1925-1930: The Algernon Sydney Sullivan Memorial Committee Establishes the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Awards and The Sullivan Foundation Is Chartered

The remaining members of the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Memorial Committee, founded in 1890, decided by 1925 to conclude their work with one final project in honor of Algernon Sydney. They collaborated with the Southern Society of New York to co-sponsor awards in the form of commemorative plaques bearing Algernon Sydney’s portrait to be presented at Southern colleges and universities to deserving individuals for “excellence of character and service to humanity.” It may well have been George and his mother who suggested that the first institution to present the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Awards should be the George Peabody College in Nashville, with which that had formed a warm personal relationship.

By 1926, the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Awards program was expanded to fifteen colleges and universities, most of them in Appalachia. Annual awards were typically presented to an outstanding senior student and sometimes to an alumnus or member of the community who had significantly aided the institution. The program continued to grow over the years, and the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Awards came to be among the most prestigious prizes offered in Southern higher education.

On March 3, 1930, only four short years later, The Algernon Sydney Sullivan Foundation was incorporated. “…hereby constituted a body corporate in perpetuity under the name of THE ALGERNON SYDNEY SULLIVAN FOUNDATION, for the purpose of receiving and maintaining a fund or funds…to promote the general welfare of mankind…” 

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