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A Family Tradition

Patrick and Heidi Manning, both members of the class of 1982, never put any pressure on their children to attend Loyola Marymount University, their alma mater and the place they first met. Nonetheless, their three oldest children, Elizabeth, Katherine and Brian are all enrolled at LMU. Heidi says her children call LMU “home.”

Elizabeth, the oldest child, recalls that her transition to college was smooth. She says, “I was never homesick.” Katherine, a junior communication studies major with minors in theatre arts and Irish studies, knew she wanted to attend LMU when she made her first official visit to campus. For Brian, a freshman, coming to LMU was never a question — he always knew he wanted to attend LMU.

Brian studies mechanical engineering and is enrolled in AFROTC. His older sisters, who are both in the Honors program, are devoted to the liberal arts and humanities. Although they have their own interests, they stick together as family. Every Tuesday, the three cook and share dinner together. Katherine says, “It’s become a little family tradition.”

The Mannings also participate in a range of extracurricular activities. Elizabeth is on the Board of Directors for the Del Rey Players, a student-run theatre Manningcompany at LMU. She also works in the archeology department (and hopes to study archeology in graduate school.) Katherine is a campus tour guide and a member of the Marians, a women’s service organization. Brian will be a part of the LMU orientation staff, known as “F.R.E.S.H. Squad,” this coming school year.

On May 9, Elizabeth will graduate from LMU with double major in English and history and a minor in archeology. Her mother, Heidi, will graduate the following day with her second degree from LMU, a master’s degree in elementary education, an achievement that comes about because her involvement in her children’s education. 

After graduating from LMU in 1982 with an accounting degree, Heidi worked in accounting for several years. Once her children were in elementary school, Heidi volunteered in their classrooms, and, eventually, a teacher asked her to become a teacher’s aide. That experience led to a career change for Heidi. For the past two years, she has been simultaneously teaching first grade and pursuing her master’s degree.

Heidi is proud of her children for working hard and pursuing their own goals at LMU. She says, “They’ve all matured and they’ve found their paths. [My husband and I] have always wanted that for them.”

When asked how her father feels about having three children at LMU, Katherine says, “Dad couldn’t be happier.”