Award-winning Author to Discuss ‘Raising Gentle Men’ at the University


Before embarking on a successful career as an attorney and a communication consultant, Jay Sullivan taught English in an orphanage in Kingston, Jamaica. He will discuss his recent book, “Raising Gentle Men: Lives at the Orphanage Edge,” which is based on his experiences in Kingston, at The University of Scranton on Thursday, Sept. 18. The discussion, which is the third annual Ignatian Values in Action Lecture, begins at 7 p.m. in the Byron Recreation Complex. It is free of charge and open to the public.

Sullivan recalls being “the only man in the convent,” who along with a small group of Sisters of Mercy, helped care for Kingston’s poorest children between 1984 and 1986.

The Catholic Press Association named “Raising Gentle Men” the 2014 “Best Book from a Small Publisher.” The judges for the Catholic Press Association said of the book “Without being maudlin, writer Jay Sullivan portrays the orphans’ hunger for adult attention and affection as well as their very real hungers for food and other necessities as provided by the Sisters of Mercy.”

All of Sullivan’s proceeds from the book support the work of the Mercy Sisters and the Jesuits in Jamaica.

After receiving his J.D. from the Fordham University School of Law in 1989, Sullivan acted as in-house legal counsel at Covenant House, a crisis shelter for runaway and homeless teenagers in New York City. Currently he as the managing partner of Exec/Comm, a New York City communication consulting firm.

Sullivan was a featured columnist in the New York Law Journal, where his “Art of Communication” column appeared regularly. His articles and poetry, both humorous and serious, have appeared in The Golfer, Catholic Digest, Parents and other publications. Sullivan earned a bachelor’s degree in English from Boston College.

“Raising Gentle Men” was selected for this year’s Royal Reads Program, which means it is required reading for The University of Scranton’s incoming class of 2018. In addition to attending Sullivan’s lecture, the students will encounter themes from the book throughout the year in classes and extracurricular opportunities. 

The purpose of the Royal Reads Program is to create a shared experience for Scranton’s newest students through the reading of a carefully selected book, which introduces them to the Ignatian values at the heart of the University and invites them to consider how these values can shape their college experience and life.

For additional information, contact Rebecca Haggerty, assistant dean for assessment and programs, at or 570-941-4399.

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