Cecelia Sullivan stands at a podium in front of a crowd of people.
Cecilia Sullivan at the February event honoring the winner of the 2023-24 UC Davis Prize for Undergraduate Teaching and Scholarly Achievement.

Free Passports Provided to UC Davis Students to Advance Global Learning

Sullivan Family Supports the U.S. Passport Grant Program

In 2023, UC Davis Global Affairs awarded 59 free passports to UC Davis undergraduate students through the U.S. Passport Grant Program, thanks in part to the generosity of a unique gift from the Sullivan family.

Created in conjunction with a 2023 Institute of International Education American Passport Project Grant and UC Davis Passport Services, the U.S. Passport Grant Program was gifted by the Patrick and Cecelia Sullivan Family Foundation, which supports programs aligned with the belief that all students deserve a high-quality public education.

“Our family wanted to find a tangible experience that students would always remember as part of their education at UC Davis,” explained Cecelia Sullivan ’83, who co-founded the Foundation with her husband, Patrick Sullivan ’83, M.D. ’87. “What better way than to help give students access to a U.S. passport for lifetime global learning!”

An Opportunity to Enhance Global Learning

The U.S. Passport Grant Program covers the cost of one First-Time Adult U.S. Passport Book with standard processing and delivery. All related costs are covered by the program, totaling $180 per student (UC Davis Passport Services has waived the cost of passport photos). The program especially encourages applications from students who identify as part of a historically marginalized or underrepresented community in study abroad participation.

“We hope students find that the passport program is another avenue to enhance their global learning,” said Cecelia, herself a first-generation college student and graduate. “There are so many possibilities for a UC Davis student and as a future professional to gain a better understanding of different cultures, contribute to a research effort and/or discover ways to utilize individual talents to support an international community.”

Cecelia shared that in order to create a culture of philanthropy within the UC Davis community, her family (all UC Davis alumni) makes an effort to lead by example. They have robust discussions over how best to give both in funds and in time, as they can never agree on just one giving priority. This has resulted in the cultivation of family and individual philanthropic interests, allowing the Sullivan Family Charitable Foundation to direct funds to UC Davis and UC Davis Health System in a variety of different areas.

“I love exploring and supporting programs that further the mission of the Foundation and Global Education for All,” shared Cecelia. “By working with faculty, staff and students, we are able to figure out how to best reach different affinity groups, how to reflect inclusivity on our boards and, of course, how to raise funds!”

Engagement Across UC Davis

In addition to her work with the Patrick and Cecelia Sullivan Family Foundation, Cecelia is a member of the UC Davis Global Affairs Advisory Council, which supports Global Affairs initiatives through events, alum engagement and philanthropic leadership.

“With Joanna Regulska’s leadership, our vice provost and dean of Global Affairs, the Global Affairs Advisory Council has been able to support fellowships, scholarships, networking opportunities and campus leadership programs,” she said.

Cecelia is currently chair of the UC Davis Foundation, where she helps lead the university’s $2 billion Expect Greater fundraising campaign and stewards private contributions that advance the university’s mission. “The UC Davis Foundation has broad strokes across campus, and I’ve been fortunate to serve as a trustee on the UC Davis Foundation board for over 10 years,” she said.

She is also on the Chancellor’s Board of Advisors and the UC Davis Campaign Steering Committee. Previously, Cecelia was on the committee that selected the UC Davis Prize for Teaching and Scholarly Achievement and chaired the UC Davis Foundation’s DEI Committee.

If you would like to help the next cohort of UC Davis students learn about themselves and the world around them, please support the Sullivan Family Global Affairs Passport Access Support Fund.

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