Campus News

Sullivan Award Nominations Open

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Jan. 22, 2020)  Nominations for the 2020 Sullivan Awards, the University of Kentucky’s prestigious honor for inspirational humanitarian achievements by students and community members, will be accepted now through Friday, Feb. 28.

Three winners — two outstanding students from this year’s graduating class and a distinguished community member — will be formally recognized in a ceremony in April. They will receive a Sullivan Medallion and a certificate signed by UK President Eli Capilouto.

Students who are eligible to receive the 2020 award must have graduated no earlier than August 2019 or will graduate in May 2020. The citizen must have a University of Kentucky connection as an employee, alumnus/alumna or friend.

The criteria for selection, which puts a premium on character, integrity and humanitarian service, are written in the spirit of Algernon Sydney Sullivan, a Southerner who became a prominent lawyer, businessman and philanthropist in New York in the late 19th century. The guidelines state that “in the selection of the recipients, nothing shall be considered except the possession of such characteristics of heart, mind, and conduct as evince a spirit of love for and helpfulness to other men and women.”

Officially known as the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Awards, they were established by the New York Southern Society in 1925. UK has been recognizing Sullivan Award winners since 1927 and is one of several Southern universities that present Sullivan Awards, sponsored by the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Foundation.

Begin the nomination process by sending a single letter of nomination via email to Phil Harling, chair of the Sullivan Committee, at Letters should be one to two pages in length, explaining how the nominee meets the criteria set forth for the award.

For more information about the award, visit the UK Sullivan Award website at

The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity, and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion four years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a “Great College to Work for" three years in a row, and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers."  We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for five straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.