Please remember in your prayers Professor Emeritus Michael Sullivan, who died Nov. 7. Sullivan served as the chief financial officer, chief investment officer, and treasurer of the university from 1985-2010, transitioning to the Finance Department of the Opus College of Business and teaching there until 2015, when he retired as professor emeritus.
A virtual wake will be held over Zoom on Sunday at 2 p.m. Please note that a previously scheduled funeral Mass at St. Thomas had to be canceled due to the pandemic. In lieu of flowers, donations in remembrance of Sullivan can be made to South Boston Neighborhood House or Mary’s Place.
“Michael was a great asset to the university. He was a very astute chief investment officer, and he was an invaluable chief financial officer,” President Emeritus Father Dennis Dease said. “He was very talented, very smart, very quick and a very decent man. We will certainly miss him.”
Sullivan was preceded in death by his parents, Michael and Mary, and siblings Suzy and Dennis. He is survived by his siblings Tim, Mary and John; wife, Lori; children, Michael and Chelsea; grandchildren, Rivka and Ariel; and devoted dog, Pippa.
‘Positive written comments from students could fill several books’
In the 2014 letter conferring professor emeritus status upon Sullivan, President Julie Sullivan (no relation) wrote, “While emeritus status need not necessarily gauge a professor’s popularity, yours recognizes the large measure of personal friendship, tremendous respect and sincere gratitude you have earned among students, staff and faculty alike.”
He taught more than 107 sections of graduate courses as well as 233 sessions of noncredit courses in executive education and certificate programs. Sullivan served as a visiting professor throughout the United States as well as in Russia, Italy, Germany, the United Kingdom, France, Denmark, Ireland, Greece, Czech Republic, Taiwan, China, Hong Kong, Canada and the Cayman Islands.
Sullivan served for five years as concentration director, five more as adjunct coordinator and as a committee member and committee chair for the Department of Finance. He served on a variety of committees for the Opus College of Business and for the university at large. He also was an active member of the Financial Management Association, the Financial Executive Institute and the National Association of College and University Business Officers.
Colleagues recognized his long and distinguished career as “an innovative, thoughtful teacher who understands the needs of his students” whose “service to the university, the college and the community is generous and widespread.” They also said, “The positive written comments from students could fill several books.”
His efforts led to the St. Thomas recycling program and the university’s first forays into what was then called “office automation.”
Sullivan served on the board of several nonprofits and spent many years working as an investment consultant for organizations and individuals.
He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1974 from Saint John’s University. Sullivan earned his doctorate in school business management from the University of Minnesota in 1982 and also taught at St. Cloud State University.