LAURINBURG –John D. Currie, Jr.’s estate has made substantial gifts to two of his loves — St. Andrews University and Scotia Village.
Over the past two years, executors have donated more than $2.7 million to the university and retirement community. Currie was a resident of Scotia Village at the time of his death in 2014 and was a long-time trustee of St. Andrews.
Paul Baldasare, president of St. Andrews University and Allen Johnson, executive director of Scotia Village issued a joint statement praising Currie’s generosity.
“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.,” the statement said.
The gift to St. Andrews University was largely used to support academic programs and make needed capital improvements to the campus. The balance will be used to establish a named professorship.
“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,” Baldasare said.
The contribution to Scotia Village 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 was quiet, yet extremely intelligent. Our conversations were a treat as he would continually challenge my perspective,” said Johnson. “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,”
In his later years, Currie was a resident of Scotia Village. He donated his time and philanthropy at both St. Andrews and Scotia Village which sit on adjoining campuses. Currie served on the Scotia Village Board of Trustees for nine years, part of that time as treasurer.
At St. Andrews, he served 10 years as the secretary of the board of trustees and president of the board of visitors.
Currie’s family has a significant history with St. Andrews University.
Pate Hall is named for Currie’s uncle, Edwin Pate. Avinger Auditorium was named for his great-aunt Ina Avinger. The Morgan-Jones Science Building was named for two Scotland County leaders, one of whom was Currie’s cousin, Halbert Jones.
Currie, was born on Aug. 5, 1936 in Fayetteville. He was 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 Currie worked for 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 and other related family owned businesses.
He was a member of Brownson Memorial Presbyterian Church in Southern Pines.
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. He was a long-term member of the Princeton University Schools Committee, Board Member of Cape Fear Museum Historical Complex in Fayetteville and vice-chairman of Bethesda, Inc., a group home that assists those recovering from substance abuse, in Aberdeen.
“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,” said David L. Burns, close friend and business associate of Currie.