Presidents of Historically Black College and Universities Star in Viral Video

Leader of Paul Quinn College in Dallas joins the fun

NBC 5 News

We're seeing a different side to more than a dozen presidents of Historically Black Colleges and Universities and that includes the president of Paul Quinn College in Dallas.

Dr. Michael Sorrell joined HBCU colleagues in the #DontRushChallenge going viral on TikTok. The video is set to the song "Don't Rush" by Young T & Bugsey but with editing tricks, it looks like rushed to get ready in 10 seconds. And that's the challenge.

Sorrell and the other 12 HBCU presidents simply wanted to let students know while the coronavirus pandemic has them apart, they are still connected in school pride.

Dr. Herman Felton, the president of Wiley College in Marshall in East Texas, gets credit for getting his fellow HBCU presidents to join the challenge.

"It’s been rough for us. The pressure and challenges of managing our campuses during this crisis has impacted us all in many ways-also different," Dr. Felton wrote in an email to NBC 5. "I had hoped it would give my colleagues and I a much needed reprieve from the gravity of Covid-19, have a little fun, and show some school pride for our students and alums. I sent a text to a group, made a phone call to a few, and without any hesitation, all thought it would be fun."

Sorrell didn't hestitate for a moment when his friend asked him to be part of it.

"I tell my students, 'I wasn't always a college president.', So that part of me thought it would be fun," Sorrell said. "We're living a in a period of time when we've been made to fear each other and that's devastating. This is a moment of levity, a moment to smile."

Sorrell told NBC 5 he shot the video of him going from a ball cap, T-shirt and shorts to a well-dressed man in suits in a room where his "kids couldn't see me and make fun of me."

"I'm a modern, media-savvy college president," he laughed. "I think the fact that it's touched a vein has been nice."

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