Remembering Joan Tisch

Thursday, Nov 2, 2017

Joan Tisch at the 2007 Tisch School of the Arts Gala held in her honor.

Joan Tisch at the 2007 Tisch School of the Arts Gala held in her honor.

Dear Tisch Community,

This morning we learned the sad news that Joan Tisch passed away. Mrs. Tisch was the wife of the late Preston Robert Tisch and the mother to three children: Laurie, Steve, and Jonathan. She was a courageous and outstanding philanthropist in New York City. It is often said that there are few charitable organizations in New York City that have not benefitted from the generosity of Joan Tisch and her family.

As you know, in 1982 Preston Robert Tisch and Laurence A. Tisch made possible the acquisition and renovation of 721 Broadway. In recognition for their generosity, the school was renamed the Tisch School of the Arts. This was a transformational gift for our school that allowed us to create our Broadway home and to begin our student scholarship campaign. Their generosity continues today to impact thousands of Tisch artists, scholars, and entrepreneurs around the world. We are forever grateful for the role Mrs. Tisch played in creating our school.

Mrs. Tisch was an outstanding philanthropist and throughout her lifetime, she was recognized for her significant contributions to educational, civic and arts organizations throughout New York City and the country. She was a trustee of the Museum of Modern Art, and she and her family endowed the Tisch Galleries at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Mrs. Tisch served on the 92nd Street Y Board and was Co-Chair of the Tisch Center for the Arts. She was instrumental in creating the Y’s prestigious arts programs and its renowned Poetry Center.

Mrs. Tisch was a pioneer in the fight against AIDS. She was one of the early volunteers to the Gay Men’s Health Crisis (GMHC) long before it became popular to support AIDS related charities. Mrs. Tisch was a GMHC Board Member for a number of years, and she and her husband gave the lead gift that allowed the GMHC to consolidate all of its services in one building. With her support, the GMHC was able to become one of the world’s most comprehensive providers of services and information for people affected by AIDS.

Mrs. Tisch and her family have been major supporters of NYU. In addition to their generous gift to create the Tisch School of the Arts, they made numerous gifts to NYU Medical Center, including the naming of the Tisch Hospital. NYU’s Preston Robert Tisch Center for Hospitality, Travel and Tourism was named in honor of her husband.

Mrs. Tisch was the Co-President and a Director of the Tisch Foundation, Inc., which contributes to a wide variety of charitable endeavors, including the Children’s Museum of Manhattan, the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Central Park Children’s Zoo, now named for the family. She also served on the Board of Citymeals-on-Wheels.

Please join me in offering our sincerest condolences to the entire Tisch family, most especially her remarkable children, Laurie, Steve, and Jonathan and their families. Steve and Jonathan currently serve on the Tisch Dean’s Council along with her nephew Andrew Tisch, chair of the Dean’s Council, and his wife Ann Tisch, also a Dean’s Council member.

With heartfelt gratitude for the remarkable life of Joan Tisch.

Allyson Green