A Pioneer Gives Back

Marilyn (Whittouck) Heron

Marilyn (Whittouck) Heron ’66 was among the first three students to major in mathematics at Marymount College, back before the women’s college merged with Loyola University to form the institution we know today. She initially intended to become a high school math teacher, but when the state of California changed the requirements for teachers, she pursued opportunities in aerospace, then an emerging industry, instead. Heron joined North American Rockwell, where she participated in the launch of the Apollo spacecraft and produced a section of a book about mathematical techniques for NASA. She also worked at the storied Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), where she collaborated on the Voyager mission that gathered data while traveling around Mars, Jupiter, Saturn and Uranus.

“I’m very proud of the projects that I worked on,” Heron says. She and her husband, Robert Heron ’64, gave annually to their alma mater in appreciation for the solid educational foundation and subsequent opportunities it gave them. After her husband’s passing, Heron established two bequests that reflect each of their academic interests: a scholarship for students majoring in mathematics and data science in the Frank R. Seaver College of Science and Engineering, and a scholarship in memory of her husband for students studying business analytics in the LMU College of Business Administration. Heron’s lifetime commitment to LMU now totals more than $1 million.

As a former scholarship recipient herself, Heron knows the transformative possibilities of receiving financial backing. “I received a scholarship to Marymount College, and that shaped what I was able to do and who I became,” she says. “I think it’s only right to pay it forward.”

You can honor someone you love with a gift in your will or estate plan. Contact LMU Gift Planning at 310.338.7526 and giftplanning@lmu.edu to learn more.