St. Louis Alumni Honored During Magis Award Ceremony

Sunday, August 27, 2017
Rick Sullivan and his wife, Susan

On Saturday night, Rockhurst University honored two St. Louis-area alumni for their contributions to the good of their communities and beyond during the annual Magis Award ceremony in St. Louis, Missouri.

Richard T. Sullivan Jr., ’73, the appointed CEO of St. Louis Public Schools since 2007, received the annual Magis Award in recognition for his tireless and effective work on behalf of the St. Louis community. Danny Duggan, ’14, received the Faber Young Alumni Award.

Following his graduation from Rockhurst, Sullivan joined McBride and Son homebuilders in 1973 as a property manager, and after a stint at Rubin, Brown, Gornstein and Co. accounting firm, rejoined McBride and Son in 1978, the same year he earned his CPA certification.

Since 2007, Sullivan has served as CEO of the three-member special administrative board for the St. Louis Public Schools, charged with helping steer the system of approximately 25,000 students and an annual budget of approximately $290 million back to full state accreditation. Sullivan has been commended by colleagues and by the media for his humble, attentive and open approach to leading district management alongside his fellow board members. He oversaw the drafting of a new long-range comprehensive plan, the selection of a new superintendent, and the development of a balanced budget. The efforts of Sullivan and the board led to a unanimous January 2017 vote by the Missouri State Board of Education to restore full accreditation to the St. Louis Public School District.

"The proper balance of humility and personal will describes Rick Sullivan perfectly,” said Jim Castellano, ’73, a former classmate of Sullivan’s and recipient of the 2015 Magis Award. “His humility endears him to many. A big thinker, he practices reflection to assess how he can best apply his talents and interests to do more for others."

In addition to his work with the St. Louis Public Schools, Sullivan has a long history of community service. He has served on the board of directors for Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital, the Regional Business Council, the board of trustees at Rockhurst University and Lindenwood University, the executive board of the Boy Scouts of America, Habitat for Humanity St. Louis board of directors, and the St. Louis Regional Convention and Sports Complex Authority, among others.

Danny Duggan.jpg Faber Young Alumni Award winner Duggan is a native of St. Louis who was one of campus’ most visible leaders during his time at Rockhurst. As director of human resources with Amigos for Christ in Nicaragua, Duggan lives service for and with others as part of a team seeking to improve and impact the lives for people in the country’s rural communities.

The Magis Award is given each year to one St. Louis-area alumnus or alumna whose profound impact exemplifies the Jesuit core value of magis, or “more.” Past recipients include the University’s longtime men’s head soccer coach and professor of accounting Tony Tocco, Ph.D.; former University president the Rev. Robert F. Weiss, S.J.; St. Louis business and philanthropic leaders Jim, ’73, and Karen Castellano, and legendary St. Louis basketball coach Rich Grawer, ’65.