Joan Beverly Kroc, also known as Joni, was an American philanthropist. Kroc is well known for being a passionate advocate of peace and a generous benefactor of the University of Notre Dame. From 1985 until her death, she contributed a total of $69.1 million to establish and support the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies. The Kroc Institute has grown to include a faculty of about two dozen Kroc Institute scholar-teachers, thriving academic programs at the undergraduate, master’s, and Ph.D. levels. In May 1976, Joan’s first philanthropic endeavor was Operation Cork, an alcoholism educational program that focused on family members of alcoholics. Kroc also attended the National Women’s Conference for the Prevention of Nuclear War in Washington, D.C., and quickly became a peace activist, spending $3 million on disarmament issues. She also bequeathed an additional $1.6 billion to open Salvation Army Kroc Centers across the nation, the largest one-time gift ever recorded.

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