”