Notre Dame establishes Declan Drumm Sullivan scholarship

Author: Dennis Brown

Declan Sullivan

The University of Notre Dame has established an endowed scholarship in memory of Declan Sullivan, the Notre Dame junior who died a year ago Thursday (Oct. 27) when the aerial lift on which he was videotaping football practice fell in high winds.

In conjunction with the anniversary, Notre Dame’s president, Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., is writing to members of the Notre Dame family, inviting them to contribute to the scholarship fund and/or to the Declan Drumm Sullivan Memorial Fund that has been established by his family.

Contributions to the family’s memorial fund will be used to support those causes about which Declan would be most enthusiastic, in particular, Horizons for Youth, a Chicago organization committed to helping children graduate high school by providing need-based scholarships, a summer program, one-on-one mentoring, enrichment outings, tutoring, and college preparation.

The Declan Drumm Sullivan Memorial Scholarship at Notre Dame will assist students who are not only in financial need, but who also have demonstrated the traits that made Declan original, whether through a particular interest in filmmaking, service to under-privileged youth, creative writing, or other passions.

“We are grateful to the University for helping to keep Declan’s memory alive in this way,” said Barry Sullivan, Declan’s father. “We are pleased that he will be remembered through a scholarship that will provide others with the educational opportunities he enjoyed at Notre Dame.”

Declan’s father, mother Alison, and siblings, Wyn, a Notre Dame junior, and Mac joined with Father Jenkins and other University leaders Oct. 22 to dedicate an on-campus memorial to him. Located next to the Guglielmino Athletics Complex and the LaBar Football Practice Fields, the memorial includes a boulder with a plaque adorned by a shamrock with his initials and a poem written by a family friend, and two benches with smaller plaques with messages from Wyn and Mac, all surrounded by six trees.

Memorial to Declan Sullivan

At the dedication, vice president and director of athletics Jack Swarbrick gave the Sullivans the American flag that Barry had presented in a ceremony prior to the first football game of the season. Tim Collins and other members of the athletics video staff presented the Sullivans with a framed photo montage of Declan.

“The loss of Declan was a tragedy to all of us in the Notre Dame family,” Father Jenkins said at the dedication ceremony. “This was a chance for us to come together in a place dedicated to his memory, to remember him and give thanks for his life.”

A private Mass in memory of Declan for the residents of Fisher Hall, where he lived, and Lewis Hall, where Wyn lives, is scheduled for Thursday evening.

Contributions to the scholarship fund may be sent to: Declan Drumm Sullivan Memorial Scholarship, 1100 Grace Hall, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN 46556.

Originally published by Dennis Brown at on October 26, 2011.