A Berry College freshman has been chosen as the first recipient of the inaugural Sullivan Scholarship.
Animal science major Hailey McMahon was recently awarded $10,000 annually for her four years of study at Berry.
Sullivan Scholarships are awarded to students who demonstrate model character and a commitment to service above self, aligning with the Sullivan Foundation’s ideal characteristics of character including honesty, morality, ethics, responsibility, determination, courage and compassion.
Before coming to Berry, McMahon was involved in youth leadership and volunteered in her school’s Biology Club, cleaning animal cages and coordinating events for elementary school students. She also worked with a Marine Science Station to replant eel-grass and assisted with hurricane clean up after the several hurricanes in Florida. McMahon has a passion for animals, specifically felines. She hopes to use her time at Berry as a Sullivan Scholar to explore animal welfare in the community.
“I’m researching organizations in Rome that have trap, neuter and return programs,” McMahon said. “Every cat deserves a chance to thrive. Just because they may not live in your home doesn’t mean they’re not worthy.”
Students apply with an essay detailing their individual careers of service, leadership and community outreach. Recipients are asked to remain in good academic standing. Recipients are also expected to actively participate in community engagement such as service, community-based research, or social entrepreneurship.
The Algernon Sydney Sullivan Foundation roots date back to the 1880s when President of the United States Grover Cleveland and a group of other influential persons created the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award to honor those that inspire a life of integrity and service. Recipients include First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, Supreme Court Justice Lewis Powell, and Georgia Governor Nathan Deal, to name a few. In addition to the award, the Foundation has been funding service-based scholarships a colleges across the American South since 1925.
The Sullivan Foundation remains dedicated to alleviating socio-economic issues. Today, the Foundation remains as strong as ever and is expanding the reach of the Sullivan spirit far beyond – investing in social entrepreneurship, which equips universities, students and community members with the tools necessary to apply business models to social issues.
“I have a strong belief that this program will help me achieve so many wonderful things throughout my years here at Berry and those that follow,” McMahon wrote. “I can’t wait to further develop my leadership skills, social skills and to really dive into how I can help my community.”