University of Vermont

Academic Ceremonies - Commencement

Honorary Degree Recipient

Thomas J. Sullivan, M.D.
Doctor of Science

Thomas SullivanThomas J. Sullivan (1939-2010), UVM Class of 1962 and UVM College of Medicine Class of 1966, chose radiology as his specialty and, following a residency at the Medical Center Hospital of Vermont (currently Fletcher Allen Health Care), he performed locum tenens work that ultimately allowed him to practice in every hospital in Vermont during the late 1960s and 1970s. He eventually became a physician and faculty member at Dartmouth.  His talent as a skilled physician and mentor was characterized by a colleague who said, “Tom was the consummate radiologist – well read, widely experienced, curious and deeply committed to his specialty. He not only practiced at an extremely high level, he was facile in passing on his knowledge to his students.”  In 1993, nominated by the residents he taught, Dr. Sullivan received the Teacher of the Year Award at Dartmouth Medical School.

He resided in New Hampshire but his love of Vermont was preserved with his frequent visits to his house in Newport, Vermont. An accomplished pianist, it is there that Dr. Sullivan enjoyed playing his Steinway Grand Piano, a treasure he bequeathed to the University of Vermont Department of Music. In addition to his musical interests, Dr. Sullivan was an avid outdoorsman and naturalist.

Dr. Sullivan delivered outstanding service to the State of Vermont as a skilled and caring radiologist who served each hospital, some in the most rural parts serving the many patients of the far reaching corners of our state.

Dr. Sullivan demonstrated his affinity and gratitude to the University of Vermont College of Medicine with his extraordinary philanthropy and is recognized for his outstanding achievement for the benefit of the University of Vermont the result of his philanthropy. Dr. Sullivan has measurably helped to advance the mission and goals of the university through his unparalleled altruism and exceptional generosity. To date and in addition to the aforementioned Steinway Grand Piano, Dr. Sullivan is the single largest alumni donor to the UVM College of Medicine. Dr. Sullivan was clear that he wished for the College to benefit immediately from his gifts in order to meet the priorities of leadership and improvements for the students. To that end his philanthropy has been instrumental in the construction of a new state of the art Simulation Center, a 9000 square foot facility that is a collaborative project with the UVM College of Medicine, the UVM College of Nursing and Health Sciences and Fletcher Allen Health Care. In addition, Carpenter Auditorium in the Given Building has been renovated and upgraded to meet the demands of today’s technological requirements for teaching all students. For the foreseeable future, students of the UVM College of Medicine will continue to benefit from the vision and financial support provided by Dr. Sullivan.

At age 71, Dr. Sullivan died on December 7, 2010 following several years of quietly and courageously battling cancer. He is survived by his life partner, Deanna Howard, her two children Brian and Erica and his beloved beagles, Sonny and Joe.

Last modified February 27 2011 08:16 PM

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