Dr. Lawrence E. Sullivan Named Fetzer Institute President Emeritus, Senior Fellow

September 13, 2013

Kalamazoo, Mich. – The board of trustees of the Fetzer Institute has named Dr. Lawrence E. Sullivan president emeritus and senior fellow of the Institute. Sullivan is the immediate past president and CEO of the Institute. Dr. Sullivan and the Institute are currently exploring the scope of the initial project he will undertake to continue to serve the Institute's mission.

“We look forward to working with Larry in his new role with the Institute in ways that will further our knowledge of love and forgiveness,” said Fetzer Institute Board Chair Rob Lehman. “We are grateful for the vision and excellence Larry has brought to the Institute over his long history as advisor and trustee and for the many exceptional partners and projects that have been introduced during his three-year tenure as president and CEO.”

“My service as president and CEO of the Institute has been deeply rewarding” Sullivan said. “We achieved a level of outreach that was extraordinary: working with international leaders from all walks of life, from arts, engineering, labor, and the sciences, to governance, education, healthcare, and more. Our collaborations have heightened awareness of the transformative power that love and forgiveness bring to the world’s most dire circumstances. In the process, we have established and expanded a global community that not only embodies love and forgiveness in exemplary ways but proactively calls for the practice of these virtues in all professions.”

Sullivan, who resigned to return to academia, has been succeeded by Robert Boisture as president and CEO of the Fetzer Institute.

Since 2004 Sullivan has served as both professor of World Religions and professor of Anthropology at the University of Notre Dame. He was director of the Center for the Study of World Religions at Harvard University and professor of World Religions at Harvard Divinity School from 1990 to 2004. Sullivan carried out his PhD studies in the comparative history of religions at the University of Chicago, where he also was professor of the History of Religions from 1985 to 1990.

Sullivan is a lifetime fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He served on the panel making recommendations to the Justice and Treasury Departments for improvements in federal law enforcement after the Branch Davidian standoff in Waco, Texas. He developed the concept and contents for the Museum of World Religions in Taipei, Taiwan.

Sullivan has published scores of scholarly articles in multiple languages and authored or edited more than a dozen books. Among his award-winning titles is Icanchu’s Drum: An Orientation to Meaning in South American Religions, named Best Book in Philosophy and Religion by the Association of American Publishers, and Religions of Humanity, which received the 2000 Premio Andersen, the Hans Christian Andersen Prize for the Best Popular Series in Children’s Literature. His most recent book is Religions of the World: An Introduction to Culture and Meaning (2013).

The Fetzer Institute is a private operating foundation based in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Established by broadcast pioneer John E. Fetzer (1901-1991), the Institute uses its philanthropic resources to create programs that foster awareness of the power that love, forgiveness, and compassion can have in our world. With an endowment of $450 million, the Institute dedicates approximately $22 million annually toward its programming efforts.