SUNY Canton Honors Former St. Lawrence University President
Sullivan’s tireless efforts as an academician and administrator have dramatically improved the quality of life in the North Country and positively affected the growth and reputation of education throughout the area.
“We are recognizing Dr. Sullivan with an honorary degree to formally thank him for his lifelong commitment and relentless hard work for the people of the North Country,” SUNY Canton President Joseph L. Kennedy said. “He’s furthered opportunities for North Country students of all ages and has been a leader and promoter for business growth and economic development.”
Sullivan began his career as the 17th president of St. Lawrence in 1996. During his tenure, he had a direct impact on the continued growth of Canton, St. Lawrence County, and the surrounding North Country communities. On numerous occasions, Sullivan and Kennedy have partnered with local community and business leaders on initiatives to facilitate improvements for the community at large.
“Dr. Sullivan has been an active supporter and participant in SUNY Canton’s growth and quick to embrace the symbiotic relationship between the two campuses and how it benefits our area,” Kennedy said. “The relationship is a unique public-private alliance and both colleges promote each other’s success and the success of our community.”
Among Sullivan’s numerous accomplishments was the creation of the Canton Initiative, a program that helped strengthen the ties between higher education and the community.
“What an unusual, special partnership St. Lawrence and SUNY Canton, and Joe Kennedy and I, have had over the past 13 years as we have sought together to improve the economic and quality of life vitality of the North Country,” said Sullivan. “Collaborations between public and private universities, such as ours, are rare nationally, but they need to become much less rare. I am deeply honored to be recognized in this way by an institution that has come to mean a great deal to me.”
In 2003, St. Lawrence hosted the inaugural North Country Symposium, bringing together local and regional business owners and stakeholders to develop ways to benefit life in Northern New York. The University hosted its eighth symposium this spring with steering committee input from SUNY Canton employees.
Sullivan, a 1965 graduate of St. Lawrence, received his Ph.D. in sociology from Columbia University in 1971. He was an Edward John Noble Fellow and a National Science Foundation Graduate Fellow. In 1971, he joined the faculty of Carleton College in Minnesota, and in 1979 became Vice President for Planning and Development and Associate Professor of Sociology there. He became President and Professor of Sociology at Allegheny College in 1986. In addition, he spent 1974-76 at Cornell University as a senior research associate and assistant professor of sociology on leave from Carleton.
In addition to his work with the local communities, he oversaw the expansion of St. Lawrence’s academic programs, including several new majors and international study programs. During his presidency, 25 different facilities were created or transformed, including the $36.9 million Johnson Hall of Science. Sullivan was also at the forefront of two of St. Lawrence’s capital campaigns, both the largest in the University’s history.
He and his wife, Ann, currently reside in Colton and are both still active members in the community.
SUNY Canton’s 102nd Commencement Ceremony will be conducted outside at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, May 22, adjacent to the Richard W. Miller Campus Center.
Media inquiries should be directed to Gregory Kie, Media Relations Coordinator, or call 315/386-7528.