media release

Joanne Curry recognized with honorary degree

May 28, 2014

Marianne Meadahl, PAMR, 778.782.9017;


Joanne Curry, Simon Fraser University’s associate VP external relations, is today receiving an honorary degree from Kwantlen Polytechnic University.

“Joanne has served the cause of higher education locally, provincially and across Canada for over 20 years and we consider her one of our own in that respect,” says KPU President and Vice-Chancellor Alan Davis.

Davis called Curry an “education impresario” with a talent for creating environments where students can thrive and do great things. “She has many special and rare abilities nurtured by hard work, dedication and persistence,” he says.

Curry is being recognized for making a career of advancing the cause of higher education locally, provincially, and nationally. A tireless advocate for expanding and enhancing post-secondary education south of the Fraser, her work at SFU’s Surrey campus has maximized the university’s capacity to enhance the social, economic, environmental and cultural well being of the community.

She played a pivotal role in the establishment and development of SFU’s Surrey campus where, for over a decade, she served as the executive director of SFU Surrey, overseeing the campus’s planning, community engagement, marketing and communications, public and government relations, and management of operations. More recently, she was instrumental in a consultation process that led to SFU’s new vision as Canada’s most community-engaged research university.

For seven years prior to her pioneering work in the community of Surrey, Curry served as the Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer of TeleLearning Network of Centres of Excellence (TL-NCE), a member of the highly influential network of Canadian ‘centres of excellence’.  The TL-NCE included 30 universities and over 30 public and private sector members supporting Canada’s pioneering work in online education. 

Her bridge-building efforts began in her role as director of SFU’s University Industry Liaison office, to which she brought 10 years of industry experience in banking, consulting, and biotechnology.

Curry holds an MBA from SFU, a B.Commerce with distinction from University of Manitoba, and is currently completing a doctorate in business administration at the University of Bath.

Curry says it’s truly wonderful to be recognized by a sister institution. “I know KPU also works hard to engage with the community, and both SFU and KPU need to work together and with the community to meet the pressing post-secondary education needs in the region.”

Curry and fellow honorary degree recipients Christine Brodie, Baltej Dhillon and David Aisenstat are receiving their awards at KPU during spring convocation ceremonies this week.

Simon Fraser University is Canada's top-ranked comprehensive university and one of the top 50 universities in the world under 50 years old. With campuses in Vancouver, Burnaby and Surrey, B.C., SFU engages actively with the community in its research and teaching, delivers almost 150 programs to more than 30,000 students, and has more than 120,000 alumni in 130 countries.


Simon Fraser University: Engaging Students. Engaging Research. Engaging Communities.

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