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She was talking to her daughter

She was talking to her daughter

Michelle Tedford January 31, 2022

Joan Peterson Means ’72 was talking to her daughter Kirsten ’86. Joan, now 88, brought up the subject of her six children’s inheritance and expressed her wish that each of them make a charitable donation of their choosing with their part of the inheritance.

Kirsten suggested that Joan think about setting up a scholarship herself in English education, as teaching English runs in the family.

Means family
Photograph courtesy the Means family

“It’s OK. It’s your money,” Kirsten said. “Spend it.”

So Joan did.

But first she talked to Kirsten’s five siblings. Family discussions also run in the family. All the siblings supported the plan. So did Joan’s financial adviser. Joan decided to make a bequest to UD. But the kids asked, “Why not do it now, so you can see the results?”

The financial adviser set a plan in motion and the Michael and Joan Means Endowed Scholarship was established to support University of Dayton students pursuing a dual degree in education and English.

“I took English classes while getting my master’s in education at UD,” Joan said. She spent her teaching career in the Dayton Public Schools. Her late husband, Mike, taught at UD 38 years, served as chair of the English department and retired as professor emeritus.

“UD was a real family for us,” Joan said. “This is presenting something to the family.”

Giving, her way