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.


Income Inequality in the United States of America

21-222 book, the Velvet Rope Economy

Book: The Velvet Rope Economy by Nelson D. Schwartz




The Sullivan Leadership Award is reserved for first-year students living in and attending school in the United States and who have less than one year of college coursework completed at the time of high school graduation.  

To be considered for the Sullivan Leadership Award, students must submit a Sullivan Leadership Award Application by December 3, 2021 in addition to the necessary Seattle University Common Application materials submitted by the Early Action deadline of November 15, 2021.

Admission decisions will be mailed to Sullivan Leadership Award applicants on or before December 23, 2021. Qualified applicants will be invited to participate in Sullivan Leaders' Day on January 22, 2022.  Students offered Early Action admission have until May 1, 2022, to notify Seattle University whether they wish to accept admission and enroll.

Sullivan Leaders' Day—January 22, 2022

To be eligible for further consideration for the Sullivan Leadership Award, students must be invited to and participate in Sullivan Leaders' Day. 

Students who are unable to participate in Sullivan Leaders' Day will receive continued consideration for other scholarships, but only participants in Leaders' Day will be eligible for the Sullivan Leadership Award. 

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, attend a panel presentation on the year's theme, and participate in small group discussions.  Students participating in the Sullivan Leaders' Day event should plan to be available 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, 2022.

Sullivan Finalists' Day—March 3 & 4, 2022

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 2022. Nine Sullivan Leadership Awards are granted each year.