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05-10-2009

St. Lawrence University President Receives Clarkson University Honorary Degree

[A photograph for media use is available at http://www.clarkson.edu/news/photos/sullivan.jpg ]

St. Lawrence University President Daniel F. Sullivan received an honorary doctor of science degree at Clarkson University’s 116th Commencement today.Sullivan

The degree was awarded for his "resolute commitment to upholding the highest ideals of education, most notably through his leadership support of liberal arts education, and his contributions to national and state higher education policymaking."

Sullivan addressed the Class of 2009, speaking about his impressions of the Clarkson-St. Lawrence relationship as an undergraduate in the 1960s, and today as president of St. Lawrence.

"Clarkson is an ambitious university in the best sense, focused on providing a first-class education to its students so they can live a life of productivity and service -- a university intent on making a difference in the world through applications of its research and innovations.

"In the North Country, regionally and nationally, we complement each other wonderfully and recognize each other’s distinctive strengths.

"That we are so different in our academic programs makes collaboration easier, and increases the possibilities for win-win outcomes for us and for those we serve."

The 17th president of St. Lawrence University, he began his duties on July 1, 1996, and was inaugurated on September 21, 1996.

A 1965 mathematics graduate of St. Lawrence, Sullivan received his Ph.D. in sociology from Columbia University where he was an Edward John Noble Fellow, a University Fellow and a National Science Foundation Graduate Fellow. While at Columbia, he also served as an instructor in sociology and research associate at Barnard College.

Just prior to returning to St. Lawrence, Sullivan was from 1986-1996 president of Allegheny College, in Meadville, Pa. From 1971 to 1986, he was at Carleton College in Northfield, Minn., in a variety of positions, including assistant professor of sociology, dean of academic development and planning, and vice president for planning and development, secretary of the college and associate professor of sociology. In 1974-76, Sullivan was on leave from Carleton to be senior research associate and assistant professor of sociology at Cornell University.

Under Sullivan’s leadership, St. Lawrence University has launched several major initiatives in facilities renovation, expansion and construction; in academic programs, including expansion of the faculty and the addition of new major fields and international study programs; and in regional economic development and community relations.

Sullivan was in 1989 a founding member of Project Kaleidoscope, a foundation-funded partnership of liberal arts college presidents, deans and faculty devoted to reform and improvement of undergraduate science and mathematics education, and he is currently chair of its board.

He is a trustee and current past chair of the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U), the only major higher education association whose sole focus is the quality of student learning in the college years. His other professional service has included membership on advisory panels and committees for the National Science Foundation, the Consortium on Financing Higher Education, The College Board, New York State’s Council on Independent Colleges and Universities (cIcu) and the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU), among others.

While at Allegheny he served terms as chair of the board of Pennsylvania’s Commission for Independent Colleges and Universities and president of the North Coast Athletic Conference. In the North Country he has served as chair of the board of the St. Lawrence Aquarium and Ecological Center.

Sullivan’s nationally known scholarly work is in the fields of the sociology of science and medicine, the sociology of organizations, and higher education policy.

Clarkson University launches leaders into the global economy. One in six alumni already leads as a CEO, VP or equivalent senior executive of a company. Located just outside the Adirondack Park in Potsdam, N.Y., Clarkson is a nationally recognized research university for undergraduates with select graduate programs in signature areas of academic excellence directed toward the world’s pressing issues. Through 50 rigorous programs of study in engineering, business, arts, sciences and health sciences, the entire learning-living community spans boundaries across disciplines, nations and cultures to build powers of observation, challenge the status quo, and connect discovery and engineering innovation with enterprise.

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Michael P. Griffin, director of News & Digital Content Services, at 315-268-6716 or mgriffin@clarkson.edu.]

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