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Excellence at Work

A “Lion in Action” best describes senior Tim Heafner’s career at Loyola Marymount University. He was named LMU Male Student-Athlete of the Year in 2007–08 for his contributions to the Lions’ water polo team. He also led an effort to involve student-athletes in community service. And, on top of that, his excellent academic career has just earned him a hard-to-get postgraduate scholarship.

Heafner, a business law major with a minor in English, maintained a 3.75 GPA that earned him a place on the Association of Water Polo Coaches National All-Academic team for the past two years. In April, he capped off an academic career that rivals his athletic feats by being named by the NCAA as one of only 29 male recipients of an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship valued at $7,500.

In the locker room, on the deck and in the pool, Heafner helped lead the Lions’ (21-10) to the team’s best-ever final standing in fall 2008: No. 5 in the national rankings and a third-place finish in the NCAA water polo tournament. He was a second team all-tournament selection.

Heafner’s passion for community service found a natural outlet at LMU. As president of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee, he started Lions in Action, a program that guides athletes to community service projects. The program nearly reached its goal of 1,200 hours contributed to service work by students for the fall semester. Heafner was pleased with the positive response from the other athletes; some even said they want to be involved in more service work in the spring.

Reflecting on what aspects of LMU he will carry with him after graduation, Heafner quickly cited a Jesuit motto: Being a man for others. “The commitment of service is a big part of that. Also, the welcoming and uniting experience that is part of the Jesuit tradition. It allows me to approach situations with a welcoming attitude,” he said.

Between classes and water polo matches, Heafner participated in beach cleanups and he volunteered with Path Partners, a soup kitchen in West Los Angeles. He also has volunteered with De Colores, helping to build a house in Tijuana as part of the university’s program to provide students with an intensive international service-immersion experience. He said he is “very thankful for the opportunity to go down there.”

“Tim exemplifies the LMU mission of educating the whole person,” said LMU Director of Athletics William Husak. “He has excelled as a student, an athlete and a leader on campus.”