The Hofstra community is deeply saddened by the passing of Joan Axinn, 87, an alumna, benefactor and longtime friend to Hofstra University.
She grew up in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, and enrolled at Hofstra to study psychology at the age of 16. She paid her tuition with a $500 prize she won for being crowned Miss Flatbush. She returned to Hofstra Law School at the age of 46 and graduated in 1976. In 1992, at the age of 62, she ran for Congress at a time when there were few women seeking office. She was narrowly defeated in the primary representing the fourth congressional district in Nassau County.
“Joan Axinn’s life set an example for young people, in particular for young women, about the power of determination and education,” said Hofstra President Stuart Rabinowitz. “Her deep connection to Hofstra, and the generosity of her and her husband Donald, ensures those values will be instilled in future generations of students.”
Mrs. Axinn and her husband, Trustee Emeritus Donald E. Axinn, were deeply involved with Hofstra throughout the years. The Joan and Donald E. Axinn Library and Joan Axinn Hall for Hofstra Law are representative of their generosity to Hofstra. Mrs. Axinn also served on several boards including those of Southern Vermont College and the Nassau County Mental Health Association.
Mrs. Axinn is survived by her children Peter and Jamie Bauer, her daughter-in-law Nancy Bauer, her grandsons Grayling and Elon Bauer and a large extended family.
In tribute to the memory of Joan Axinn, all Hofstra University flags will be lowered to half-staff.