Rhodes College alumna Joellyn Forrester Sullivan recently was presented Chi Omega Fraternity’s President’s Award at its national convention in Orlando. The President's Award is the highest honor given by Chi Omega Fraternity. This award recognizes extraordinary alumnae service at the national level. The President's Award is reserved for rare individuals who have made, and continue to make, incredible marks on the Chi Omega Sisterhood.
Christelle Ferguson, the editor of The Eleusis for 36 years, was the first to receive this award for distinguished alumnae service in 1976, actually before it was named the President's Award. At the 1978 Convention, former S.H. Elizabeth Carmichael Orman established the award as a permanent part of the Fraternity.
Sullivan was initiated into Rhodes’ Kappa Beta chapter in 1974. During her undergraduate years, she served as the new member educator for the chapter and was the recipient of the Outstanding Senior Award. She graduated from Rhodes in 1977 with a B.S. in biology. With a long history of service to Chi Omega on both local and national levels, she also served as the Rhodes chapter advisor for 20 years. In addition, she has served on Rhodes’ Margaret Hyde Council since 1997.
Sullivan is owner of the famed Silky O’Sullivan’s restaurant located on Beale Street. In 2013, original owner Thomas "Silky" Sullivan has passed away at the age of 71 as a result of health problems. Silky opened Silky O' Sullivan's on Beale in 1992, and he previously ran Silky Sullivan's in Overton Square from 1973 to 1998. Silky O’Sullivan’s present location on Beale Street, formerly the Gallina building, is over 100 years old, and has more recorded history than any other building on Beale Street. It was a saloon that ran all day and all night with as many as fourteen bartenders.