Selection Process

Yearly Theme

As a way to bring relevant topics into our scholarship process, each year a theme and book is identified for the Sullivan Leadership Community to explore.

Modern Voter Supression in America


Book: One Person, No Vote by Carol Anderson

To be considered for the Sullivan Leadership Award, students must submit a Sullivan Leadership Award Application by November 30, 2019 in addition to the necessary Seattle University Common Application materials submitted by November 15, 2019.

Admission decisions will be mailed to Sullivan Leadership Award applicants on or before December 20, 2019. Qualified applicants will be invited to continue in the Sullivan Leadership Award competition event on January 25, 2020. Students offered Early Action admission have until May 1, 2020, to notify Seattle University whether they wish to accept admission and enroll.

Sullivan Leaders' Day—January 25, 2020

To be eligible for further consideration for the Sullivan Leadership Award, students invited to Sullivan Leaders' Day must come to the Seattle University campus for this event.

Students who are unable to participate in Sullivan Leaders' Day will receive continued consideration for other scholarships, but only applicants in attendance on Leaders' Day will be eligible for the Sullivan Leadership Award. A limited number of transportation grants are available for qualified applicants to attend Leaders' Day. Eligibility requirements can be found at the bottom of this page.

On Sullivan Leaders' Day, all participants will be asked to write a prompted essay in response to the articles selected for the year's theme.  They will also meet with current Sullivan Scholars, tour the campus, attend a panel presentation on the year's theme and participate in small group discussions. Approximately 350 students will participate in Leaders' Day. Students participating in the Sullivan Leaders' Day event should plan to be on campus from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM.

Students will be notified whether they have been chosen as a Sullivan Finalist via email no later than February 19, 2020.

Sullivan Finalists' Day—March 5 & 6, 2020

After evaluating the applications and the Leaders' Day essays, the Selection Committee will invite 45 finalists to the final round of the competition. These finalists will give brief oral presentations based on a book that will be provided and will be interviewed by committee members, both via videoconference.

The Sullivan Selection Committee decisions will be emailed to all Finalists in early April 2020. Nine Sullivan Leadership Awards are granted each year.

Seattle University is pleased to share that we have partnered with Alaska Airlines to offer a 7% discount for those traveling to Seattle University for Sullivan Leaders' Day. Please email to request this discount code. Fare rules below.

Departure City(s):  Any Alaska Airlines/Horizon Air US, Canadian or Mexican city

Meeting City: Seattle, Washington

Not Included: Prudhoe Bay, Alaska or Costa Rica (All Alaska cities are eligible for the discount, with the exception of Prudhoe Bay, Alaska and Costa Rica)

Beginning Travel Date: January 22, 2020

Last Travel Date: January 28, 2020

Blackout Dates: None

  • Your group is entitled to a 7% discount off Alaska Airlines published fares (except companion and other promotional fares).
  • Any change or cancellation after ticketing is subject to a service charge. All fare rules and additional blackout dates of the fare apply.
  • All tickets must be issued online or the Alaska Airlines Group desk.
  • A $15.00 ticketing fee will apply to any tickets issued by the Group Desk.

Travel Grants

A limited number of transportation scholarships are available for qualified applicants to attend Leaders' Day. Eligible students can apply for the travel grant on the Sullivan Leadership Award application. The following criteria are required to be considered for a travel grant to Leaders' Day:

  • Both a completed Common Application and Sullivan Leadership Award Application have been submitted to Seattle University
  • A commitment to participating in Leaders' Day if selected to receive a travel grant.
  • Eligible to receive a Common App fee waiver based on economic need.
  • Unable to participate in Leaders' Day without financial assistance to travel to campus.