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Beto returns to Dallas for graduation speech at Paul Quinn College

Beto returns to Dallas for graduation speech at Paul Quinn College

Beto O'Rourke
This is the first time he'll be in Dallas since he announced his presidential campaign. Beto O'Rourke/Facebook

Dallas' Paul Quinn College has scored probably the No. 1 wish list speaker for its 2019 graduation ceremony: Beto O’Rourke, 2020 presidential candidate and former U.S. Congressman.

According to a release, the former congressman will address Paul Quinn's 130th graduating class on its campus in southern Dallas on Saturday, May 4, at 9:00 am.

This is O'Rourke's third trip to campus over the last two years. He spoke at the opening of Paul Quinn's Summer Bridge Program in June 2018, then returned to campus to hold a town hall with students and the south Dallas community on October 6, 2018.

Michael J. Sorrell, president of Paul Quinn College, says in a statement that O'Rourke has been "a long-time friend to the Quinnite Nation and to HBCUs across the country." HBCUs = historically black colleges and universities.

"We are thrilled to have Beto return to campus to address our graduating seniors and help us send them to the next chapter of their lives," Sorrell says.

Paul Quinn College is the only Urban Work College in America, and the first minority-serving federally-funded work college in the Work College Consortium.

The college requires residential students to work and allows them to use part of their compensation to defray the cost of attendance and cutting tuition and fees by almost $10,000. The school has created a model where its students graduate without accumulating insurmountable debt.

O'Rourke says the opportunity to speak is an "all-time honor," stating that "we are smarter, stronger and better able to meet the challenges ahead of us because of the bold, innovative, transformational work occurring at Paul Quinn College and HBCUs across the country."

This will be O'Rourke's first appearance in Dallas since he announced his candidacy for president in March.