The expressions “bleeding green,” “Bearcat Family”, and “Once a Bearcat, always a Bearcat” ring true in the hearts of many who are affiliated with Northwest Missouri State University. Students, alumni, employees, community members, family members and friends often feel the special bond that comes with being a Bearcat.
Cherine Heckman ’77. ’83 and her family, associated with Northwest in nearly every capacity possible, understand that bond and now their family’s Bearcat connection will continue indefinitely, in the form of a scholarship. The Heckman Family Scholarship for International Student Teaching has been established in honor of their family’s legacy as Northwest graduates and as educators in the state of Missouri and beyond.
The family tradition began in 1912 when Heckman’s grandmother, Hortense Heckman attended Northwest to attain a teaching certificate. Her mother, Lola Weathermon Heckman, graduated from Horace Mann High School in 1946. She later married Erle Heckman, who graduated from Northwest in 1950 and enjoyed many years as an educator in school districts throughout northwest Missouri. He also served on the Maryville School District Board of Education.
Heckman graduated from Northwest with a bachelor’s in secondary education, majoring in French and minoring in English followed by a master’s in education leadership. She dedicated 11 years of her career, from 1982 to 1993, as a loyal Northwest employee serving as assistant registrar, coordinator of transfer student recruitment, and associate director of admissions for recruitment. She also served as the Pan Hellenic Council advisor and NW Cheerleader advisor. Her career path took her to the Higher Colleges of Technology in Fujairah, United Arab Emirates where she was Vice-president of Student Affairs/Dean of Students.
The most recent addition to the Heckman Bearcat family tree is Heckman’s niece, Ashley Heckman Myers ’09, with a degree in elementary education. The scholarship will be awarded to a student majoring in any content area within early childhood education, elementary education, middle school education or secondary education and is seeking an international student teaching placement.
Scholarships associated with Heckman Family