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Community College of Rhode Island

A message from President Di Pasquale

May 27, 2010

Early this morning, Charles Sullivan, one of our beloved Charles Sullivancommunity members, died at his home in Providence. It is with deep sadness that I share this news with you about our dear friend and colleague.

Charles was passionate about teaching, adored his students and staunchly supported the arts. To those of us who knew him personally, his sense of humor and genuine compassion were a joy to be around. He will truly be missed.

In 2008, Charles became the 36th member of the CCRI Hall of Fame for his substantial contributions to the arts and humanities at the college. From his start at RIJC as an English professor in 1967 through his retirement in 2008, Charles was a tireless advocate for the arts. In honor of his 58th birthday in 2003, a small group of friends established the Charles Sullivan Fund for the Arts and Humanities with an endowment that today totals more than $160,000. His annual Salute to the Arts event provides musical and dramatic entertainment and raises funding for the endowment.

Charles was a prolific writer of poetry. He served as book review editor for East Side Monthly, was president of the Providence Athenaeum board, was president of the Rhode Island Committee for the Humanities twice, was vice president of the New England Foundation for the Humanities and was a member of the national Community College Humanities Association, helping to attract and direct the national conference to Rhode Island twice. He was also vice president of Higher Education for the National Education Association of Rhode Island in the 1980s. In 2006, he was presented with the Honorary Chairs Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Humanities.

In addition, Charles was a trustee of the CCRI Foundation and sponsored the Women Returning to School Scholarship. This scholarship focuses on women who have been out of high school for at least 10 years and wish to attend CCRI.

Funeral arrangements are being planned at this time. A memorial service to be held in the Bobby Hackett Theater at the Knight Campus in Warwick also is being organized. When details become available, I will post a message on my website and send an e-mail to faculty and staff. Contributions in Charles’ memory can be made to the Charles Sullivan Fund for the Arts & Humanities and sent to the CCRI Foundation, 1762 Louisquisset Pike, Lincoln, RI 02865.

As our community mourns, I ask that you share your memories of Charles by sending an e-mail to We will compile your stories and anecdotes in a tribute to Charles that the community can share to celebrate his life and accomplishments. Again, I will follow up with more information as this project takes shape.

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Last Updated: 8/2/16