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Northeastern mourns the loss of Marcia Curry

John A. and Marcia Curry
Former university president John A. Curry and his wife, Marcia, hold a plaque during the dedication of the university's student center, named in their honor, in November 1996.

Marcia Curry, wife of former Northeastern University president John A. Curry, died this week at the age of 81. Known throughout the university community for her graciousness and devotion, Marcia was a constant presence at Northeastern for many decades.

“Both Jack and Marcia dedicated their best years to Northeastern and made an immeasurable impact on our university,” said President Joseph E. Aoun. “Marcia was a beloved member of our university family, a gracious friend, and a devoted wife and mother. She will be missed.”

A Massachusetts native, Marcia was born in Marblehead and graduated from Lynn English High School in 1954. She married her high school sweetheart, Jack, shortly after his graduation from Northeastern in 1956.

During Jack Curry’s three decades at Northeastern—during which he rose from admissions counselor to university president, the latter position he held from 1989 to 1996—Marcia was his constant companion and a visible and treasured member of the campus community.

“Jack guided the university through some tough years, and he positioned the university to become a very different, very successful place. Marcia was his great partner in all of it,” said Katherine Pendergast, former vice president of human resources who retired recently after 47 years at Northeastern. “She was a constant presence and a gracious first lady.”

That close partnership was recognized by the university in the naming of the student center, the John A. and Marcia E. Curry Student Center, in 1996. The student center’s position at the crossroads of campus activity is emblematic of Marcia’s deep involvement in community life at Northeastern.

Marcia’s commitment to Northeastern was exceeded only by her devotion to her family. She and Jack raised three children, Robert Curry, Timothy Curry, and Susan Brown, who is the university’s associate director of parent and family programs. “She was so very proud of her kids,” Pendergast added. Marcia is also survived by six grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

Visiting hours at the Bisbee-Porcella Funeral Home (549 Lincoln Ave., Saugus, Massachusetts) will be held on Saturday, Dec. 30, from noon to 3 p.m. Burial, at the request of the family, will be private. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Marcia’s name to the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center at giving.massgeneral.org/cancer/donate.