Alissa Curran ’10 lends support to the mission of alma
mater from wherever in the world she happens to be.
By John Syme
When Alissa Curran arrived at Davidson in 2006, The Davidson Trust was but a gleam in a trustee’s eye. Even after the historic “no-loan initiative” was announced in 2007, Curran had no idea how deeply it would affect her.
Then, the economic collapse.
“I was in that large pool of people whose lives changed dramatically,” she said. “The thought of not being able to continue at Davidson was just unimaginable.”
Curran and her family worked closely with staff in Admission and Financial Aid, hammering out an aid package. Curran was able to continue her studies without interruption.
“Davidson just made it a seamless transition,” she said.
She studied in France while pursuing a political science major, and she had a campus job in the Van Every/Smith Galleries. And at the same time that she was benefitting from The Davidson Trust, Curran was getting a behind-the-scenes look at fundraising, as a student caller for the Annual Fund.
“The Annual Fund showed me a more technical side of fiscal budgets,” she said, “and it was fun to call people who graduated 50 years ago and tell them about what you were doing here now.”
After graduation came a dream job in the white-collar crime division at the New York offices of global law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom. Then it got better. One day at 9 a.m., Curran’s boss, who knew she had studied abroad at Davidson and was fluent in French, called to see if she wanted to move to Paris. At 9 p.m., she was on a plane.
“I’m studying for the LSAT now,” she said. “That’s no picnic after a full day of work, and especially in a country where all you want to do is explore!”
Not that she’s complaining. Au contraire, she loves the pace of her life, including her monthly commute to Manhattan, where she still has the support of a large group of Davidson friends.
And Curran is ready when Davidson calls her, too, whether from her old stomping grounds at the Annual Fund or with a networking call from Career Services.
“As a young alumna, one of the best assets I have is talking to juniors and seniors,” she said. “The Career Services Office is taking a really proactive stance now in making sure Davidson students launch well, even in places that are not hotbeds of Davidson alumni like New York. It’s nice that so many students have reached out to me.”
For herself as well as for her future fellow alumni, the advantages of a liberal arts education continue to grow, thanks to The Davidson Trust.
“Things we discussed and talked about in classes at Davidson are recurring topics in my everyday life,” she said. “I love the way politics and economics and history are intertwined. It’s great to be able to draw on all the different disciplines and have that illuminate something you might not otherwise have seen.
“The Davidson Trust will always be a core component of my relationship to Davidson.”