Team Sullivan Builds a Lasting Legacy

A Worcester family creates opportunities for local student-athletes

Thanks to an endowment established by the Sullivan family, Holy Cross students who graduated from select Worcester County high schools will be eligible for need-based scholarships. By providing financial assistance, the Sullivan Family Scholarship will make a difference in the lives of students with local ties.

A family tradition
Born and raised in Worcester, George F. Sullivan received his degree from Holy Cross in 1934. Since then, eight of his relatives have followed in his footsteps—and one more, Brendan Sullivan, will join those ranks in 2013. That makes four generations of Sullivans who attended the College.
“What has always impressed all of us is that Holy Cross is a values-based institution,” says George’s son Thomas J. “Tom” Sullivan ’70. “Every day, someone is teaching you a value.”
Of all the valuable lessons the Sullivans learned during their time on the Hill, one in particular stands out: the importance of teamwork. Indeed, the family knows a lot about working together toward a common goal—after all, almost every member played on a Crusader athletic team.
George F. Sullivan Jr. ’60 played on the golf team. His son Jon A. Sullivan ’87 was captain of the golf team, and his son Terrence G. “Terry” Sullivan ’85 was co-captain of the crew team. Tom Sullivan was captain of the crew team and later coached rowing at the College for 34 years. His son Thomas J. “Tom” Sullivan Jr. ’95 was on both the crew team and the hockey team, and his brother-in-law Steven E. Daly ’73 was also on the hockey team. Tom Sr.’s daughter Kerry E. (Sullivan) O’Keefe ’96 was a co-captain of the women’s crew team—and Peter J. O’Keefe Jr. ’95 joined “Team Sullivan” when he married Kerry.
“Playing sports as a young adult not only keeps you physically and mentally focused, it also helps prepare you to balance your priorities in life,” explains Terry Sullivan.

Working together
Though they no longer compete in the rink, on the links or lakes, the Sullivans still recognize the benefits of teamwork. In fact, most of them work together at the family business, Sullivan, Garrity & Donnelly Insurance Agency, Inc., a Worcester and South Shore institution since George Sr.’s father, Jeremiah Sullivan, first opened its doors in 1922.
For their latest team effort, the Sullivans have pulled together to provide financial support to deserving students in the Worcester community. Through the Sullivan Family Scholarship, the family will pool their resources so that local student-athletes will have the opportunity to receive a Holy Cross education. Preference for the scholarship will be given to students who have participated at the interscholastic level in the sports of golf, ice hockey or rowing.“At Holy Cross, we learned about the value of helping others,” explains George Sullivan Jr.

“To us, scholarships like this one are an investment in someone’s future.”