Senior History Majors Give Thanks to Fr. William J. Sullivan

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The Class of 2016 Senior Brunch and Baccalaureate Mass took place on May 20 as our seniors spent their last full day as graduands.

As part of the ceremonies, Abbot Mark Cooper read an email directed at seven graduating history majors. These seven students took time from their busy senior week to write fond remembrances to Fr. William Sullivan, O.S.B. Before his stroke in 2014, Fr. William had taught these seniors in history courses and served as their academic advisor. The students wanted to let him know that he was in their thoughts as they began their move from the Hilltop and into the broader world.

One Thing After Another thought many of you who knew Fr. William and who might be thinking about your own graduation this past weekend, would appreciate these thoughts:

Dear Maria, Mike, Brendan, Jenny, Katie, Kristen and Jim,

This is Fr. William’s sister-in-law Anne-Marie writing to thank you all for your incredible thoughtfulness to your former professor, advisor and friend. There are no words to adequately articulate the joy you brought to Fr. William and to his brother Mike and me as well.

Mike and I visited Fr. William on Wednesday and he was very pleased…actually quite animated…to show us a THANK YOU card that was in a place of honor on his table. Mike read it first and then handed it to me…WOW! …

Your kindness meant the world to Fr. William and the smile on his face and the gleam in his eyes said it all, so THANK YOU – THANK YOU – THANK YOU!

I’m sure you’re wondering where your past four years have gone. You have learned so much, grown up so much, forged friendships that will remain rock solid for the rest of your lives. Your foundation as you move forward is the best and I can only imagine the pride your families are feeling as you all prepare for your Baccalaureate Mass this evening and Commencement tomorrow. Mike and I have never met you and we’re very proud of you all!

Please keep this close to your heart when I tell you that one of the very best things you did while a student at Saint Anselm was “save the best for last”! I cannot imagine anything better than taking the time from your end of the year busy schedules to thank Fr. William in such a beautiful manner. Your gesture exemplifies the Benedictine values you have witnessed and espoused at the College. You absolutely give new meaning to SPECIAL DELIVERY!

Please know that we will keep you in our thoughts and prayers. Thank you for reminding us that, although he’s no longer in the class room, Fr. William continues to teach us all.

Wishing you all the very best life has to offer, Anne-Marie Sullivan

If you would like to share your good wishes or fond memories with Fr. William (or if you would like him to know how you turned out these couple – or many – years after you graduated), you can write to him at:

Rev. William, J. Sullivan, O.S.B.
Mount Carmel Rehabilitation and Nursing Center
235 Myrtle Street – Room 403
Manchester, NH 03104

All of us in the History Department appreciate hearing back from Alumni at any time, and particularly at this reflective closing of the academic year. You can always reach any of us by following the email links at


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