Dean of Emory’s Rollins School of Public Health James W. Curran is leaving the University after 26 years in the position, according to an April 16 announcement from CEO of Emory Healthcare Jonathan Lewin and Interim Provost Jan Love. Curran will also deliver the 2021 Commencement address for Oxford College. 

“It is an honor to have Dean Curran as our speaker,” Oxford College Dean Douglas Hicks wrote in the April 16 announcement. “Jim is an influential academician who has guided the Rollins School of Public Health to its stature as one of the top U.S. programs, and his earlier groundbreaking work with HIV/AIDS and other public-health concerns has had a profound effect on our national well-being. He will be a compelling and timely speaker for our graduates and guests.”

(Emory University)

Lewin and Love’s announcement came earlier that day and said the University is searching for a new dean for Rollins as Curran “transitions out of his role.” Curran will continue to serve in full capacity until a new dean is selected. 

Following 25 years at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Curran joined the University as Rollins Dean and a professor of epidemiology in 1995. At Emory, Curran served as co-director for the Emory Center for AIDS Research and is an appointed faculty member in both the Emory School of Medicine and the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing.

U.S. Senator Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.) will give a virtual salute to the graduates as well.

“This is a wonderful combination of two leaders whose voices will each add insight into the social challenges of our time — the global public health crisis and the quest for a more inclusive and equitable society,” Hicks wrote.

Commencement will take place on May 15 at 10 a.m. at the Georgia World Congress Center. Students unable to attend in person will have the option to attend virtually. 

Graduates may attend the ceremony in person accompanied by up to two guests. The announcement stated that students who are unable to travel to Atlanta will be “saluted virtually” and will be able to view the ceremony on a live-stream.  

Hicks welcomed all first-years to attend commencement virtually, indicating a link will be shared as soon as it’s available.