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While he’s experienced nearly three decades of growth and prosperity as the Founder, President and CEO of Henry Elliott & Co., Kenneth Wagner ’84 says he learned the key to success while a student at Curry College.
“From my start at the College at 17 to graduating, I became a different person. I was more mature, confident, and prepared because I was exposed to so much,” he says. “Today, as a professional, you must have confidence in yourself and what you know while also working to improve and learn continually. Curry reminded me how much I didn’t know and how much I needed to learn. I have found that it doesn’t change no matter where you are in life.”
The lifelong learner started the national staffing firm at 29 after graduating and holding a series of roles in professional services, staffing, and human resources. “Being a business owner was something I had imagined since elementary school,” says Wagner. “I started as a sole proprietor responsible for everything. I learned all aspects of starting and running a business.” Today, Henry Elliott & Co. is a leader in the industry and specializes in healthcare IT, helping companies augment their staffing needs by providing skilled professionals that include developers, architects, system engineers, and analysts, among other roles.
Beyond the secret to success, it was also at Curry where Wagner learned how to overcome challenges, learn from mistakes, and take risks. The psychology major fondly remembers playing soccer, serving as an RA in Main House, and being actively engaged in class. “Nothing prepares you for Cell Biology or Philosophy, but Curry allowed me to get through the challenging classes and flourish in those that played to my strengths,” he says. “I learned as much on the soccer field through Coach Jim Kaufman and Curry Athletics as I did in my classes. Playing a college sport was an honor, and representing my College was humbling.”
More than anything, Wagner describes his time at Curry as a unique and memorable part of his life. As a Trustee and Curry Council member, he has played an instrumental role in providing students today the same opportunities for personal growth and academic success that he experienced. In addition to joining the 1879 Planned Giving Society, he also started a new scholarship fund.
“It’s imperative to provide an opportunity for others as Curry has done for me,” says Wagner. “It’s important to me to see that this continues for others, which is why I established an endowed scholarship fund and included Curry in my estate plans in connection with Curry’s 1879 Planned Giving Society. I benefitted immensely from Curry, and I want to ensure others have similar positive experiences.”
Learn more about becoming a member of the 1879 Planned Giving Society and how you can support Curry the way Curry supported you, or call the Institutional Advancement and Alumni Engagement office at 617-333-2121. Estate gifts can include bequests, life insurance designations, and IRA distributions.