Troy University has honored two students and a member of the University’s staff with the 2019 Algernon Sydney Sullivan Awards.
Brennan Garriques, a senior social science major from Canton, Ga., Olivia Walleser, a senior business administration major with a concentration in global business management from Sheboygan, Wisc., and Sandra Thomas, lecturer in the Department of Risk Management and Data Analytics, received the Sullivan Awards during a luncheon in their honor on the Troy Campus. The recipients were also honored during the University’s annual Honors Convocation on April 25.
The Sullivan Award, which is presented at select colleges and universities throughout the United States, recognizes recipients for their excellence of character, humanitarian service and spiritual qualities. The award has been presented annually to a male student, a female student and one non-student at TROY since 1981. Students, faculty and staff nominate candidates for the award.
“We believe this is one of the highest awards given by our University,” said Dr. Jack Hawkins, Jr., Chancellor. “We feel it is appropriate that we present the Sullivan Awards at Troy University because one of the planks of our mission is to continue to develop students into leaders with well-defined values. We think these values are more important today than at any time in our history.”
Garriques is a part of the University’s Honors Program and has a 3.97 grade-point average. He is captain of TROY’s cross country and track and field teams and a First Team All-Sun Belt Conference performer.
Garriques has been active in the Sun Belt Conference Ambassador Program since February 2018 and served a member of TROY’s Student Athletic Advisory Committee from 2017 to 2018. In addition, he has served as a student leader for Fellowship of Catholic University Students (FOCUS) since January 2018 and has served as a member of the Student Government Association’s Supreme Court since 2016, including serving a term as chief justice. He also previously served as vice president of Freshman Forum during the 2015-2016 academic year.
Walleser is a Millennium Scholar’s Award recipient and a member of the University’s Honors Program, maintaining a 4.0 grade-point average. She received the Delta Mu Delta Excellence in Leadership and Scholarship Award in 2018, the Excellence in Management Study Award in 2018, the award for the highest senior GPA among Greek organizations and was the Wisconsin Youth Leader of the Year in 2014.
She serves as president of the Sorrell College of Business Student Advisory Council and Delta Mu Delta Business Honors Society, and is a member of Kappa Delta Sorority where she has served in various leadership roles, the Ingalls Award Committee, the Marketing Club and Omicron Delta Kappa Honor Society. During her time at TROY, she has also served as a Trojan Ambassador and a member of the SGA’s Freshman Forum.
Walleser is also active in the community, serving as a volunteer for the Pike Regional Child Advocacy Center, the Pike County Boy’s and Girl’s Club and the Prevent Child Abuse America program.
Thomas has served as a lecturer on the TROY faculty since 2005. She holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Faulkner University and an M.B.A. from TROY (2003), and is active in her home community of Eufaula through her work with the Boys and Girls Club and Eagles Rest Ministries.
In a letter of nomination from a former student, Thomas was described as a faculty member who “teaches with purpose.”
“Mrs. Thomas is a teacher who expects the very best out of you, but is there to help you every step of the way,” said TROY senior Heath Harrelson, who will graduate in May. “God has blessed her with the opportunity to influence and teach students and she pushes students to be the very best they can be, not only in the classroom but also in life. I could not think of a better person to receive this award.”