A dedicated member of the Iona family for over 20 years, JoAnn M. Murphy ’98H, the Trustees Scholarship Award Gala Legacy Award recipient, passed away from a cardiac event related to COVID in December of 2020. It was very sad news and a deep loss to the family and the Iona community.
JoAnn was the beloved wife of Iona trustee emeritus Joseph M. Murphy ’59, ’83H, the co-founder and chairman of Country Bank and chairman of Value Investors; loving, caring mother to four wonderful children; and adoring TeeMa to her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
JoAnn’s love for Iona was immense, as witnessed by her long-time service on the Board of Trustees, her commitment to advancing arts education, her devotion to athletics and the numerous investments she and her family made over the years.
In 1998, JoAnn received an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa, for her dedication and support of the arts and cultural events at Iona. She was chair of the Iona College Council on the Arts (which in 1987 received an endowment from the Baron Lambert Fund for the Arts, established by the Murphys), and through her leadership, the arts programming grew in both breadth and prestige.
JoAnn was a strong advocate for athletics at the College and was inducted into the Goal Club Hall of Fame in 2012. Her family named Mazzella Field, the sports field in the center of campus, for her parents, and she was an avid fan and supporter of the men’s basketball team.
JoAnn and Joe’s influence can be seen throughout campus with the Murphy Science & Technology Center (now the Murphy Center) named for his parents and the Christopher J. Murphy Auditorium named in memory of their son, Christopher.
JoAnn was a savvy businesswoman and involved in countless charitable organizations. She was vice chair of Country Bank, broker-owner of Ellinghouse & Stacy, and a former art and antiques gallery owner. She served as trustee of her high school, St. Pius V in the Bronx, and was also a trustee of the Ursuline School in New Rochelle, where she was honorary co-chair of the Innovation Campaign. JoAnn was co-founder of the Westchester Chapter of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and served as co-chair of Columbia University’s Diabetes Advisory Committee, now the Naomi Berrie Diabetes Center.
A woman of deep faith, JoAnn was president of the Edmund Rice Christian Brothers Art Foundation Ltd. and was also an honorary Christian Brother.
Throughout her journey, JoAnn touched so many lives, and her impact was broad and deep. She made us all better people, and she will be missed.