Donor Spotlight: Kean University Alumna Joan Bick ‘52

December 22, 2022

Kean University alumna Joan Bick ’52 was a newlywed when she began her studies at Kean University, which was then named Newark State Teachers College. At the time, very few women in the United States pursued a higher education – but it never occurred to Joan not to do so. “College was an expectation in my family, it just seemed natural that I would continue my education,” she said. Joan has been proud to pass along the value of learning to her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren – who are now a group with credentials ranging from bachelor’s to master’s to doctorate – and through her philanthropic support of worthy organizations.

Joan, a fine arts graduate, embodies the motto “Semper Discens” – always learning. Her interests are varied and eclectic. She generously shares the knowledge she gains with others – beginning with her family, which she lovingly describes as the center of all her involvements, and extending to her faith, friends and nonprofit communities.

At Kean, Joan directs her support to the Jewish Studies program. She values that the program seeks to encourage cross-cultural understanding within our diverse student population and the larger community. Dennis Klein, Ph.D., chair of the Jewish Studies program at Kean, is grateful for supporters like Joan who make it possible for the department to educate and inspire students of all backgrounds to explore the seminal influence of Jewish history and culture in our country and the world at large. With assistance from Joan and other alumni and friends, the program succeeds in encouraging cross-cultural understanding based on an appreciation of a fundamental and important culture. “I cannot thank our supporters enough for making this possible. Contributions make a notable difference. I express my warmest and deepest gratitude,” he stated.

To learn more about planning a gift to your area of interest, please contact Eileen M. Cotter, Philanthropy Officer, via phone at (908) 316-8924 or email at