Dr. R. Mark Sullivan, the eighth president at Saint Rose, who served from 1996 to 2012, will always be known for elevating the Saint Rose campus into a sophisticated institution of higher education. His goal: Help the College realize its potential while retaining the small-community warmth. Responsible for the growth and renovation of the learning and recreational spaces at Saint Rose, Sullivan even converted the muddy quad into a relaxing green space.
Rhode Island-born and Harvard-educated, Sullivan quickly made Albany home after serving as chief operating officer of Marist College in Poughkeepsie. He worked closely with government officials and business leaders to strengthen the College and the local economy.
But Sullivan and his wife, Kathy, played another, equally crucial role as leading participants in campus life. He chatted with students and colleagues on walks to and from the Camelot Room and as he waited his turn in lines. He was known to convert prospective students he met to Saint Rose students. He helped serve late-night breakfast during exam weeks and cleared tables. He and Kathy showed up in Florida where students were rebuilding storm-damaged homes, lending a hand and providing bagels.
The Sullivans welcomed students into their home and attended three or more events a week. They were perhaps the most beloved Golden Knights fans, particularly of the NCAA-title winning women’s soccer team. The team has consistently won on the Mark and Kathleen Sullivan soccer fields. Sullivan has said how gratified he is to have the fields named for them, despite, he has joked, their own less-than-stellar athletic skills.