A-State alumnus, Wolflife volunteer runs for state Senate
Published: Thursday, October 17, 2013
Updated: Thursday, October 17, 2013 14:10
A-State alumnus and current volunteer with the Wolflife ministries Dan Sullivan has decided to run for state Senate.
His passion for this new step in his life comes from the same desire that lead him to his involvement with A-State and Southwest Church of Christ in Jonesboro: helping people.
Sullivan was recruited out of St. Louis in 1970 by basketball coach John Rose to play for the A-State Indians. While on the team, he won two conference championships and earned Honorable Mention All-Conference in 1971.
His greatest success while at A-State was actually achieved on the sidelines, where his future wife, Maria Stewart Sullivan, was an Indian cheerleader. She also volunteers with ministries alongside Sullivan.
“ASU is a special place for me. My wife and I met on campus and many lifelong friendships began in the education and athletic halls of ASU,” Sullivan said.
“Wolflife Ministry provides a great opportunity for Maria and I to give back to the university that gave so much to both of us. Wolflife is making a difference in the daily lives of those we serve. It is a joy to see friendships grow and spiritual strength deepen in the hearts of students.”
According to Chris Buxton, director of Wolflife Campus Ministry, the couple’s involvement has had a great impact on students.
“All our students love and appreciate them so much,” Buxton said. “Dan is an elder at our main sponsoring church, Southwest Church of Christ, and Wolflife is his main ministry focus. He has a huge appreciation for ASU, he loves college students, and he believes deeply in what we’re doing at Wolflife.”
Sullivan earned his bachelor’s from A-State and a master’s in education from Truman State University.
For more than 25 years he has worked as a teacher, coach and principal. For the last 10 years he has worked in the healthcare field and is now serving as the CEO of Ascent Children’s Health Services.
“Ascent provides therapy and developmental services for some of the most fragile young children in our state. Our company employs 450+ people who operate 10 clinics around the state. Many of our employees are A-State graduates including physical therapists, speech therapists, teachers, nurses, sociologists, psychologists and dieticians,” he said.
Currently, Sullivan is meeting with people across District 21 listening to their concerns and encouraging each person he meets to “vote their choice.”
He said the people are his main focus, something he’s learned through his ministry.
“People are our greatest asset,” Sullivan said. “My ministry helps me engage people and engaging people prepares me for the ministry. Wolflife helps me understand what is important to the students such as the need for good paying jobs, area support and networking.”
Wolflife employees and students have become some of Sullivan’s greatest supporters, and he encourages them to get out and vote, whether they vote for him or not.
Buxton said, “I’m so glad to have Dan working on our behalf because he’s a man of great character and integrity who serves as a tremendous role model for our students and as a wise counselor to the rest of our leaders. I know Dan will be an excellent state senator.”
Because he has found so much joy, help and success at A-State, Sullivan does not plan to stop his work in Jonesboro if he gets the Senate seat.
“If elected, I intend to continue my involvement at ASU and Wolflife,” he said. “ASU recognizes the success organizations like Wolflife have on returning and recruiting students. This great ministry and this great university have my lifetime commitment.”