Father Charles L. Currie Receives 2011 Paley Award for Service to Independent Higher Education

February 01, 2011

For Immediate Release

Tony Pals, tony@naicu.edu, (202) 739-0474

WASHINGTON, D.C., Feb. 1--The Reverend Charles L. Currie, S.J., president of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities (AJCU), has received the 2011 Henry Paley Memorial Award from the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU). He received the award from NAICU President David L. Warren on Tuesday, Feb. 1, at the NAICU annual meeting. The meeting is being held at the Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill.

Since 1985, the Paley Award has recognized an individual who, throughout his or her career, has unfailingly served the students and faculty of independent higher education. The recipient of this award has set an example for all who would seek to advance educational opportunity in the United States. The Paley Award is named for Henry Paley, president of the Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities of New York from 1975 until 1984.

Father Currie is one of the best known - and most loved - advocates for independent higher education in Washington, across the country, and internationally. He has been a tireless supporter of students and colleges, and has balanced that mission with his efforts to assist victims of natural disasters nationally and war crimes internationally.

During his tenure, the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities has moved to the forefront of efforts to preserve student aid, increase access to the underserved, and strengthen the nation's educational system in providing greater opportunities for a college education among underserved populations.

"Father Currie has touched the lives of countless individuals in our community and beyond," said NAICU President David L. Warren. "He is truly a gift, not just to our sector but to all of higher education."

"For his exemplary service to students at every level of our educational system, and for his tireless advocacy for those in need, the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities is pleased to honor the lifelong contributions of the Reverend Charles Currie, S.J., with its 2011 Henry Paley Memorial Award," Warren said.

Father Currie became president of AJCU in 1997, after having served as president of Wheeling College (now Wheeling Jesuit University) in West Virginia and Xavier University in Ohio. Under his leadership, the association has undertaken a wealth of new initiatives, such as establishing the AJCU Seminar on Higher Education Leadership, enhancing the commitment of Jesuit colleges and universities to educate for justice, and developing the Jesuit Distance Education Network (JesuitNET). He has been a cofounder of both the Ignatian Family Teach-in for Justice and the Ignatian Solidarity Network.

Father Currie has extensive international experience. In 1989 he traveled to El Salvador after the assassination of Jesuit priests there, and was named special assistant to the president of Georgetown University to coordinate the university's response to the tragedy. He has also built educational alliances in Vietnam, China, Cuba, and across Latin America.

A native of Philadelphia, Father Currie has studied at Fordham University, Boston College, and Woodstock College, a Jesuit seminary that since closed. He earned a Ph.D. in physical chemistry at The Catholic University of America, then pursued post-doctoral research at Cambridge University, the Canadian National Research Council, and the National Bureau of Standards in Washington. He also has held faculty positions at Georgetown University and Saint Joseph's University.

NAICU serves as the unified national voice of independent higher education. With more than 1,000 member institutions and associations nationwide, NAICU reflects the diversity of private, nonprofit higher education in the United States. NAICU members enroll 90 percent of all students attending private institutions. They include traditional liberal arts colleges, major research universities, church- and faith-related institutions, historically black colleges, Hispanic-serving institutions, single-sex colleges, art institutions, two-year colleges, and schools of law, medicine, engineering, business, and other professions.




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