Sullivan sets off on Greek Quest

Staci Canny

Quinnipiac’s Sigma Phi Epsilon President Dan Sullivan was chosen out of a pool of more than 15,000 SigEp members to participate in the Tragos Quest to Greece, a 10-day philosophical journey to Greece, in June.

The quest is the capstone leadership program for the five-step Leadership Continuum offered by SigEp, Sullivan said.

He was chosen as one of 16 SigEp brothers in the country to go to Greece. Alumni members and university faculty will accompany the students.

“Achievement is one of the things that I value,” Sullivan said. “I knew that when I got into SigEp as a freshman, when I learned about the Leadership Continuum that I wanted to go through it all.”

Alex Barczak, a CT-Epsilon Executive Board member, described his experience with Sullivan while he was a member of SigEp at Quinnipiac.

“Even as a freshman in the spring of 2010, he demonstrated enormous potential and leadership quality,” Barczak said. “It says a lot about his character that even older members looked up to him and sought his advice.”

“His resume is breathtaking and his natural leadership ability is unparalleled,” said Alex Forman, SigEp’s president from 2010-2011.

Along with grant support from the SigEp Educational Foundation, William G. Tragos, a former Grand Chapter president of SigEp, and his wife, Lilli, have generously endowed the program. Tragos said he hopes the program will promote the fraternity’s concept of being “a balanced man” through studying the philosophers that inspired its foundation, in a letter posted on the official SigEp website.

As Sullivan prepares for his first trip overseas, he has a list of expectations for what he said is going to be a life changing experience.

“Ultimately I want to gain a better understanding of myself, my role as an individual within my family, community, even within this university, professionally, as well,” Sullivan said. “I am going to get the most intensive experience with 15 other undergrads and a group of alumni mentors, so taking away those relationships and having such a unique expose to culture and to education, it is truly going to be remarkable.”

Sullivan described the program’s application process as a unique, introspective process requiring self-reflection and critical thinking.

“The core of the whole program and selection process is really personable,” Sullivan said. “It is basically being intact with our values and what the organization is trying to do, which is building balanced men.”

One of the most critical components to the application is the fraternity’s principle of “Sound Mind and Sound Body,” according to

To set himself apart from other applicants, Sullivan said he drew upon a unique personal story, describing how his brother was kicked out of his home and sent to rehabilitation, in response to the question, “When was the last time you cried?”

“Being placed in that situation forced me to be very self-reflective and emotionally sound,” Sullivan said. “I definitely credit my selection to the lessons I’ve learned from that whole experience of having my brother out of my life for the past eight months.”

Sullivan also distinguished himself by sharing his experience from taking an emotional intelligence course. The knowledge he gained from this course enables him to recognize how his feelings and emotions are in sync with his body language.

Making it to this milestone has inspired Sullivan to consider becoming an alumni mentor, and even working for the SigEp headquarters as a traveling consultant after graduation.

When Sullivan returns to Quinnipiac this fall as a senior, he said that his top priority is to use his education and experience to establish his same driven mindset in not only his brothers, but also other members of the Quinnipiac community.

Sullivan’s term as president will end in November, and he said that although the transition is going to be difficult, he will continue to remain focused on working for his chapter.

Specifically, he will be working on the chapter’s application for residential learning community accreditation. This recognition goes to an academically driven chapter that offers programs to better its brothers, all while maintaining a sound leadership program, Sullivan said.

“Obtaining this accomplishment is definitely remarkable, but it is not an endpoint,” Sullivan said. “It is just a pedestal for me to keep stepping further.”