Yankala and Hernandez Receive Algernon Sydney Sullivan Medallions

The highest non-academic awards, Algernon Sydney Sullivan Medallions are bestowed upon students who show remarkable character and integrity and who demonstrate a commitment to service.

(Photo by Scott Cook) (Photo by Scott Cook) The Algernon Sydney Sullivan Medallion was established by the New York Southern Society in 1925 to perpetuate Sullivan’s memory and encourage in succeeding generations an allegiance to those ideals of human service he manifested in his own life and career. The award has been made at Rollins commencements since 1927, honoring seniors who have demonstrated those qualities of service and care that characterize a remarkable person. The award can never be won; it can only be bestowed.

The 2013 Algernon Sydney Sullivan Medallion was bestowed upon graduating students Cassandra Yankala ’13 and Lucas Hernandez ’13 during the Arts & Sciences and College of Professional Studies commencement ceremony. During the ceremony, Dean of the Knowles Memorial Chapel Patrick Powers shared with those in attendance a few of Yankala’s and Hernandez’s remarkable accomplishments.

Cassandra Yankala

What word comes to mind when you heard the name of Cassandra? It is obvious. Smiles.

Smiles that are warm and genuine. Smiles that want to take root in someone else’s heart.

Smiles that are filled with such a sweet spirit of joy.

In addition to being a strong student, Cass has been a valuable addition to the Rollins sailing team. As a first-year student, she was instrumental in helping to organize and promote Rally Rollins, which drew a record crowd to celebrate

Rollins senior athletes and to cheer on the Tars in basketball.

She has worked tirelessly as a member of the admissions team, overseeing student ambassadors and helping to recruit students from many diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and interests.

Cass has also made valuable contributions to the Office of Marketing & Communications. As an intern, she filmed and edited videos and photos—all capturing the essence of her appreciation and love for Rollins.

She also brought her magical smiles to overseas experiences in Australia and London and was chosen to participate in the President’s Contemporary Council.

Cass, whether you bring cupcakes and hugs to brighten someone’s day, walk the extra mile with a broken-hearted friend, or help homeless children to read, that radiant smile is an irresistible valentine.

With your smile of caring compassion made relevant every day, you revive the heartbeat of Algernon Sydney Sullivan and grace our common life.

Lucas Hernandez

Lucas, “Life is for service” is not just a slogan carved in stone on a wall. It has epitomized your life and behavior here at Rollins.

Through a long litany of community support and service projects, you have taught us that the struggle to achieve parity between progress and stagnation, between scarcity and plenty, comes not from the outside but from inside the human heart. Your legacy of service has been extensive.

As an intern for social entrepreneurship in Ecuador, you introduced villages to effective wood burning stoves, solar lighting, and home irrigation systems.

Through alternative spring break trips and immersion trips in Miami and Tampa, you aided in the construction of over five houses with Habitat for Humanity. Your leadership expanded the immersion trips from nine to 20 with student leaders, challenging others to step outside their comfort zones.

Serving as vice-president and holding the community service chair for X Club, you modeled selfless service and humble dedication to your fraternity brothers. Whether you are constructing garden beds, tutoring migrant workers’ children, attending a pesticide safety course in Miami, or working with others to make lives healthier and better in Nepal and Costa Rica, you have been an impassioned advocate for the beleaguered. You serve others with an unflinching nerve, a wise heart, and a nimble mind.

You share the same dream logic of selfless service that ennobled the life of Algernon Sydney Sullivan. May your dream never fade.