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The Legacy of John D. Currie, Jr.

6 February 2018, 8:39 am Written by


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.


Horses, Science, and Scottish History!

25 January 2018, 11:13 am Written by

Perhaps not a typical weekend at St. Andrews University, but certainly an upcoming flurry of activity coming to Scotland County will bring hundreds of people to campus that stretches from the Belk Center to the Scotland Heritage Center to the Morgan Jones Science building and, finally, to the 300-acre equestrian center.

   That's what is happening over St. Patrick's Day weekend, March 16-18, with perhaps as many 1,000 people in Laurinburg to attend and participate in three major events that will be drawing visitors from all parts of the United States.

   The science faculty will once again host a regional Science Olympiad as it has since 1974. In fact, St. Andrews was the first university to initiate this state and national competition that concludes each May with some 7,800 teams in 50 states.

   Eight or more middle and elementary schools from six counties will converge on St. Andrew’s campus to compete in 23 events. That’s approximately 300 middle school students, parents and teachers who will spend all Saturday in competition.  Students, often dressed in specially designed T-shirts and other decorations in support of science, will, among other things, test bridges they have built, fly hovercraft, investigate crime scenes, solve chemistry problems, act as disease detectives and identify anatomical structures as their teams participate in the competitions.  The winning teams then go on to the state finals at NC State University and hopefully a national championship this spring in Colorado—and it all started at St. Andrews.

   Rooney Coffman (class of ’68) is St. Andrews Director of Logistics and university photographer and one of the founders of the Science Olympiad and whose organization of volunteers is rewarded with the results of the science extravaganza and the return of schools year after year.

   The second event, now in its 30th year, belongs to the well-known Scottish Heritage Center that will be hosting visitors both at its center on Elm Drive and to weekend presentations in the Belk Center on campus. Director Bill Caudill fills the weekend with scholars who present topics relative to genealogy, history and culture of the Scots who settled in this region. He expects over 100 attendees who come from throughout the US and Canada.

   This event started as a celebration of the 250th anniversary of the coming of the first organized group of Highland Scots to this region, the now famed "Argyll Colony" in 1739.  Information and costs can be found by contacting the Scottish Heritage Center.

   The equestrian center is accustomed to hosting major equine shows at the arenas on Hasty Road. But this March and the same St. Patrick’s Day weekend, a new event arrives that appears to be a huge undertaking, according to equestrian director Peggy McElveen. The Interscholastic Equestrian Association (IEA) is hosting their Zone 3 Hunter Seat Finals at St. Andrews University Equestrian Center.  Twelve classes are held for team riders and twelve classes for riders who have qualified individually.   Approximately 250 middle and high school students will be competing at this event. Zone 3 consists of IEA riders from Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, and North Carolina.

   Parents, grandparents, teammates, riders and coaches will begin arriving on Friday, March 16, for the official schooling of the horses that will be held at the equestrian center. The competition including jumping and equitation classes for the individual riders will be on Saturday, March 17, and for team riders the next day.

   Riders will have the opportunity to qualify for the IEA National Championship by winning their class at the IEA Zone Finals. The IEA National Championship in 2018 will be held in Syracuse, NY.

   All faculty involved with each of these events remark that in addition to the competitions, these opportunities lend themselves to recruiting not only future students to the campus, many for the first time, but by bringing parents and friends to Scotland County and Laurinburg where they are introduced to what is available without necessarily having to travel to Lumberton or Aberdeen.

   And if those events are not enough, the St. Andrews baseball team will be playing four games on campus that weekend against Bryan College (Dayton, TN).

   It's a great weekend showcase that will bring all ages, activities and multiple states to St. Andrews and Scotland County with expectations that once they have come to compete or watch, they will return. St. Andrews and their motto of “traditionally different” applies well to the community as they introduce many people to what they have to offer and the resources of Scotland County.

(Courtesy of Dr. James Henery)

MLK Day 2018

17 January 2018, 8:14 am Written by


St. Andrews University joined the nation Monday night, Jan. 15, by celebrating Martin Luther King Jr. Day in a campus and community-wide celebration held in a packed Avinger Auditorium.

The program began with instrumental selections on guitar and violin by faculty member and biologist Dr. Tracy Feldman and then a drum processional by St. Andrews pipe band drummer DJ Street.

Following a welcome and remarks from university president Paul Baldasare, the stage was set for a comprehensive and joy-filled presentation of speeches, readings and music.

Notably, the featured speaker for the evening was the Rev. Garland E. Pierce, the NC House District 48 representative for Scotland County, who selected the well-known Luke passage of the Good Samaritan emphasizing “who is my neighbor?” as his theme and comparing it to daily social problems. President Baldasare presented Rev. Pierce with a St. Andrews award in appreciation of his support and service.

St. Andrews students Shaqueena Kemp and Nathaniel Blackwell read selections from Dr. King’s writings.

Music provided another connection to what faculty member Dr. Rona Leach McLeod would later say “what we are about tonight is community” as choirs from Bright Hopewell Baptist Church (Rev. Pierce’s church) and Sandy Grove Baptist Church Hands of Praise sang and involved the audience.

