Meredith College Mourns Loss of Fifth President Heilman

E. Bruce Heilman, who served as Meredith College’s fifth president, passed away on October 19, 2019, at age 93.

Bruce Heilman - black & white photoHeilman served as Meredith College president from 1966-71. Under his leadership, Meredith completed a three-year fundraising campaign, raising funds to support the construction of six new buildings. The new additions were Carlyle Campbell Library, Cate Student Center, Weatherspoon Gymnasium, Heilman and Barefoot Residence Halls, and the Massey House president’s residence. He also oversaw a restructuring of Johnson Hall, the College’s administration building. He also directed the strengthening of the College’s Board of Trustees, and the establishment of an annual giving fund.

Jo Allen, Meredith’s eighth president, remembers Heilman as “the quintessential gentleman who continued to love and support Meredith” well after his tenure as president.

“As a new president, I benefited from Bruce Heilman’s wise counsel and sense of history. I watched him continue to pursue his lifelong passions supporting higher education, student well-being, and the long-term sustainability of great colleges, including Meredith,” Allen said. “As a friend, I have been inspired by his stamina, clear sense of mission (both professional and personal), and unwavering loyalty to family, friends, and causes that sustained him and made a difference in our nation and world. He will be greatly missed.”

A U.S. Marine Corps veteran who served in World War II, Heilman was the featured speaker for Meredith’s Veterans Day service in November 2018.

In addition to serving as Meredith president, Heilman’s long career in higher education included being president of the University of Richmond from 1971-86, and later as the university’s chancellor.

Heilman’s memorial service will be held on Sunday, October 27, at 2 p.m. in Cannon Memorial Chapel on the University of Richmond campus. A livestream will be available at

To make a gift to Meredith in Heilman’s memory, visit Checks can be mailed to Meredith College, Attn: Institutional Advancement, 3800 Hillsborough Street, Raleigh, NC 27607.

Melyssa Allen

News Director
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