Jan. 6, 2018

Dear Members of the John Carroll University Community,

On Friday, we learned of the passing of Rev. Charles L. Currie, S.J., who died at the age of 88 after a recent illness. Fr. Currie served as the president of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities from 1997 to 2011. A revered leader in Jesuit higher education and champion of social justice, he also served as president of Wheeling Jesuit University (1972-1982) and Xavier University (1982-1985); director of Georgetown University’s Bicentennial celebration (1989); rector of the Jesuit community at Saint Joseph’s University (1991-1997); co-founder of the Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice (1996); and as a faculty member at Georgetown and Saint Joseph’s. Upon his retirement from the AJCU, Fr. Currie served as the executive director of the Jesuit Commons, an initiative that grew from JesuitNET to provide online education to students in refugee camps.

Although I did not have the privilege of working with Fr. Currie, I, like all of us, am the beneficiary of his visionary work that helped shape the AJCU. As president, Fr. Currie oversaw the development of JesuitNET, the nation’s first Jesuit distance education network; strengthened the Association’s relationships with members of the U.S. Congress; created the Jesuit Leadership Seminar; welcomed the first of many lay presidents; and coordinated a joint response to Hurricane Katrina, that allowed students from Loyola University New Orleans to spend their fall 2005 semester at sister Jesuit institutions across the country, including John Carroll University. Many John Carroll faculty and staff will remember Fr. Currie through his tireless involvement in the many different conferences and programs sponsored by the AJCU and Heartland/Delta, a regional grouping of Jesuit schools in the middle and southern parts of the country.

The AJCU press release concludes by reminding us that “Fr. Currie was a beloved figure both within and outside of the Jesuit network. He remained proud of his roots in Philadelphia, but thrived on the energy of Capitol Hill during his years in Washington, D.C. His tireless energy, keen sense of humor, legendary story-telling skills, and enormous heart will all be greatly missed. We invite friends to share their memories of Fr. Currie in the comments section beneath an online version of this release.”

On Sunday evening, January 13, JCU’s Campus Ministry will remember Fr. Currie at the 9:00 P.M. Mass in St. Francis Chapel. Please join me in praying for the repose of his soul and for the consolation of his family and the Jesuits at Georgetown University where he was living and across the country. To read more about Fr. Currie or to leave an online memory, please click here.

Michael D. Johnson
President, John Carroll University