Gary Heavin ’02

Gary HeavinAt 20 years old and three years into a pre-med degree, Gary Heavin dropped out of college because he could not afford the tuition. Three decades later, Gary is the founder and CEO of Curves® International, Inc., the world's largest fitness franchise and the fastest growing fitness franchise of any kind in history.

Despite numerous professional successes, Gary hadn't gone back to complete his college education. The demands of family and business obligations just couldn't be put on hold.

“Adult education has to meet the needs of the people it seeks to serve, many of whom are already successful professionals and entrepreneurs who don't have time for more traditional types of education. Thomas Edison State University thinks out of the box,” said Gary.

“They've instituted a paradigm shift in education and have made quality education accessible to people like myself. I'm grateful to Thomas Edison State University, who helped me achieve my lifelong goal of earning a college degree.”

Gary completed his Bachelor of Science in Human Services degree in 2002. Since then, Thomas Edison State University and Curves International established an academic partnership to develop certificate programs in fitness and wellness services.

Gary and his wife Diane have been generous philanthropists to Thomas Edison State University, giving $2 million to establish the Gary and Diane Heavin Family Endowed Fund, which supports the development of new programs and courses and fosters overall excellence.