The Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award was created nearly 100 years ago to honor a man for whom the award is named. Algernon Sydney Sullivan was a lawyer, a devout Christian, a mediator, a powerful and appealing orator, a courageous citizen during perilous times, a noted philanthropist, and a devoted family man. In the words of a friend, Sullivan “reached out both hands in constant helpfulness to others.” And many were touched by him – from street beggars and Sunday School children, to the most powerful businessmen and politicians of the city. With all of them, he commanded affection and respect. Professionally, Sullivan was a founding partner of the Sullivan Cromwell law firm, one of the preeminent law firms in the nation. To honor his life of service to others, the award is given annually by the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Foundation to recognize individuals whose “nobility of character” and dedication to service sets them apart as examples for others.
The Algernon Sydney Sullivan Foundation facilitates annual awards on 54 college and university campuses, mostly in the Appalachian region of the Southeastern U.S. Participating colleges and universities may present the awards to students and to alumni or community members who meet the award criteria.
Awarded only in recognition of fine spiritual qualities, practically applied to daily living, as distinct from high scholarship, athletic achievement, success in business, professional ability, political leadership, or mere worldly prominence in any calling.
The awards are presented each year to one graduating senior and one to an adult member of the college or university’s community.
The Award itself is bronze medallion, accompanied by a framed certificate describing the Award and copy of a brief biography of Algernon Sydney Sullivan.