Leave more than you've taken - Joan and Philip Coogan


Joan Coogan did not attend Notre Dame, but was shown what it means to love Notre Dame through her husband, Philip Coogan ’59. Philip was the youngest of 7 children and one of three siblings who attended the University of Notre Dame. From the moment she met Philip, Joan became immersed in the Notre Dame way, from the fight song to football and everything in between.

When Philip was diagnosed with frontal temporal dementia, Joan realized it was up to her to carry on the love of Notre Dame.  It wasn’t difficult for Joan to arrive at this decision, because not only did she want to honor her husband and his passions, but she knew Notre Dame was an obvious way to make an impact.

Both Joan and Philip were doctors, so upon Philip’s death, Joan established an Endowment for Excellence in Health, Humanities, and Society, combining Philip’s love of history, medicine, and Notre Dame. Seeing the impact of Philip’s gift, Joan realized that she could make an additional lasting impact in an area that is important to her. Working with the University, Joan has established, and will eventually fund, the Joan C. Storozynski Endowed Professorship and an Endowment for Excellence combining medicine and the humanities. Establishing her legacy now, Joan is able to dream big about the impact these gifts will have in the future and inspire others to do the same.

When it comes to leaving a legacy, Joan likes to share words of wisdom from her husband:

Never aim low:

Dream big, and 

Leave more than you've taken.

Our Lady's University will forever be changed by the love and generosity of Joan and Philip Coogan.