Three honored with Sullivan Awards at Troy University

Posted: Friday, 24 April 2015

TROY - Troy University has honored two students and a member of the University's faculty with the 2015 Algernon Sydney Sullivan Awards.

Aubrey Toole, a senior biology major from Pace, Fla., Thomas Brett Blevins, Jr., a senior sport and fitness management major from Florence, and Ellis Bush, instructor in the University's Institute for Leadership Development, were presented the awards during a luncheon on the Troy Campus on Monday. The recipients were also honored during the University's annual Honors Convocation Monday night.

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.

"It's appropriate that we present the Sullivan Awards at Troy University," said Dr. Jack Hawkins, Jr., Chancellor. "Our mission is not only to prepare our students to make a living, but more importantly, to make a life. We want our graduates to be equipped with the skills and values necessary to make a difference, and the Sullivan Awards honor that type of commitment to serving others."

Toole, the daughter of Lynn and Robin Toole, is a millennium scholarship recipient and maintains a 3.891 grade point average. From fall 2013 through spring 2014, Toole studied in Heidelberg, Germany on a Federation of German American Clubs study abroad scholarship.

An active student on the Troy Campus, Toole has been involved with the Math Club, the Red Cross Club and Alpha Delta Pi sorority, as well as being a co-founder and president of the Trojan Swing Dance Club. She also has served as a math and science tutor in the Troy University Natural Science Center for three years and as a volunteer tutor at the Troy Public Library.

Also active in community service, Toole has served as a volunteer with Sacred Heart Rehabilitation Clinic in her hometown and at Sumlar Therapy, a pediatric rehabilitation clinic in Ozark. In addition, she previously served as a summer camp counselor at Camp Victory, a non-denominational Christian camp.

Blevins, the son of Misty Connell and Brett and Becky Blevins, maintains a 3.58 grade point average. He is a member of the Troy University football team, where he serves as an Accountability Leader and a team captain. Blevins has been a member of the University's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee since 2013, and served as a member of this year's Ingalls Award Selection Committee.

An active part of the Troy community, Blevins is a member of First Presbyterian Church and a member of the Campus Outreach Leadership Team. He regularly volunteers with such efforts as Soap for Souls, the Christian Love Center, Noble Manor Retirement Home, Relay for Life, Habitat for Humanity, Read Across America Week, Boys and Girls Club and Troy University Canned Food Drive.

Blevins is a student worker in the University's Office of Development, as well as an intern at Troy Sports Properties.

Bush and his wife, Becky, are Troy residents. In addition to serving as an instructor of leadership development, Bush also serves as faculty advisor for Baptist Campus Ministries, the TROY Swing Dance Club and TROY's Stella's Voice organization.

Bush serves as a mentor for the University's athletic program, a volunteer with the Campus Kitchens program and a faculty worker with Community Gardens, a program that enlists students to start community gardens at different locations throughout the city, including the Boys and Girls Club and the Colley Senior Center.

An active member of the Troy community, Bush serves as a speaker for various civic and leadership organizations, is a leader for the Montgomery Area Food Bank, a builder and team leader for the Miracle League Playground project and a ballroom dance instructor.

In addition to receiving the Sullivan Award, Bush also was this year's recipient of the University's Ingalls Award for Excellence in Classroom Teaching.

"I'm grateful for the Sullivan Award because one of the main focuses of my teaching is character development," Bush said. "I often remind my students that character produces conduct, and conduct reflects character. What you do is a reflection of who you are. The Sullivan Award is a reminder to me to constantly be living what I'm teaching."

Max Roberts at Honors Convocation

Troy University has honored two senior students and a faculty member with Algernon Sydney Sullivan Awards. Presented at select colleges and universities throughout the United States, the Sullivan Award 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. From left to right are: Barbara Patterson, director of student involvement; award recipients Thomas Brett Blevins, Jr., a senior from Florence, Aubrey Toole, a senior from Pace, Fla., Ellis Bush, instructor in the University's Institute for Leadership Development, and Dr. Jack Hawkins, Jr., Chancellor.