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Mathematics professor’s passion and generosity extends beyond the classroom

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The late Dr. Henry Heatherly was passionate about mathematics and education; he gave his all when teaching students in University of Louisiana at Lafayette mathematics classes while also giving outside the classroom.

He and his wife, May, established a bequest in their wills to provide support to future UL Lafayette students across campus. Their bequest includes named endowments for the benefit of Department of Mathematics, Edith Garland Dupré Library, and graduate student recruitment.

Henry and May Heatherly

Dr. Heatherly was recruited to then-University of Southwestern Louisiana in 1968 after earning his Ph.D. in mathematics from Texas A&M University. He was attracted in large part by the opportunity to build the university’s mathematics Ph.D. program from the ground up. After retiring from UL Lafayette in 2004, he was very active as a professor emeritus, teaching a course each spring and serving as a faculty advisor to numerous Ph.D. students. “I have enjoyed being a part of a mathematics program whose research funding has grown to being among the top nationally,” Heatherly said.

In the spirit of helping to grow private funding for the Department of Mathematics, the Heatherlys’ bequest will establish two endowed mathematics professorships, an endowed mathematics graduate student fellowship fund and an endowed mathematics undergraduate scholarship fund. Additional funds from their gift will be designated to support the annual math conference and the recruitment of mathematics graduate students.

After Dr. Heatherly passed away in 2018, his extensive library of books and resources was donated to the Department of Mathematics. Maxim Doucet Room 206 holds many of the donated books and was dedicated in his honor as the Dr. Henry E. Heatherly Mathematics Library in 2019.

“Dr. Heatherly was an integral part of the Department of Mathematics’ growth, and the gift will allow us to continue our success. We sincerely appreciate his and May’s commitment to the Department through their legacy gift, his time as faculty, and his generosity of donating his personal mathematics library,” said Dr. Azmy Ackleh, dean of the Ray P. Authement College of Sciences.

Edith Garland Dupré Library will also benefit from the Heatherlys’ planned gift. Friends of the Library members for nearly 25 years, the Heatherlys will continue to support the library beyond their lifetimes thanks to the bequest.

Dupré Library Dean Brian Doherty explains how the legacy gift will have a vast impact. “The Dupré Library is very thankful for the Heatherlys’ generosity. Their gifts will benefit all our users. Support such as this is especially important as we begin to fortify our services and collections in an effort to build a library that can support the research and teaching of a top-tiered institution. We appreciate the ongoing resource that their donation will provide.”

Find out more about others who have made a legacy gift to UL Lafayette here.