A special dramatic program by actors Mitchell Capel and Sonny Kelly (who also served as the master of ceremonies) featured storytelling, poetry and portrayal of black Union soldiers fighting in the Civil War for their freedom. Their presentation, part of a larger drama called The Color of Courage, included poetry, music and narratives that were both humorous and somber. It provided for those attending a visual and moving account of struggle then and the application to the evening’s focus on celebrating the life and service of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. –30--



NC Works Career Fair

15 March 2018, 8:51 am Written by

St. Andrews, in partnership with NCWorks Career Center-Scotland County, will host a GREAT CAREER FAIR on campus in the Belk Center on March 15, 2018. St. Andrews students/alumni only from 9-10 a.m.; general public and others from 10-2 p.m. Employer registrations have begun and continue through March 9.  

Contact Annette Reed at Career Services at 901.277.5549 or

Dogfish Head Poetry Prize winner announced:

Beth Copeland, of Gibson, North Carolina, has been named the winner of the 2017 Dogfish Head Poetry Prize for her manuscript, “Blue Honey”. The prize was presented on December 9 at the Dogfish Inn, in Lewes, DE, by Andrew Greeley, innkeeper. Her award consisted of publication of her manuscript by Broadkill River Press, 10 copies of the published book, $500 in prize money, two cases of Dogfish Head beer, and two night’s stay at the Dogfish Inn.

The judges for this year’s contest were Christopher Salerno, of William Paterson University in New Jersey; Destiny O. Birdsong, of Vanderbilt University in Tennessee; and Michael Dwayne Smith, of Mojave River Press in California.

Copeland is the daughter of missionaries and was born in Japan. She received her MFA from Bowling Green State University in Ohio and teaches at St. Andrew’s University in North Carolina. Her two previous full-length books of poetry are “Traveling Through Glass”, which won the 1999 Bright Hill Press Poetry Book Award, and “Transcendental Telemarketer” (BlazeVOX, 2012).

Before the winner was announced Jamie Brown, editor and publisher of Broadkill River Press, gave a brief reading, as did Sherry Chappelle, 2011 DFH winner for “Salmagundi”, followed by Linda Blaskey, 2008 winner for “Farm”.

Finalists for this year’s contest are CL Bledsoe (VA) for “Driving Around, Looking in Other People’s Windows”; Ken Pobo (PA) for “Dindi Expecting Snow”; Adam Tamashasky (MD) for “Meteor”; Kathy Ackerman (NC) for “A Quarrel of Atoms”; and Nicole Heneveld (NY) for “The Fragility of Spines”.

The Dogfish Head Poetry Prize is in its 15th year and was created by Sam Calagione, CEO of Dogfish Head Craft Brewery and Distillery and a literature major in college, and by Jamie Brown, of Broadkill River Press. The contest is open to residents of North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York, and District of Columbia. Publication of the winning manuscript is supported by The Cape Gazette.

To order copies of “Blue Honey”($17.95) go to

Content Courtesy of Linda Blaskey (Coordinato of Dogfish Head Poetry Prize)

Science and Theology Lecture to be Held at St. Andrews

LAURINBURG, N.C. St. Andrews will be hosting the first John Calvin McNair Lecture Series on Science and Theology for the 2017-18 academic year on Thursday, October 19 at 6 p.m. in the Carol Grotnes Belk Main Room.

The lecture begins at 7 p.m. with dinner beginning at 6 p.m. The event is open to the public with an RSVP to or 910-277-3968. Seating is limited.

Speaker Dr. Anne Foerst will be sharing her thoughts on “Loving Robots? Invite Yet Another Stranger In.”

Dr. Foerst has a Ph.D. in theology and is an Associate Professor of Computer Science at St. Bonaventure University, previously serving as director of MIT’s God and Computers Project. She is widely known for her work on the interplay between Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, and Theology. Dr. Foerst has given lectures all over the world and her work has appeared in many international academic and popular publications. Her book “Robots Teach Us About Humanity and God” was published in 2004.

Dr. Foerst’s lecture will be the twelfth lecture hosted by St. Andrews as part of the John Calvin McNair Lecture on Science and Theology series. Previous lectures have been provided by such notables as Dr. Raymond Barfield, Dr. Owen Gingerich, Dr. Marcelo Gleiser and Dr. Jennifer Wiseman.

The McNair lecture was established by the 1857 will of John Calvin McNair who asked that “the object of which lecture(s) shall be to show the mutual bearing of Science and Theology upon each other…” The series was previously hosted at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

LEXINGTON, K.Y. - Western-themed rubber duckies fill the trough as hesitant riders reach to pick one floating by. Each duck is labeled with a horse – a horse the rider must find a way in which to instantly bond. Will the horse be social, aloof, challenging? The rider has to make a determination and build a relationship quickly.

LAURINBURG, N.C. – “Only two Commencement ceremonies have been rained out in the history of St. Andrews,” informed campus president Paul Baldasare, Jr.

LAURINBURG, N.C. – Last week 20 undergraduates from St. Andrews participated in a day of science geared for fifth graders at Sycamore Lane Elementary school.