Michael T. Sullivan '86 Scholarship
Philadelphia University has made a major impact on the Sullivan family, and, in return, the Sullivan family has significantly impacted the lives of many Philadelphia University students. For Matthew Sullivan M’97 and his five brothers and five sisters, the University has been a part of their family for more than four decades. His mother, Genevieve, and his brother, Michael, were enrolled in Philadelphia University at the same time in the 1980s. Genevieve, a registered nurse for over twenty-five years, was a part-time student pursuing her bachelor’s degree in nursing. Michael, who was married with a young child, worked during the day and took accounting classes at night.
“Both Mom and Mike were inspirations to the entire family. I clearly remember my mom working as a nurse, raising our family while studying for school in between preparing lots of meals and doing chores around the house — she was an incredible woman,” Matthew noted. “She was very dedicated to pursuing her degree and instilled the importance of education in her children.”
It was an exciting Commencement ceremony for the Sullivan family when Genevieve and Michael graduated on the same day as members of the Class of 1986.
Matthew enrolled in the part-time MBA program during the mid-1990s to advance his education and career, and completed his master’s degree in 1997.
When Michael tragically passed away at the age of 36, the family continued his legacy at Philadelphia University by establishing the Michael T. Sullivan '86 Scholarship, which is awarded each year to students in the Accelerated Degree Completion Program in the School of Continuing and Professional Education who are employed on a full-time basis. “This scholarship honors Michael’s legacy, is an important opportunity for our family to give back to Philadelphia University and makes an impact for some full-time working students,” Matthew said.
This year, the Sullivans continued this giving spirit by developing an industry partnership with the University. As CEO of Dunmore Corporation, Matthew worked with Les Sztandera, Ph.D., professor of computer information systems, to create a collaborative project for business, design and engineering students. Matthew believes that working on real-world, team based industry-sponsored projects adds a deeper academic experience for students. The students had an opportunity to meet with Dunmore executives, travel to Germany and develop prototype products for the company.
Throughout the project, his advice to students was three-fold: find what you love to do by experiencing as many different opportunities as possible, always learn by asking many questions and build lasting relationships.
Building lasting relationships and making an impact are things that the Sullivan family takes to heart.
Genevieve Sullivan (left) and Michael Sullivan (right) celebrated with then President James P. Gallagher, Ph.D., at the 1986 Commencement ceremony.