St. Andrews University and Scotia Village retirement community announced today that the Estate of John D. Currie, Jr., over the past two years, has distributed gifts totaling more than $2.7 million to the two Presbyterian based organizations located in Scotland County. Mr. Currie was a resident of Scotia Village at the time of his death in 2014 and was a long-time trustee of St. Andrews. The philanthropic legacy Mr. Currie leaves behind is a demonstration of his faith, his belief in education and his desire to provide a safety net for his fellow neighbors.
“Once in a great while someone comes along who devotes a lifetime to helping others and then goes on to leave a legacy that will benefit generations to come. Together we celebrate the life, the vision, and the extraordinary generosity of John D. Currie, Jr.,” said Paul Baldasare, President of St. Andrews University and Allen Johnson, Executive Director of Scotia Village in a joint statement.
The gift from the Currie Estate directed to St. Andrews University has already been used in large part to support academic programs and to make needed capital improvements to the campus; the balance is being used to establish a named professorship. The gift directed to Scotia Village retirement community will benefit the Caring and Sharing Endowment which is used to provide financial assistance for residents who have outlived their personal financial resources.
“John Currie embodied what it means to be a ‘servant leader.’ As a St. Andrews trustee, he served with wisdom and great passion, as a long-time donor he gave generously and with enthusiasm to the causes he cared deeply about, and as a friend he was always there in times of need. St. Andrews could not have had a more loyal trustee and friend than John Currie,” said Paul Baldasare, President of St. Andrews University.
“John Currie was quiet yet extremely intelligent. Our conversations were a treat as he would continually challenge my perspective. Mr. Currie believed in the mission of Scotia Village. His legacy gift generously supports the advancement of our mission and confirms that it is worthy of perpetuation. We will strive to honor Mr. Currie’s belief in our important work,” said Allen Johnson, Executive Director of Scotia Village.
In his later years, John Currie was a resident of Scotia Village. He was deeply engaged with his time and philanthropy at both St. Andrews University and Scotia Village which are situated on adjoining campuses in Laurinburg. Mr. Currie served on the Scotia Village Board of Trustees for nine years and for part of that time as the Treasurer. His service to St. Andrews included 10 years as the Secretary of the Board of Trustees and President of the Board of Visitors.
Mr. Currie’s family has a significant history with St. Andrews University. Pate Hall was named for John’s Uncle Edwin Pate, Avinger Auditorium was named for his Great-Aunt Ina Avinger and the Morgan-Jones Science Building was named for two Scotland County leaders, one of whom was John’s cousin, Halbert Jones.
John D. Currie, Jr. was born on August 5, 1936 in Fayetteville, N.C., the son of the late John Duncan Currie and Mary Pate Currie. He was a graduate of Woodberry Forest School in Virginia, Princeton University and Columbia Graduate School of Business. In his early career Mr. Currie was with The First National City Bank of New York and The First National Bank of Atlanta. He later sold residential real estate in Moore County and was a Director of Z.V. Pate, Inc. of Laurel Hill N.C., and various other related family owned businesses. Mr. Currie was a member of Brownson Memorial Presbyterian Church in Southern Pines, N.C.
A committed philanthropist, Mr. Currie spent much of his adult life volunteering for organizations that offered education or other ways of improving the quality of life in the communities where he lived. Among his many commitments, he was a long-term member of the Princeton University Schools Committee, Board Member of Cape Fear Museum Historical Complex in Fayetteville, N.C. and Vice-Chairman of Bethesda, Inc., a group home that assists those recovering from substance abuse, in Aberdeen, N.C.
“I worked closely with John for many years. He never wavered in his passion to help others especially in the area of education. He made sure his estate would help others for generations to come. John was a very intelligent, generous and caring person,” said David L. Burns, close friend and business associate of John D. Currie, Jr.