Kerns Support OWU with a Charitable Gift Annuity

By Amanda Zechiel '09

For George and Joan Kerns, it all started 64 years ago on a train from New York City to Delaware, Ohio. When the couple met on that train, they had no idea that a lifetime of love-for each other and Ohio Wesleyan-had begun. The Kerns were recently welcomed into The Tower Society after establishing a charitable gift annuity for OWU, and they fondly remember that fateful day.

"There were a good number of OWU students on the trip over from New York," Joan recalls. "The mother of a girl who would become my dear friend was going around the train having all the students introduce themselves to one another. And that's where I met George."

George's family lived in New Jersey at the time, and Joan was from Long Island. A long way from their East Coast homes, George and Joan found their places at OWU. "The day I got off the train was the first day I had seen OWU, and I knew immediately I'd made the right decision," Joan says.

Though Joan says she took a few months on campus to "check out her options," the two began dating near the beginning of their freshman year. They were married just six months after receiving their degrees in engineering (George) and political science (Joan).

Despite having lived in upstate New York and California, the Kerns remain loyal to their Ohio Wesleyan roots. "We are so pleased to be able to give to Ohio Wesleyan," Joan says. "We know there are many people who would like to do so, and we are happy to be able to." The couple has designated that their gifts go toward the neuroscience program at Ohio Wesleyan. "George has multiple sclerosis, so the study of neuroscience is important to us," Joan explains. "We know this money will help science students, premed students and many more."

The Kerns' feel their planned gifts are a way of celebrating the lifelong relationships that began at OWU. In Joan's words, "Things in life come full circle," and Joan and George are pleased to honor the place where their story began so many years ago.

Contact Info


University Advancement Office
Mowry Alumni Center
61 S. Sandusky Street
Delaware, OH 43015
P 740-368-3078
F 740-368-3328


Jenny Batchelder, JD
Director of Gift Planning
P  740-368-3043
F  740-368-3328