The Paine College Community Bids Farewell to President Samuel Sullivan

Today, the Paine College Community will bid farewell to President Samuel Sullivan and First Lady Lucinda Ross Sullivan, just three and a half weeks following the College’s Commencement Convocation. Dr. Sullivan came out of retirement to join the Paine College Administration in March 2013 as Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs. The Board of Trustees appointed him Interim President in October 2014 upon the departure of Dr. George C. Bradley. Later, the Board of Trustees named Dr. Sullivan fifteenth President of Paine College during the April 2016 meeting of the Board.

Faculty, staff and students gave their farewells to President and Mrs. Sullivan during several receptions held throughout the month. The students held an ice cream social in Peters Campus Center, while faculty and staff documented the Sullivans’ contributions and journey in a video presentation that was presented during an afternoon reception in Candler Memorial Library Banquet Hall. Members of the President’s Cabinet presented the official portrait of President Sullivan that will be installed in Collins-Callaway Library in the company of past-presidents. During the Alumni Reunion Awards Banquet, the Paine College Augusta Alumni Chapter presented a plaque to Dr. Sullivan for outstanding service to the College. Throughout the year, civic organizations honored Dr. Sullivan for his dedication to the College.

President Sullivan took the helm of the Institution during turbulent times. Under his leadership, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) lifted seven of the ten areas of non-compliance that faced the Institution. Alumni giving increased with the highest number of alums having donated $1,000 or more. During his tenure, the Office of Institutional Advancement tracked giving from all sources that reached over $9,850,000.00. In addition, the Paine College Board of Trustees embarked upon a Comprehensive Campaign that will address the College’s endowment, physical plant, academic programs, campus renovations and unrestricted funds. The Campaign is expected to yield over $15 million.

During Dr. Sullivan’s tenure, the College experienced a significant increase in ecumenical and faith-based support. The Christian Methodist Episcopal (CME) Church made an historical gift in the amount of $1million to the Institution’s endowment and donated over $1.5 million during his tenure. The General Board of Higher Education & Ministry (GBHEM) of the United Methodist Church donated over $800,000.00 to the College during this period.

On the heels of Dr. Sullivan’s departure, the GBHEM awarded a Capital Funds grant in the amount of $300,000.00 that will be utilized to underwrite renovations for the Gilbert-Lambuth Memorial Chapel and refurbish two residential facilities: Hollis and Gray Halls. Local churches held rallies and fundraising campaigns that benefited the College’s Annual Fund. As a result, the Walk of Faith Campaign was born.

With great pride, the Paine College Upward Bound Program was elected to receive $2.29 million over a five-year period. The initial disbursement will be in the amount of $458,304.00 for the first budget period (June 1, 2017 – May 31, 2018).

Attorney Barbara E. Bouknight, chairman of the Paine College Board of Trustees, said, “On behalf of members of the governing body, we are indebted to Drs. Samuel and Lucinda Sullivan for their committed service and we wish them well as they embark upon their new life’s journey. Dr. Sullivan steered the College during turbulent waters and kept the Institution afloat. Her doors remain open for all who want to enter and learn.”

Of particular note, Dr. Sullivan will remain available throughout the transition of the incoming president, Dr. Jerry L. Hardee.

For more information about ways to extend heartfelt sentiments of gratitude to the Sullivans, please contact Helene Carter in the Office of Institutional Advancement at 706.821.8323, or via email: .

Cherie S. White
Cherie S. White
Cherie S. White is Director of Digital Strategy for the Tom Joyner Foundation, a writer and editor.