California State University, Long Beach
Inside CSULB Logo

In Memoriam: January 2016

Published: January 15, 2016

Elena Diane Curris passed quietly, but suddenly, of natural causes on Dec. 29 at the age of 38.

Born in Kentucky on Aug. 23, 1977, Curris earned an associate of arts degree in communications from the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) in New York and a B.A. in marketing and communications and photography at the University of Alabama, where she was a member of the Chi Omega sorority. She attended high school at T.A.S.I.S (The American School in Switzerland) located in Staines, England, and the University of Northern Iowa Laboratory School.

She began her career at Mirabella magazine in New York, followed by sales positions with Ralph Lauren Corp. in New York and Aspen, Colo.

A member of the 2009 class of Leadership Long Beach, Curris was actively engaged in campus and community organizations. As Director of Community Projects and Marketing, and previously Director of Donor Relations, she served as the CSULB representative to the Huntington Beach Chamber of Commerce, Orange County Business Council, the Fashion Institute of Design and the Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation. Previously she directed the CSULB President’s Forum on International Human Rights, and most recently, co-directed the 2015 CSULB Veterans Day Celebration.

“As Director of Community Projects and Marketing, Elena touched the lives of many,” said CSULB President Jane Close Conoley. “Responsible for outreach in Long Beach and Orange County, she brought the campus and community closer together by approaching each project and every person with grace, goodwill and professionalism.”

Curris enjoyed collegiate sports (particularly Alabama Crimson Tide football…”Roll Tide”), musical concerts and skiing, and had traveled throughout the United States, Western Europe and Kenya.

Curris is survived by her beloved parents, Constantine (Deno) Curris and Jo Hern Curris; beloved brother Col. Robert A.B. Curris and sister-in-law Bobbi Curris; aunts Alice Diane Hern, Agathaniki Locklear and Kay Barnes Hern; and uncle Robert Bruce Hern, Jr., and seven cousins.

Funeral services were held on Jan. 11 at Assumption, Greek Orthodox Church in Long Beach. Interment will be in Lexington, Ky. Email condolences to

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations in memory of Curris be made either to support the research of Steven D. Schwartz, M.D., Stein Eye Institute, 200 Stein Plaza, UCLA, Los Angeles; the CSULB Foundation to support the Veterans Center at CSULB; or a charity of your choice.