In Memory

Joan Tully

Joan Tully


Tully Center Donor Joan Tully

The generous bequest to fund the Tully Center for Free Speech came from Joan A. Tully, a 1969 alumna of the Newhouse School. She once described herself as a journeyman journalist. But she was far more than that. Her career spanned the worlds of media, law, and business.

At Syracuse University, she worked at The Daily Orange. She once remarked that she would never forget her first story – students struggling to keep good grades to avoid being drafted for the Vietnam War. She worked her way up at the Daily Orange to the position of features editor.

Her professional career began at the AP Dow Jones Newswire in New York City. She went on to create a new home-furnishings magazine and later edited weekly newspapers in New Jersey.

In the mid-70s she lived in Belgium where she was the Managing Editor of the Brussels Times. She freelanced on projects ranging from a cartoon strip about quality control for Levi’s jeans, an article on environmental issues, and publications about multinational corporations. For most of her professional life she used her married name, Joan Infarinato.

In the 80s, while a senior editor at Ladies Home Journal, Joan attended Fordham University School of Law. As member of the Fordham Law Review, she wrote an article on copyrighting transitional works of art, reflecting on artist Christo’s running fence and styling photographs in magazines. She completed her law degree in 1983 and joined the prestigious law firm of Cahill, Gordon & Reindel to specialize in First Amendment issues.
After practicing law in New York and Boston, she moved to Bucks County, Pennsylvania, where she worked in real estate and began an antique-textile business.

Joan Tully loved designing and maintaining gardens, actively supported farm preservation, and never missed reading The New York Times. In 2005, at the age of 58, she died of a brain tumor.

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09/14/15 05:47 PM #1    

Jane Greeley (John)

We remember Joan with admiration and great affection. She was an incisive writer with an indomitable spirit; and always a listening, insightful friend. During high school she questioned the status quo, edited the Hilltopper and dyed her hair green.  She majored in journalism at Syracuse University and then went on to write for AP Dow Jones Newswire in New York,  lived in Belgium  working as managing editor of the Brussels Times. Joan was an editor at The Ladies Home Journal, memorably staging a Christmas photo shoot at the White House in August when Nancy Reagan returned unexpectedly from Camp David and commented that she would need to brief her husband "so he won't be confused" by the Christmas tree in the dining room. While working at the Journal Joan attended Fordham Law School at night and made Law Review in 1983. She practiced first amendment law at Cahill, Gordon and Reindel for several years. She made a generous bequest to Syracuse University to found the Tully Center for Free Speech, which supports classes and annual awards.

Joan loved art, gardens and antiques, especially antique textiles. She had a vast collection of Native American baskets and lectured on the subject. After moving to Bucks County, Joan had a series of Kerry Blue terriers, beginning with Spencer and Kate, admiring their stubborn intelligence.  She was also an attentive and loving aunt to her nieces and nephews.

When Joan knew that she had brain cancer, she asked us to attend the 2004 Needham High School reunion because it would be her last. When she needed  strong glasses because the cancer had affected her vision, she chose large vivid red frames. Throughout the months leading up to her death the following July, she remained very much herself, engaged with the people and activities she loved. To visit to the Christo installation in Central Park that winter she walked with a quad cane. We continue to miss her.

Jane Weihe

Carol Monacelli

Mary (Howe) Kolpacoff

Ginny (Washburn) Hopcroft

Jane (Greeley) John

09/15/15 09:12 AM #2    

John Semple

Joan and I suffered through senior year English together as did most others in C.D.'s classes.  Nice to see the comments of some of the Advocate Staff on Joan's life post NHS.  "Will the Art Staff complain over this?"  Most definitely because 58 is so young!  Well stated Jane, Carol, Mary, Ginny, and Trimm.

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