Joanna Hamel Dunklee ’62 Leaves Generous Planned Gifts to Scripps College

By Emily Glory Peters

Joanna Dunklee and Amy Marcus-Newhall at Scripps College
Joanna Dunklee ’62 (right) with Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of Faculty Amy Marcus-Newhall

In an act of extraordinary generosity, Joanna Hamel Dunklee ’62 has left several planned gifts to Scripps College.

Together with her husband, Alfred, Dunklee was a committed philanthropist whose giving spanned many decades, donating regularly to the College since 1977. She passed away peacefully at her home in Torrance, California, in January of this year.

“Joanna Dunklee was a sweet, kind woman who loved cats, good food, and was passionate about travel. She had been planning to travel with us on the newly launched Scripps Travel Program before the pandemic,” shares Director of Gift Planning Teresa Wilmott. “She cared deeply about Scripps College and always wanted to ‘pay it forward’ for others.”

Beginning her Scripps journey as a history major in 1958, Dunklee would go on to receive two master’s degrees: one in education from Cornell University in 1965 and another in library science from the University of Southern California (USC) in 1968. She served as a beloved librarian at California State University, Dominguez Hills (CSUDH) for 38 years, remaining a devoted supporter of Scripps during that time.

As a scholarship recipient herself during her Scripps years, she designated many of her own gifts to financial aid and even endowed an internship grant fund to advance students’ professional development. Thanks to her, dozens of students have and will continue to access critical funding that enhances both their Scripps experience and post-graduate careers.

“Joanna cared deeply about Scripps College and always wanted to ‘pay it forward’ for others”

Dunklee also belonged to Scripps’ Elm Tree Society, a group of donors who include Scripps in their gift planning. Elm Tree Society members make a profound impact on the College’s financial security, helping create the stability needed to meet the needs of the next generation of students.

As a member, Dunklee took advantage of a wide variety of ways to give back through planned gifts. Her estate plans included gifts through her life insurance, her individual retirement account (IRA) fund, and a traditional bequest gift. Before her passing, she had also established a charitable gift annuity with the incredibly generous $1 million real estate gift of her home in La Cañada, California. That gift continues to support Scripps’ endowment to this day.

These donations not only underscore the importance of all kinds of assets—not just cash gifts—but also Dunklee’s heartfelt desire to help Scripps succeed for many years to come.

“Joanna was extremely thoughtful about what she wanted to leave behind to benefit others,” says Wilmott. “Her careful planning and generosity continue to make a big impact on our ability to pursue our educational mission. We’re grateful to have known her and humbled by all she’s done for our students.”

To learn more about how to support Scripps through a life insurance policy, a retirement fund, or a will or trust, please reach out to Teresa Wilmott 909.607.1876 or contact us here.