Nominations for Sullivan Award for Community Service Due Feb. 26

The UM McLean Institute for Public Service and Community Engagement is seeking nominations for the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award, which recognizes ‘nobility of character, exemplified by selfless service to others and the community.’ Photo by Nathan Latil/Ole Miss Communications

The McLean Institute for Public Service and Community Engagement at the University of Mississippi is seeking nominations for the annual Algernon Sydney Sullivan Awards.

The awards recognize those who exhibit “nobility of character, exemplified by selfless service to others and the community.” The institute will accept nominations through Feb. 26 for one student, either undergraduate or graduate; one alumnus; and one member of the Lafayette-Oxford-University community.

To nominate someone, visit the McLean Institute’s website. Recipients will be announced at 3 p.m. April 3 in the ballroom at The Inn at Ole Miss. Recognizing service is crucial to the university’s mission, said Katrina Caldwell, vice chancellor for diversity and community engagement.

“This is UM’s fifth annual celebration of service recognition,” Caldwell said. “The community-campus partnerships of service are life-changing for all involved.

“The Sullivan Award celebrates a student, an alumnus and community member who participate in humble service behind the scenes to make the LOU community and beyond a great place to live.”

Last year, Ole Miss senior Miller Richmond, alumnus Don Cole and community member Jo Ann O’Quin were honored.

Richmond, an international studies major, served as co-director of the Big Event. He also tutored and mentored underserved youth from the Lafayette County and Oxford school districts with The Leap Frog Program Inc.

Cole was the alumni recipient of the Sullivan Award. He serves as the assistant provost and assistant to the chancellor concerning minority affairs, as well as associate professor of mathematics.

He was nominated for his work with many community organizations, including Habitat for Humanity, the Boys and Girls Club, Mission Mississippi, New Hope Missionary Baptist Church and the Oxford Long Range Planning Committee Task Force, as well as his efforts to recruit, retain and mentor minority students at UM.

O’Quin was the community member recipient. A professor emerita of social work, O’Quin was recognized for her involvement with the Alzheimer’s and Related Disorders Caregiver Support group and Memory Makers.

Her professional service has resulted in recognition as one who has provided significant improvement in the care and well-being of older citizens in general, but especially patients, families and caregivers who must navigate and manage the multiple dimensions of Alzheimer’s disease.

Like honorees in years past, ideal candidates are selfless and committed to improving life for others, said Laura Martin, assistant director of the McLean Institute. 

“The Sullivan Award honors individuals who place serve above self,” Martin said. “Sullivan Award recipients have distinguished themselves and quietly inspired others through their sustained, selfless acts.”

The honor was established in 1890 to recognize those who emphasize service to others before oneself, while also having integrity and being honest, moral, ethical, responsible, determined, courageous and compassionate. Those who do not actively seek recognition are prime candidates.

The award has been given for 130 years and is awarded at 72 colleges and universities across the South, said Steve McDavid, president of the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Foundation. 

“The Sullivan Award is the highest nonacademic honor at most schools where it is given,” McDavid said. “The award recognizes and honors those that humbly serve others in their day-to-day life.”


 By Michael Newsom

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