Gardening 06

Joan Marie Foster

July 28, 1938 ~ August 1, 2020 (age 82)


 In this time of COVID distancing, a safe way of celebrating Joan’s life is being considered. Please add a memory on this website as well as how you knew Joan to allow us to develop a memory book. Please also mention if you would like to be notified of a future celebration and include an email and/or phone number.  Joan embraced many different communities and organizations, and we are attempting to reach all those who loved her and worked with her over the many years of her service to her community and state. 

Dr. Joan M. Foster passed away on August 1, 2020 after a sudden diagnosis of renal cancer in June 2020. Famous for her privacy and not wishing to concern her friends, Joan hoped to seek treatment but this was not to be. During her last weeks, she was not in pain, and took a continued interest in her beloved community — Brooks Tower — where she resided for many years. Joan served on the Board of Directors of Brooks Tower and her legacy continues. In her professional life, Joan held the position as Assistant Dean of Letters, Arts and Science (LAS) at Metropolitan State College of Denver (MSCD), now Metro State University (MSU) in the late 1980's.  After growing up in Chicago, Joan earned her Bachelor of Arts, Master's Degree and Ph.D in English; she taught as an English professor in the northwest United States and in Alamosa, Colorado at Adams State College, now Adams State University, prior to moving to Denver to serve at Metro.  As a dedicated and hard-working LAS Assistant Dean, Joan quickly was promoted to the position of LAS Dean in the early 1990's.  Joan served in that capacity as LAS Dean until her retirement in 2008, except for two periods of time as Metro’s Interim Provost.  During these periods as Interim Provost, Joan distinguished herself overseeing many campus-wide projects, including the accreditation visitation where MSCD received a 10-year approval of its accreditation. Joan was named the Interim Provost by receiving the most votes from faculty, administrators and staff as the MSCD leader who would be the most excellent and capable of serving in the Interim Provost position. 

Joan’s vitality and humor, her intelligence and pragmatism, and her commitment to her profession, her friends and her community, continues on. These qualities she shared with us live on in the hearts and minds of her many friends and colleagues. We feel blessed and honored to have lived with and worked with a remarkable friend and colleague. She left us with her trademark style: quietly, forcefully, gracefully and fully aware of her decisions. 

After giving thought to the best way to honor Joan’s life, we determined that a scholarship fund in Joan’s honor would carry on her dedication to the students at Metropolitan State University (MSU). Both as Dean of Letters, Arts, and Sciences and as interim provost, Joan never forgot the primary importance of financially supporting students in need. All donations to  the Dr. Joan M. Foster Memorial Scholarship Fund will help students in Letters, Arts, and Sciences receive scholarship assistance.  If our cumulative donations are less than $5,000, a one-time scholarship will be awarded a deserving LAS student next year.  If, however, our contributions total $5,000 or  more, the funds will be invested, and proceeds from our donations will establish a perpetual Dr. Joan M. Foster Memorial Scholarship Fund to provide annual scholarship(s) to deserving LAS students. Also, at the $5,000 level, a plaque will be placed in the LAS Offices as a living legacy to honor Joan's achievements, love of education, lifetime of work on behalf of students, and service to MSU. The secure link below will record donations made in Joan’s honor. Thank you.

If you have a favorite memory you can share, please include it as a tribute to her life. 

A small private gathering is being held to honor Joan’s life. A larger celebration will be held at a later time, please return to this memorial web page for information updates.


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