Notable Villanova Alumnus James C. Curvey ’57 Donates $2.8 Million in Scholarship Support

Erin Gormley Co News Editor

James C. Curvey, a 1957 alumnus of the University, has demonstrated continuous commitment to granting students the opportunity to receive a well-rounded college education. Curvey’s recent $2.8 million gift to the University allows a new scholarship to be established. This new scholarship grants one deserving student each year the opportunity to attend Villanova from Brewster Academy (N.H.), where he serves on the board of trustees. To add to this new scholarship, the gift gives programmatic support for the Curvey Scholars Program and other prestigious donor-funded scholarships through a newly appointed endowed position—the James C. Curvey Assistant Director of Endowed Scholarship Services. 

Curvey received a Bachelor of Science degree from the University in 1957 and then went on to receive a Master of Arts degree from George Washington University in 1962. Curvey’s education did not stop there. He later attended the University of Chicago when he received a fellowship from the National Institute of Public Affairs. From the lessons he learned in the classroom and the additional opportunities granted to him through education, Curvey developed a unique understanding of how he could help students through research, travel and other interests. 

This perspective, of how beneficial a well-rounded education can be, led Curvey to establish the Curvey Scholarships and Fellowships Program at the University. The legacy of the Curvey scholarship program stems back almost two decades with its creation in 1999. With his initial gift to the University, Curvey established a scholarship program for students from his hometown of Mahanoy City, Pa. to attend the University. The scholarship program kept growing, and in 2005, the University received one of its largest gifts in school history—$6 million in scholarships and fellowships for students from five high schools in Pennsylvania, again from Curvey. Potential recipients are eligible to apply if they hail from a select pool of high schools in northern Schuylkill County: Mahanoy Area High School, Marian Catholic High School, Nativity BVM High School, North Schuylkill High School and Shenandoah Valley High School. These schools are all within 100 miles from the University and from an area that Curvey calls home.

“It has been an absolute honor and privilege to see so many students from Mahanoy City and Schuylkill County come to Villanova and thrive,” Curvey said. “These are amazing individuals, whose experiences at Villanova over the last 20 years have helped put them on a path to achieve greatness. I look forward to seeing what the future holds at Villanova for all of the Curvey Scholars from Schuylkill County and Brewster Academy.”

As an addition to the scholarship program, the Curvey Fellowship provides resources for a one-time focused period of independent study. This complement provides selected Curvey Scholars with a post-graduation fellowship of up to $20,000 to travel internationally. Through this travel opportunity, students are able to further their personal and academic growth while gaining inestimable life experience. 

Curvey is a vice chairman of the Board of Directors of FMR LLC, the holding company for the businesses of Fidelity Investments. He retired from his successful 20-year career at Fidelity Investments in December 2002, where he served in a multitude of roles, including president and chief operating officer. Prior to joining Fidelity, Curvey was vice president of Human Resources for Chase Manhattan Bank. In 1999, he was selected as one of the Top 25 Managers of the Year by BusinessWeek magazine. In addition, Curvey received an honorary Doctor of Commercial Science degree from the University in 1999. Curvey is also a former member of the University’s Board of Trustees and served as Vice Chair of a previous capital campaign, “Transforming Minds and Hearts: The Campaign for Villanova,” which was announced in 2004 and ended in 2007.

“Jim’s new gift elevates his commitment to making a Villanova education possible for students and supporting these scholars during their educational journeys,” Michael O’Neill, Senior Vice President for University Advancement, said. “The creation of a visionary new endowed position will add to an already remarkable system of support for Curvey Scholars and will benefit other donor-funded endowed scholarships as well.”

Now, as the Curvey Scholars Program marks its 20th anniversary, numerous students have not only benefitted from Curvey’s generosity, but from the unique experience to grow through an intellectually diverse and academically challenging environment at the University. In total, 56 students from Mahanoy City and four nearby high schools in Schuylkill County, Pa., have attended the University through the program. Of the 56 students, 41 students from Schuylkill County have graduated and 15 others are currently enrolled at the University.