2022 J. Erik Jonsson Ethics Award

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The Cary M. Maguire Center for Ethics and Public Responsibility

is pleased to announce the recipient of the 2022


Michael J. Sorrell

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Dr. Michael J. Sorrell is the longest-serving President in the 150-year history of Paul Quinn College. During his 15 years of leadership, Paul Quinn has become a nationally regarded institution for its efforts to remake higher education in order to serve the needs of under-resourced students and their communities.

 

Included among Paul Quinn’s numerous accomplishments during President Sorrell’s tenure are the following: winning the HBCU of the Year, HBCU Student Government Association of the Year, and HBCU Business Program of the Year awards; achieving recognition as a member of the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll; creating the New Urban College Model; demolishing 15 abandoned campus buildings; partnering with PepsiCo to transform the football field into the WE over Me Farm; achieving full-accreditation from the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools (TRACS); creating the College’s first faculty-led study abroad program; and rewriting all institutional fundraising records.

 

President Sorrell is one of the most decorated college presidents in America. Recently, President George W. Bush and the George W. Bush Presidential Center awarded him the Bush Institute Trailblazer Citation. He has been named one of the World’s 50 Greatest Leaders by Fortune Magazine; is the only three-time recipient of the HBCU Male President of the Year Award (2018, 2016 and 2012); won Higher Education’s President of the Year award as named by Education Dive; and Time Magazine listed him as one of the “31 People Changing the South.” Washington Monthly Magazine identified him as one of America’s 10 Most Innovative College Presidents and Rev. Jesse Jackson, Sr. and PUSH/Excel honored him with its Education Leadership Award. Michael is the recipient of both the Dallas Bar Association’s Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Justice Award and the City of Dallas’ Father of the Year Award. In addition to being a member of the “Root 100” (a list of the top 100 emerging leaders in America) by the Root Online Magazine, Michael has received: the Distinguished Alumni Award from Duke University, the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education, and St. Ignatius College Prep in Chicago, Illinois; the A. Kenneth Pye Award for Excellence in Education from Duke University’s School of Law Alumni Association; the Social Innovator Award from Babson College; the Vision Award, Center for Social Entrepreneurship, Middlebury College; Luminary Award from SMU; and the TRACS Leadership Award. The Dallas Historical Society honored Michael for Excellence in Educational Administration. He is a past recipient of the Dallas Urban League’s Torch for Community Leadership and both the President’s and C.B. Bunkley Awards from J.L. Turner for his outstanding contributions to the Dallas legal community. Michael also has an honorary degree from Austin College.

 

Michael received his J.D. and M.A. in Public Policy from Duke University and his Ed.D. from the University of Pennsylvania (where his dissertation defense was awarded “with Distinction”). While in law school, he was one of the founding members of the Journal of Gender Law & Policy and served as the Vice President of the Duke Bar Association. Michael was a recipient of a Sloan Foundation Graduate Fellowship, which funded his studies at both Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government (as a graduate fellow) and Duke University. He graduated from Oberlin College with a B.A. in Government, served as Secretary-Treasurer of his senior class, was a two-time captain of the men’s varsity basketball team, and graduated as the school’s fifth all-time leading scorer.

 

Among the entities that President Sorrell serves as a trustee or director for are Duke University’s School of Law, the Graduate School of Education at the University of Pennsylvania, JP Morgan Chase’sAdvancing Black Pathways, Amegy Bank, the Hockaday School, the Dallas Advisory Board of Teach for America, the Dallas Foundation, and EarthX.

 

President Sorrell is married to the former Natalie Jenkins. Natalie is an alumna of Spelman College and the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. They have two wonderful children, Michael Augustus and Sage Louise-Sinclair.


In recognition of his civic and philanthropic contributions to our city, state and nation, the Maguire Center for Ethics and Public Responsibility is honored to recognize Michael Sorrell with the 2022 J. Erik Jonsson Ethics Award.

Event details, including ticket and sponsorship opportunities, are forthcoming and will be announced here when available.

 

 

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Since 1997, the J. Erik Jonsson Ethics Award luncheon has served as the Center’s sole fundraising event, supporting our dynamic programs that serve the SMU faculty, staff, and student body as well as our community at-large. The support from this event directly funds the Center’s annual operations and ensures its continued success.

The J. Erik Jonsson Ethics Award is named in honor of the public-spirited former mayor of Dallas.  It is given to individuals who epitomize the spirit of moral leadership and public virtue.  The founders of our nation foresaw that the ideal of liberty alone would not sustain our country unless accompanied by the concept of "public virtue," a sacrifice of self and resources for the public good.  The Maguire Center is proud to present this award to people whose careers should be recognized, honored, and modeled.


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About the Award

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The J. Erik Jonsson Ethics Award is named in honor of the public-spirited former mayor of Dallas.  It is given to individuals who epitomize the spirit of moral leadership and public virtue.  The founders of our nation foresaw that the ideal of liberty alone would not sustain our country unless accompanied by the concept of "public virtue," a sacrifice of self and resources for the public good.  The Maguire Center is proud to present this award to people whose careers should be recognized, honored, and modeled.

 

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Past Award Recipients

Cary M. Maguire (2021)
Ross Perot, Jr. (2020)
Nancy Strauss Halbreich (2019)
Bobby Lyle (2018)
David Brown (2017)
Terry Flowers (2016)
Lyda Hill (2015)Award 
Gail G. Thomas  (2014)
Nancy Ann and Ray L. Hunt (2013)
Walter J. Humann (2012)
Ruth Altshuler (2011)
Bob Buford (2010)
Ronald G. Steinhart (2009)
Michael M. Boone (2008)
Zan W. Holmes Jr., M.Th (2007)
Roger Staubach (2006)
Caren Prothro (2005)
Tom Luce (2004)
Ron Anderson, M.D. (2003)
Jack Lowe, Jr. (2002)
William T. Solomon (2000)
Stanley H. Marcus (1999)
Charles C. Sprague, M.D. (1998)
Curtis W. Meadows, Jr. (1997)

 

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Mayor J. Erik Jonsson

J. Erik Jonsson, a founder of Texas Instruments, was a selfless civic worker, former Dallas mayor, and committed philanthropist.  He exemplified the highest ethical standards in his many business and civic endeavors. As a visionary, he sought to repay the debt that all businesses owe their community through selfless work as a civic leader and through his philanthropy in education.

Mr. Jonsson transformed Texas Instruments from a company offering geophysical services to one that pioneered the high-tech world of electronics and semiconductors. His accomplishments were recognized in 1975 when he was one of only four living Americans to be selected for the newly created National Business Hall of Fame, joining such historical luminaries as Henry Ford, J. Pierpont Morgan, Alfred P. Sloan, and Andrew Carnegie.

Mr. Jonsson insisted on the highest ethical standards for Texas Instruments. The company set an early example in formalizing a code of ethics for its executives and employees.

His own leadership in Dallas’s civic affairs culminated when he was selected to be mayor in the dark period following the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Under his guidance from 1964-1971, the city built a new city hall, a new municipal library, and the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. He founded and largely financed the Goals for Dallas program that, for the first time in the city’s history, involved people of all races in establishing long-range municipal goals.

A mechanical engineer educated at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Mr. Jonsson was born in Brooklyn of Swedish immigrant parents, spent his early life in New Jersey, and moved to Dallas in 1934 to join the company that was a predecessor to Texas Instruments.

 

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