Small Talk With Terry Sullivan
Terry Sullivan P’14, grew up on Babson’s campus. That’s because his father, Ed Sullivan, worked here for 42 years, starting as a plumber and eventually becoming director of physical plant. The Sullivan Building and Sullivan Road are named in honor of Ed. Terry, now supervisor of architectural trades, has worked here for 23 years, not counting the summers he and his brothers took jobs cutting the grass. “I love the place,” he says. “I think with a true facilities guy, if you cut ’em, they’ll bleed green.”
Photo: Webb Chappell
What’s your earliest memory of Babson? Oh, I was small. I remember meeting Roger Babson. We used to think he was Colonel Sanders. It was funny—we were kids—and he looked just like him. He was quiet. He mostly spoke to my dad. He used to ride around here on a horse.
What keeps you here? The people. The kids. The Norm Govonis, Arthur Bayers, Bill Caseys that I’ve known since I was little. When my mom was alive, I was still taking her to the 25-Year Club dinner every year. She passed this April, so I’ll have to wait until I’m a 25-year person. But I loved it. It was like old home week for me.
What’s the craziest thing Babson has asked you to do? We made a temporary wind turbine one time. You know the wind turbine out in the field? They wanted to know what it would look like in different locations, so we actually constructed one, the height and everything, to look like it. It actually came out pretty good. And we moved it around to different spots. But that’s just what we do. In what we do, you never look at it as crazy.
Who inspires you? My father for his work ethic. He was a hell of a mentor. I must say Shelley Kaplan is, too. [Kaplan is associate vice president and head of facilities management and planning.] Shelley’s taught me to take the high road all the time and don’t go to a place where I can’t get out. And my ninth grade football coach, who I’m still close with today. He pushed and pushed you, and you never quit on him. It helped me to get where I am now.
A favorite pastime? I love football. I’m a Giants fan. The nice thing is, my son, Liam ’14, coaches Pop Warner, so I get to follow him now. I go to all the games, and my wife, Dawn, travels with me. Liam’s crew is between 10 and 12. It’s fun.
Are you all Irish? My mother was a Murphy. That answers that. —Donna Coco
Addendum: Terry was the recipient of the 2014 Carpenter Prize. The Carpenter Prize, the highest form of recognition an employee can receive, is awarded annually to a member of the faculty, administration, or staff who has demonstrated a commitment to high standards in their professional and personal life; outstanding service over a period of years; and sensitivity and concern for students and colleagues. Congratulations, Terry!