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Giving to medicine and health at the University of Minnesota

Alum gives back to honor trusted friend and counselor

He has been called “the medical student’s friend,” the “human face of the Medical School,” and just plain “Sully.” No matter how he was known, W. Albert Sullivan Jr., M.D., holds a special place in the hearts of many Medical School alumni.

Sullivan worked in the dean’s office for more than 20 years, lastly as associate dean of student affairs from 1973 to 1990. He also was an associate professor in the Department of Surgery. Conversant in 15 languages, Sullivan traveled extensively, enjoyed baking French bread, and—most important—never hesitated to help a medical student in need.

One alumnus was so grateful for the support Sullivan showed him and his family through difficult times during medical school that he set up a scholarship fund in Sullivan’s name. This donor, who prefers to remain anonymous, has been contributing to the Albert Sullivan Scholarship Fund for more than 15 years.

Now he is challenging others to contribute: He will personally match each dollar—up to $106,500—donated to this fund.

On top of that, the fund’s “payout”— 4.75 percent of the fund’s market value that is paid out each year to fund the scholarship— will then be matched by the University-wide President’s Scholarship Match. That makes each dollar given to the Sullivan scholarship worth four dollars, quadrupling the impact for today’s medical students.

Created in 1989, the Albert Sullivan Scholarship Fund provides scholarships to University of Minnesota medical students, with preference given to undergraduates majoring in fields outside the sciences.

This year a $7,900 scholarship has been awarded through the fund. If alumni donations reach $106,500, the scholarship fund (after the matches) should provide a full ride for one future student.

Sullivan died in 1990, at age 66, from complications of a brain tumor, but one alumnus is encouraging those who benefited from Sullivan’s generosity to help his legacy live on through this endowed scholarship.

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