Mary M. Heckmann

Honorary Degrees

California State University, San Bernardino

Dr. Mary M. Heckmann is a philanthropist and occasional creative writing instructor at California State University, San Bernardino's Palm Desert Campus. A Coachella Valley resident for 40 years, she is one of the area's most prolific leaders in education.Dr. Heckmann is a member of CSUSB's Palm Desert Campus' Advancement Board and has served on its executive committee since 2019.She has previously served on the boards of the University of California, Riverside, the University of Washington Foundation, Pepperdine University, Mothers Against Prescription Drug Abuse and Shelter from the Storm.

After she served on its board of directors for a decade, The Mary Heckmann School was established on the Shelter from the Storm campus. The recently opened center based in Palm Desert, California, provides spacious K-12 classrooms where the children of domestic violence victims learn in a safe environment. Shelter from the Storm provides services to victims of domestic violence through professional, ethical and compassionate programs and is the only comprehensive domestic violence shelter in the Coachella Valley.

In 2000, Dr. Heckmann and her ex-husband, the late Dick Heckmann, generously gave a
$6 million gift that helped establish The Richard J. Heckmann International Center for Entrepreneurial Management at the University of California, Riverside's Palm Desert campus. Mr. Heckmann was a water treatment entrepreneur and former co-owner of the NBA's Phoenix Suns.

Dr. Heckmann received her bachelor of arts degree in English Literature from CSUSB in 1995, and her graduate and doctorate degrees from the University of California, Riverside.

In recognition of her many accomplishments and extensive contributions to the university and the community, the Board of Trustees of the California State University, and California State University, San Bernardino are proud to confer upon Dr. Mary M. Heckmann the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters.