When Evan Curry was offered the School of Business deanship, the former corporate senior VP had just declined a lucrative contract with the company he’d worked with for nearly forty years. For what purpose? Only God knew— “Something in my spirit said ‘No.’ I knew that I was supposed to do something else, but I didn’t know what that was.”
Less than 48 hours later, he received a call from Dr. Todd Williams “out of the blue.” He says, “When I say ‘out of the blue,’ I mean ‘out of the blue.’ I did not see it coming whatsoever. So the reason I’m at Cairn is an act of obedience. I don’t know how God through His Spirit would speak to me more clearly than that.” Curry started his position on July 10th.
It’s not the first time God has taken his career in a direction he’d never have anticipated, says Curry, 57. On his first day at CARDONE, aged 18, he carried boxes, unloading trucks. In his early years, he worked on the production line, building car parts. At the time of his retirement, Curry was senior VP of corporate culture for over 6,000 global employees. He had secured the industry’s first ISO 9001, QS9000, and TS16949 quality assurance and ISO14000 environmental certifications; pioneered strategic planning and organizational development; and led warranty reduction to millions of dollars better than their goal. In addition to leading operations and HR in Philadelphia, Curry served on a five-person team establishing 9,000 employees and over one million square feet of factories in Mexico and South Texas.
“I think the School of Business is a strength of the University,” Curry says. “It’s in the ‘growing and building’ stage with highly competent faculty and visionary senior administration here at Cairn. Our students have a foundation of 30 credits of Bible . . . [and so] the graduates we produce are highly purposeful and highly engaged because they see their work as ministry and do what they do for the glory of God.”
Curry replaces Yunn Kang, who led the School of Business for three years after the retirement of long-time dean Ron Ferner. Hired in 2008 primarily to teach accounting and finance, Kang oversaw the development of undergraduate and graduate accounting programs in 2013. Stepping into the position of interim dean the following year, he saw the school’s enrollment grow 23%, including a 67% increase in graduate enrollment. Under Kang, the School of Business launched two new graduate programs: the online international entrepreneurship MBA and MS in Nonprofit Leadership.
In addition to dean, Curry has been designated as Cairn’s “corporate outreach officer,” a new position at the University. He says, “What I think I can do best for the School of Business here is to promote it and network it throughout Philadelphia, really representing the University so that people become fully aware of Cairn’s School of Business.” Curry says that stronger corporate relationships can yield multiple benefits for the University: internships for students, jobs for graduates, sponsorships for University Advancement, and advice for the School of Business as it strives for cutting-edge relevance in a rapidly changing business environment. Curry also serves as a pastor and chairman of the board of elders at Bethel Philadelphia Mills Church, as well as chairman of the board of directors for World Ministries in Leesburg, FL.