Annual service award nominations due Dec. 1

By Abby Shields

While some UK seniors are just ready to grab their diploma and leave for the real world, two graduating students will receive the prestigious Sullivan Medallion award along with a college degree.

The Sullivan Medallion is awarded to two graduating students, one male and one female, and one non-student, for their dedication and helpfulness in serving their community.

“The Sullivan Award recognizes people whose love for their fellow man and woman and whose service orientation are such that they give unstintingly of themselves to improve life for those around them,” Associate Vice President of University Engagement Phil Greasley said.

A university-based committee chooses the recipients of the award, but a colleague, peer, employer or other party must originally nominate the recipients.

“The committee seeks nominations of people with such characteristics of heart, mind and conduct as evidence  of a spirit of love for and helpfulness to other men and women,” Greasley said.

UK started giving out the Sullivan Medallion in 1927 as a way to recognize students and people in the community who were making a significant effort to improve and better their community. The selection committee has always sought students the university respects who exemplify qualities based around humanitarianism. While the award is geared toward UK students, a member of the community is also acknowledged.

“UK engages broadly with people and communities across Kentucky,” Greasley said. “The citizen award recognizes those, with some UK connection, who work selflessly to make life better for those around them. They exemplify good qualities and serve as role models for others.”

One member of the 2011 Sullivan Award Committee is Vice President for Development Mike Richey, a former non-student Sullivan Medallion recipient.

“It’s [the award] based upon characteristics of heart, mind and conduct that shows a spirit of love and servitude,” Richey said. “I think I was recognized because I worked so much in the area of student services and I did a lot of volunteering within the university.”

The Sullivan Medallion is a special award not only to UK, but also to the community at large, Richey said. He said receiving the medallion is an honor largely because “it’s about something that other people see in you.”

The Sullivan Medallion will be awarded to both students and a member of the community at the Founder’s Day Celebration on Feb. 22, 2011. The deadline for submitting nominations is 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, December 1, 2010.

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