Robert “Bob” Currie is a leader
in the Scottish American community and has been involved in ethnic affairs and
historic preservation for the last 30 years.
Following an international call for nominations, he was unanimously elected
Commander of the Name and Arms of the Currie family – a Scottish bardic dynasty
dating back to the 13th century. The election was held in Glasgow, Scotland in
2017 and affirmed by the Lord Lyon, King of Arms in 2018 at a celebration in
Edinburgh. Bob recently became a member of the Standing Council of Scottish
In his book, “Scottish Clans and Tartans,” noted author and historian Ian
Grimble wrote, “Through the MacMhuirichs (Curries) the Literary Torch of in the
Western Islands was preserved for generations. They were recognized as the as
the most illustrious body of learned men who were specialists in the heroic
literature and genealogy of the ancient Gaelic world.”
Currie, along with the support and guidance of the Scots Gaelic community
reestablished the once famed literary dynasty by forming a family society in
1992. Now a “Learned Kindred” as opposed to a Highland Clan, the far-flung
Curries have grown from strength to strength, now counting thousands in their
membership rolls and multiple social media outlets on Facebook, YouTube, and
Twitter among others.
The Society’s signature events include “Tartan Day on Ellis Island” (founded in
2002) and the award-winning “Pipes of Christmas” concerts now in its 24th year.
The Society has distributed thousands of dollars in scholarships to deserving
students in the US, Canada, and Scotland.
The Society is also the Title Sponsor of the US National Scottish Harp
Championship and was at the forefront of developing cultural heritage tents
specifically for harp, fiddle and Gaelic singing at Scottish games in the United
In recognition of his years of service to the Scottish American community, Bob
received the Ellis Island Medal of Honor in 2017. He has also received an
Honorary Doctorate from Edinburgh Napier University in Scotland and was also the
recipient of the Saltire Award from St. Andrew’s University in Laurinburg, North
In November of 2017, Bob received the International Gaelic Leader Award from
Scotland’s Bòrd na Gàidhlig – the departmental public body of the Scottish
Government with responsibility for Gaelic. It was established in 2005 and is
based in Inverness. Bob is also one of the inaugural Supporters of the new Lord
Lyon Society in Edinburgh.
He earned his BS in Marketing (with honors) and MA in Corporate and
Organizational Communications from Fairleigh Dickinson University in NJ.
While it is not widely known outside the NYC Area, of particular interest is the
fact that Bob’s devotion to Ellis Island preservation efforts predated his
creation of Tartan Day on Ellis Island, and in many ways facilitated it. From
1993 to 2002, Bob served as Chairman of the Ethnic Advisory Council for the
State of New Jersey and in 1998 was appointed by then Governor Christine Todd
Whitman to the NJ Advisory Committee on the Preservation and Use of Ellis
Island. In 2000, the Committee’s work developed into the Save Ellis Island
Foundation, where Currie served as Director and Secretary.
On May 12, 2017 the National Ethnic Coalition of Organizations (NECO) hosted the
31st annual Ellis Island Medals of Honor Ceremony on Ellis Island where 98
medalists were recognized for their leadership and service within their own
ethnic groups while exemplifying the values of the American way of life. Among
them was Bob Currie—already a respected leader in the philanthropic and cultural
heritage community in the Greater NY/ NJ Metro Area. Some of the many programs
he led or supported over these years included the Children’s Aid Society of New
York, the British Soldiers Fund, the USO, and the Community Food Bank of New
Jersey. In response to Hurricane Katrina, Currie produced “No One is Alone: A
Concert for Hope,” which raised funds to support emergency relief efforts on the
Gulf Coast. He was also actively involved in Superstorm Sandy relief efforts.