Daniel J. Sullivan Jr. ’73 to be Honored at 2019 Fairfield Awards Dinner

Daniel J. Sullivan Jr. ’73 to be Honored At 2019 Fairfield Awards Dinner

Daniel J. Sullivan Jr. ’73

Daniel J. Sullivan Jr. ’73

Sullivan, president and CEO of Collette Vacations, has dedicated much of his life to philanthropy, and will be honored this year with the Alumni Service Award on Thursday, March 28 at the Grand Hyatt New York.

He's a great example of how to bring the Jesuit values into one’s vocation. I am thrilled to see him receive this award.

— Melissa Quan, Director of the Center for Faith and Public Life at Fairfield University

Since 1988, the annual Fairfield Awards Dinner has been a true celebration of Fairfield and has raised more than $18 million for the Alumni Multicultural Scholarship Fund and other endowed scholarships.

Continuing to recognize professional achievement, outstanding leadership, and volunteer commitment to Fairfield, this year’s Fairfield Awards Dinner will honor Daniel J. Sullivan Jr. ’73 with the Alumni Service Award.

In addition to being a highly successful businessman, Sullivan has dedicated much of his life to philanthropy. A member of the Center for Faith and Public Life (CFPL) Advisory Board for nearly 10 years, Sullivan has been a supportive and enthusiastic advocate for their work.

"What animates him most is the mission to create global service-learning experiences that immerse students in cultures and contexts quite different from their own," said Melissa Quan, director of the CFPL.  "[Dan has] helped the CFPL to establish an endowment that generates scholarship funds to make these global experiences available to all students. He's a great example of how to bring the Jesuit values into one’s vocation. I am thrilled to see him receive this award."

President and CEO of Collette Vacations, Sullivan has more than 45 years experience in the travel industry. His travel experience includes tour guiding, product development, sales, and marketing; as well as managing the corporate team and providing the strategic vision for the company. As CEO, Sullivan has brought Collette from a $60 million dollar domestic entity to a $170 million global enterprise. Sullivan has also been responsible for such innovative first-to-market initiatives as launching a worldwide sales team and driving new product development to non-traditional destinations.

Sullivan has concentrated on making the people in the communities where his company employees and clients travel “live in a better place.” He says, “80 percent of our workforce gets involved in giving back, whether it be through volunteer opportunities in food banks, building schools in South Africa or wells in Cambodia, supporting the Aboriginal community, and helping young girls boost their self-esteem in areas where poverty is overwhelming.”

And people have taken notice. Sullivan was inducted into the Tourism Hall of Fame for his contributions to the community, through philanthropic endeavors and significant contributions to the advancement of responsible tourism. On the honor, Sullivan said, “I was inducted in 2007 and at the time it was a wonderful achievement. In December of 2017, I received a Lifetime Achievement Award from Travel Weekly, which is perhaps an honor that I still can’t comprehend. It really puts an entire life spent in this industry into perspective.”

Sullivan’s father, Dan Sullivan Sr., purchased Collette from Jack Collette in 1962. The younger Sullivan broke into his dad’s business when he guided a tour to the Great Smoky Mountains in 1970, while still a student at Fairfield.

In addition to his service to Fairfield and the CFPL Advisory Board, Sullivan is on the Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy. He chairs the Collette Foundation board, Collette’s global non-profit organization aimed at giving children in our global communities opportunities to thrive through hunger and education initiatives. He sits on the Charitable Foundation board for Bristol County Savings Bank; is the former Chairman for Tourism Cares; serves as Co-Chairman of the Pawtucket Foundation, an organization committed to the continued economic development of Pawtucket, Rhode Island, Collette’s home city;  as well as being an engaged supporter of non-profit causes including the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Hospice, Hasbro Children’s Hospital, and Amos House.

Sullivan graduated from Fairfield with a degree in marketing and holds a degree from Harvard Business School’s Executive Owner/President Management program.

When asked about his favorite memories of attending Fairfield University, Sullivan was quick to say “playing baseball (all four years, he was a first baseman and outfielder) and grilling burgers at my house on the beach during senior year. I made so many great friends during my time there and I think of them so very often.”

He talked about how the University prepared him for his career and for life in general. “Fairfield was tremendous in helping me think circularly instead of focusing on a direct question. Often times, answering a question requires taking the time to think about additional consequences and later circumstances. It has led me to really think in a holistic way.”

For more information on Fairfield Awards Dinner sponsorships, tickets or journal ads, please contact Anissa DeMatteo at (203) 254-4000, ext. 2115

Meet Daniel J. Sullivan Jr. ’73
2019 Alumni Service Award Honoree


Tags:  Alumni Stories


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