Senior Tejas Dinesh is the recipient of the 2022 Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award, one of UA’s Premier Awards. The Ohio native is a double major in History and Environmental Engineering.
The Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award recognizes two graduating seniors and one non-student award winner for their character excellence and service to humanity. As a part of the University Fellows Experience, Dinesh has served the West Alabama region through “Project Catalyst,” which provides creative writing seminars for area high school students. He worked with 10th-grade students in Perry County.
Dinesh was the founding president of Capstone Commission on Socially Responsible Investing and has been a member of the Honors College Assembly and No Strings Attached, an all-male a capella group.
The award application includes an essay prompt to define character. Dinesh wrote about a custom from India in which people seek out a palm reader, a custom that revealed to his mother that she was pregnant with Dinesh. He continued by acknowledging Indian stories and culture which feature characters with larger-than-life achievements and then turned it on its head. For Dinesh, character is about exhibiting small acts of bravery and planting small seeds that may never blossom for him to see but will affect those after him.
First presented in 1890, The Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award is now presented at more than seventy colleges and universities across the South. Notable previous recipients include former Secretary of Defense and Texas A&M President Robert Gates, Fred Rogers (Mister Rogers), and First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt. The University of Alabama began presenting the award in 1935. Notable UA recipients include Frances Summersell, and Drs. Joab Thomas, John F. Ramsey, Marten ten Hoor, and George LeMaistre.