Rome Resident Receives Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award at Commencement


MACON – Mercer University awarded Sonal D. Patel of Rome the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award at commencement May 12 at the Macon Coliseum.

           The Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award is presented to the graduating student who best exemplifies excellence in character, leadership, service the community and a commitment to spiritual values. The award was established by The New York Southern Society in 1925, and at Mercer in 1926, in memory of Sullivan, a great humanitarian and philanthropist.

            Patel, who graduated magna cum laude and earned a bachelor of arts degree, double majored in communication and theatre arts and art history. Her academic achievements placed her on the Dean’s List seven semesters and the Presidents List one semester.

            She has served as president and new member educator of Chi Omega sorority and has been active with Omicron Delta Kappa National Leadership Honor Society, Order of Omega, Student Government Association, the Bear Tracks publication, Panhellenic Council, Association for Communications and Theater Arts Students, and the new Up ’til Dawn organization benefiting St. Jude Children’s Hospital.

            Giving back to the Macon community, Patel has worked with the Make A Wish Foundation, the Georgia Children’s Home, the Methodist Children’s Home, Macon’s Children’s Hospital, the Georgia Music Hall of Fame, the American Red Cross and Macon’s Museum of Arts and Sciences. 

            A graduate of Rome High School, she is the daughter of Dr. and Mrs. Dilip Patel of Rome.

            Founded in 1833, Mercer is a 7,300-student, comprehensive, Baptist-affiliated university offering undergraduate and graduate degrees through the College of Liberal Arts, the Eugene W. Stetson School of Business and Economics, the Tift College of Education, the School of Engineering, the Walter F. George School of Law, the School of Medicine, Georgia Baptist College of Nursing, the Southern School of Pharmacy and the James and Carolyn McAfee School of Theology.

            Mercer University has campuses in Macon and Atlanta, as well as four extended education centers located in Douglas County, Covington, Griffin and Eastman. The University also operates the Mercer Engineering Research Center in Warner Robins and the Mercer University Press in Macon. For the past 12 years, Mercer has been ranked among the leading universities in the South by U.S. News & World Report.