Dr. Curtis E. Bryan Sr.

Published 9:33 am Thursday, March 8, 2018

Dr. Curtis Eugene Bryan, Sr., a notable scholar, activist, educator, administrator and pioneer, was born September 6, 1938 in Vanceboro, North Carolina (Craven County) to the late Rev. Alfred Hilton Bryan and Bettie Louise Green Bryan. He passed away on Thursday, March 1, 2018 at St. Mary’s Hospital in Richmond, VA surrounded by his family.

His family affectionately called him “Gene” as a child. This cherished husband, father, grandfather and great-grand father attended the public schools of Craven County and earned his high school diploma at Newbold High School in Dover, North Carolina.

Dr. Curtis E. Bryan, Sr. received a B.S. Degree in the field of Education from Elizabeth City State University, Elizabeth City, North


Carolina; the M.Ed. Degree in Educational Administration from Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and a Doctorate of Philosophy in Higher Education (Ph.D.) (Specialization in Research, Planning and Administration) from New York University, New York, New York.

Dr. Bryan’s early experiences as an educator included his work as a public school teacher, supervising teachers in the area of mathematics and science, and Assistant Principal in the Portsmouth Virginia Public School System. In 1968, Dr. Bryan began service in higher education when he was called to Elizabeth City State University in the capacity of Director of Admissions. He has held the ranks of Instructor, Associate Professor and Professor as a part of his college and university academic experiences. Additionally, he has served as Assistant Academic Dean and Director of Continuing Education and Summer Programs at Delaware State College, Dover, Delaware.

Advancing his career even more in the late 1970’s he served as Dean of the Division of Education and Director of Teacher Education at Fayetteville State University, Fayetteville, North Carolina. Dr. Bryan soon skyrocketed to Virginia State University as the Executive Vice President, and after two years was appointed to the position of President in 1982.

In 1985, Dr. Bryan went on to South Carolina as President of Denmark Technical College.

Years later Dr. Bryan told his supportive wife it’s time to go to the Nation’s Capital to work at Howard University, Washington, DC to function as the Chief of Staff for the President of the University.

During his transition to retirement, Dr. Bryan held two positions at the Community College of Philadelphia, Executive Director of Regional Campuses and Director of Community Relations. He retired while working in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Dr. Bryan’s professional and civic services include membership on the South Carolina Economic Development Commission; the South Carolina Economic Developers Association, and the Bamberg, SC County Chamber of Commerce. He rendered consultant services to other institutions of higher education and to various other state and federal agencies.

Other services and memberships include the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, American Association of University Professors, National Association for Colleges of Teacher Education, American Association of Higher Education, National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education, American Association for Community and Junior Colleges, Association of the United States Army, Sigma Rho Sigma Honor Society, Kappa Delta Pi Honor Society, Phi Delta Kappa, and the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity. He is a charter member of Afro-Economics, a strategic financial management program designed for the advancement of Black wealth in America and abroad.

Dr. Bryan has received numerous honors and distinctions, which include graduation from New York University with a 4.0 average on the 4.0 scale and being listed in Who’s Who in America and Who’s Who in the South and Southwest.  When graduating from Elizabeth City State University he graduated with the highest grade point average of all the graduating class, so he was given the honor of bringing in the University Mace.

Dr. Bryan is a member and a deacon at Piney Wood Chapel Missionary Baptist Church.

He leaves to cherish the memories of his life serving his family and community, Bethel Cherry Bryan (wife of 58 years) and they have four children, Shuronia Bryan; Curtis E. Bryan, II (Myra); Daphne Bryan Washington, (Wilson); and Jennifer (JB) Bryan; and two God-daughters, Denyonne Toliver and Wendy Rountree. Curtis has two surviving sisters, Bettie Ruth Bryan Green (the late John S. Green) of Virginia Beach, and Pauline Bryan Rountree (the late Earl Rountree) of Kinston, NC. Grandchildren are Curtis III (Danielle); Larren Bryan (Mia); Chelsia Bryan; Ajani Kingslow; and Aazizah Bryan. Great-grandchildren are Sophia Bryan, Curtis Eugene Bryan, IV, and Bryson Dubose.

Curtis, Sr. was preceded in death by his parents, Alfred H. Bryan (Bettie Green Bryan); and his brothers, James Bryan; William Bryan (Gladys); John L. Bryan (Estelle); Marvin Bryan (Emma); Roosevelt Bryan (Helen); and sisters, Inez Nobels (Webster), and Thedis Wallace.

A Celebration of Life will be held on Friday, March 9, 2018 at 1:00 p.m. at Piney Wood Chapel Missionary Baptist Church, Ahoskie, NC. Interment will follow in the Cherry Family Cemetery in Colerain, NC with Rev. Dr. Gregory K. Ellis officiating.

A viewing and visitation will be held on Thursday from 6:00 PM to 8:00 p.m. at the church.

Wilder’s Chapel of Windsor is handling the arrangements.