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

As the state’s flagship, land-grant institution, the University of Kentucky exists to advance the Commonwealth. We do that by preparing the next generation of leaders — placing students at the heart of everything we do — and transforming the lives of Kentuckians through education, research and creative work, service and health care. We pride ourselves on being a catalyst for breakthroughs and a force for healing, a place where ingenuity unfolds. It's all made possible by our people — visionaries, disruptors and pioneers — who make up 200 academic programs, a $476.5 million research and development enterprise and a world-class medical center, all on one campus.   

In 2022, UK was ranked by Forbes as one of the “Best Employers for New Grads” and named a “Diversity Champion” by INSIGHT into Diversity, a testament to our commitment to advance Kentucky and create a community of belonging for everyone. While our mission looks different in many ways than it did in 1865, the vision of service to our Commonwealth and the world remains the same. We are the University for Kentucky.