James Curtin ’07
Born and raised in Syracuse, James Curtin ’07 comes from an extended family of several SU alumni and friends, and he might hold the record for making his college decision at the youngest age. “I chose SU when my parents put a Syracuse stuffed animal in my crib as a baby,” he jokes. “It was the only school to which I applied, and I’m oddly proud of that.”
Curtin’s family moved to Atlanta during his high school years, and while he wasn’t in college yet, the 2003 SU basketball season remains his fondest memory. “I was still a high school senior but was already accepted to Syracuse, so I followed the season as if I was a student,” he says. “New Orleans is only a 7.5-hour drive, so my family and I went to the Final Four. It was an awesome experience that I’ll never forget.”
Curtin arrived on campus as a student that fall, and he majored in retail management and consumer studies at SU’s College of Visual and Performing Arts. He made the most of his years on campus and remains grateful for the mark SU has made on his life. “The entire SU experience allowed me to grow so much socially, academically, and professionally. I met my beautiful wife, Allison, at SU. Many of our wedding guests and members of the bridal party were friends we met on the Hill,” he says. “I learned to become a leader and to handle pressure, adversity, and time management from both classes and extracurricular activities. I was a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon, Sports Illustrated on Campus, intramural teams, and I volunteered at a Syracuse church in its after-school programs for at-risk kids.”
After graduation Curtin and his wife (then girlfriend) returned to Atlanta, where Curtin joined Liberty Mutual as an insurance sales representative. His girlfriend accepted a corporate communications position with ExpressJet Airlines, and the couple married at a vineyard on Seneca Lake in New York in August of 2011. Today they live in Smyrna, Georgia, and Curtin is preparing to pursue his MBA degree.
As an alum the SU network has been priceless to Curtin, and he’s thrilled to see the increased SU in Atlanta presence. “My company offers all members of the Syracuse Alumni Association discounts on their personal insurance. I have dozens of clients specifically due to that, most of whom I met at our alumni outings,” he says. “I also love the fact that SU has made Atlanta a normal stop for Success in the City events and speaking engagements from University leaders and professors.”
He’s also grateful for the SU Alumni Club of Atlanta and its hard work to keep local alumni engaged. “Syracuse alums, especially in the South, share a common bond. Whether discussing the sports teams, weather, former professors, classes or dorms, the conversation is always easy between Orange men and women,” he says. “We have a great alumni club that meets regularly for football and basketball games and other events. And although the 2013 Final Four didn’t go as hoped, the alumni club put on a wonderful show for all of our Orange guests.”