Brescia University is pleased to welcome Sister Sharon Sullivan, Congregational Leader for the Ursuline Sisters of Mount Saint Joseph, back home to Brescia University as the 2016 Commencement speaker.
Sister Sharon was elected to a six-year term as the congregational leader in December 2009 and took office in July 2010 as the 15th canonically elected leader of the Ursuline Sisters. Her service at Brescia began in 1984 when she served as the Director of Housing and taught courses in special education, before she departed for Purdue University to complete her doctorate in special education.
Sister Sharon returned to Brescia University in 1993 as an associate professor of education and special education. In 1999, she became the chairwoman of the School of Education and remained in this post until being named the Academic Dean and Vice President for Academic Affairs in 2007.
A graduate of Owensboro High School, Sr. Sharon received her bachelor of arts in history from Maryville College in 1969, her master of arts in elementary education from Western Kentucky University in 1982, her certification on elementary and special education from then Brescia College in 1975, and her doctorate in special education from Purdue University in 1993.
Born in Austin, Texas, she was often read to sleep from the law books her father studied at the University of Texas. She was the second child of Jack and Jane Sullivan, and has one sister and two brothers. Her family moved to Owensboro, Kentucky in 1960 when she was 13, after her father was offed a job as an officer with Texas Gas Transmission Corp. After being raised in the Presbyterian Church, she converted to Catholicism in 1973 and entered the novitiate of the Ursuline Sisters in 1982.
Sister Sharon served on the Kentucky Association of Colleges for Teacher Education Board and as a member and chair of Boards of Examiners for the Kentucky Education Professional Standards Board. She was appointed to and twice served as Chair of Kentucky’s State Advisory Panel for Exceptional Children. She was Chair of Region 6 of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) and served on the LCWR National Board.
Sister Sharon is currently a member of Brescia University’s Board of Trustees, an officer in the Board of Directors for the Girl Scouts of Kentuckiana, and an appointed member of the Greenwood Cemetery Advisory Board. She is also a member of the Impact 100 Board of Directors. She was inducted into the Owensboro High School Hall of Fame in 2012 and was presented with “Tough Cookie” award by the Girl Scouts of Kentuckiana in 2014.
Brescia University welcomes Sister Sharon Sullivan as she addresses the graduating class of 2016 on Saturday, May 14th, at 10:00 a.m. at the RiverPark Center. Commencement is open to the public and seating is available on a first come, first served basis.
Other graduation activities include a Baccalaureate Service on Friday, May 13th at 7:00 pm at St. Stephen’s Cathedral.