The Curvey Scholar Program
Jim Curvey was a Pennsylvania boy from coal country who never forgot his roots. His father had begun working in the coal mines while he was in grade school; his mother, widowed when Jim was just 12 years old, was a bookkeeper for a newspaper and a coal company.
At Villanova University, Jim realized just how unprepared he was compared to the students around him—and the education changed his life. He turned his Villanova degree and his work ethic into a long career in the public and private sectors, eventually rising to the position of president and chief operating officer of Fidelity Investments.
He and his wife, Shirley, created a scholarship in their family name at Villanova, to give the opportunity of education to kids from the region of Pennsylvania where they’d both grown up. In 2009, wanting to do something similar for students living in the Lakes Region near their summer residence in Alton, the Curveys created a similar scholarship at Brewster Academy.
Since 2009, three area students each year have received four-year scholarships to Brewster, based on their families’ financial need. In 2017, they expanded the program to offer Curvey Fellowships that allow students to gain valuable life experiences through traveling in North America.
The “Curvey Scholars” are ambassadors of Brewster Academy and leaders among their peers in the community. Scholars and their families meet with members of the Curvey family during the academic year. Returning Curvey Scholars serve as mentors to new Scholars, supporting new students in their adjustment to life at Brewster. Current Curvey Scholar Aidan Rolfe ‘20 shares, “Once a year, the twelve of us get together for dessert with the Curvey family. It’s a special connection we share across the grades. We know how lucky we all are.”
The Curvey Scholar Program exemplifies the power of supporting scholarship endowment. It reinforces key touchstones of a Brewster education: access, community engagement, global outlook, transformative experience. Says Ashley Rogers ’13, one of the initial Curvey Scholarships recipients in 2009, “Being a Curvey Scholar provided me with the opportunity to become the best version of myself as a high school student, and it opened my eyes to the possibility of what I could be and how essential it is to give back to others.”