Alex Degen Awarded Kentucky’s Highest Humanitarian Honor

Alex Degen Awarded Kentucky’s Highest Humanitarian Honor


Kentucky baseball’s Alex Degen is one of two University of Kentucky students and one local citizen to have received UK’s highest honor for humanitarian efforts — the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award.

The Sullivan Award was established by the New York Southern Society in 1925 and was named in honor of its first president, Algernon Sydney Sullivan. Sullivan was a prominent businessman and philanthropist who was highly regarded as one who “reached out with both hands in constant helpfulness” to others. The Sullivan Award recognizes those “who exhibit Sullivan’s ideals of heart, mind, and conduct as evince a spirit of love for and helpfulness to other men and women.”

At UK, the Sullivan Award is bestowed each year on two graduating seniors and one citizen who has a connection to the university.

The 6-foot-8 right-hander from Hunterdon, New Jersey recently made the decision to medically retire from baseball but remain with the program as a student assistant coach. He finished his career with a 3-1 record and one save in 32 appearances. He posted a 4.30 earned run average in three seasons and was on his way to a breakthrough season in 2020 (2.51 ERA, 19 strikeouts in 14.1 innings) when the campaign was cut short by Covid-19.

Degen was incredibly accomplished off the field as well, where he serves on the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee for 2022-23, was a two-time member of the Southeastern Conference Community Service Team and in 2021 was inducted into UK’s prestigious Frank G. Ham Society of Character.

Degen will graduate this May with a graduate certificate in nonprofit management from the Martin School of Public Policy and an undergraduate certificate in financial planning from the Gatton College of Business and Economics. He earned a BA degree in social work in 2021 from the College of Social Work and a BS in business administration in 2022 from the Gatton College of Business and Economics.

Degen’s honors at UK include:

  • Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award, 2023
  • Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), 2022-23
  • SEC Academic Honor Roll (2022)
  • 2021 UK Athletics Frank G. Ham Society of Character Inductee
  • SEC Community Service Team (2020, 2021)
  • SEC Academic Honor Roll (2020, 2021, 2022)
  • Dean’s List (Spring 2020)
  • First-Team All-Coastal Plain League (2019)
  • SEC First-Year Academic Honor Roll (2019)

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