Iona College Dedicates Art Center to Longtime Trustee JoAnn Mazzella Murphy ’98H
NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. — Iona College officials and the Board of Trustees honored the memory and contributions of a longtime trustee on Saturday by dedicating the JoAnn Mazzella Murphy ’98H Arts Center.
Murphy was a passionate member of the Iona family for over 20 years, and during her time on the Board of Trustees was a steadfast supporter of the arts, among many other causes toward which she made significant contributions of time, energy and financial support.
A woman of deep faith, Murphy was president of the Edmund Rice Christian Brothers Art Foundation and was also an honorary Christian Brother.
"JoAnn was dedicated to supporting the arts at Iona as a way of creating new opportunities for students to grow and succeed,” said her husband, Joseph M. Murphy ’59, ’83H. “To see her name on a building that is bustling with art in so many forms brings me tremendous joy, knowing that her legacy lives on in a way that was so near and dear to her heart.”
In 1998, Murphy 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 University Council on the Arts, which in 1987 received an endowment from the Baron Lambert Fund for the Arts, established by JoAnn and Joseph Murphy. Through her leadership, Iona’s arts programming grew in both breadth and prestige.
In addition, thanks to a generous gift from JoAnn and Joseph Murphy, Iona will soon unveil a vibrant new green space, the Murphy Green, in the heart of campus, transforming a parking circle into a lively outdoor landscape where students can enjoy a variety of social, recreational, academic and artistic activities. Iona plans to finish the project by spring 2022.
“Through her work and her gifts, JoAnn upheld and celebrated the Christian Brothers’ dedication to the transformative power of education in so many ways,” said Iona President Seamus Carey, Ph.D., referring to the religious order that founded Iona University. “She touched countless lives and left the world a better place. The renaming of the art center is a fitting memorial to a woman who devoted herself to Iona, its students and the arts.”
JoAnn Murphy was a successful businesswoman who also supported many causes outside of Iona University. 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 also 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. At the Berrie Center, she established the Christopher J. Murphy Memorial Professorship of Diabetes Research and supported diabetes research through the Columbia Center for Translational Immunology.
The JoAnn Mazzella Murphy ’98H Arts Center is located just outside of the Iona University campus at 715 North Avenue in New Rochelle, N.Y.
Founded in 1940, Iona University is a master's-granting private, Catholic, coeducational institution of learning in the tradition of the Edmund Rice Christian Brothers. Iona's 45-acre New Rochelle campus and 28-acre Bronxville campus are just 20 miles north of Midtown Manhattan. With a total enrollment of nearly 4,000 students and an alumni base of over 50,000 around the world, Iona is a diverse community of learners and scholars dedicated to academic excellence and the values of justice, peace and service. Iona is highly accredited, offering undergraduate degrees in liberal arts, science, and business administration, as well as Master of Arts, Master of Science and Master of Business Administration degrees and numerous advanced certificate programs. Iona’s LaPenta School of Business is accredited by AACSB International, a prestigious recognition awarded to just five percent of business schools worldwide. The Princeton Review recognized Iona’s on-campus MBA program as a “Best Business School for 2023.” Iona University also recently launched a new, fully online MBA program for even greater flexibility. In July 2021, Iona University and NewYork-Presbyterian announced the establishment of the NewYork-Presbyterian Iona School of Health Sciences, to be principally located on the University’s new campus in Bronxville, N.Y. Supported by a $20 million gift from NewYork-Presbyterian, the NewYork-Presbyterian Iona School of Health Sciences offers a new vision for collaborative health care education, modern workforce development, and community care. On July 1, 2022, Iona officially changed its status from College to University, reflecting the growth of its academic programs and the prestige of an Iona education.