She was everything what you wanted out of a student-athlete. Someone who was able to carry and represent the characteristics of an athletic program with dignity both during the season and the offseason. But above all she was an unforgettable person with an unforgettable personality.
Maran Lougheed graduated from Seton Hall in 2002 as a student and a swimmer, and she eventually advanced her medical career to the point where she was Chief of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Guthrie Corning Hospital before she passed away of a bleed in her brain after giving birth to her third son this summer. Lougheed demonstrated the characteristics that set her apart while a Pirate while helping others at her job.
“She did this not only through medical intervention, but also by demonstrating exemplary compassion and a willingness to go above and beyond the call of duty to help those in need,” her obituary states.
Her compassion was always noticeable to those around her. Andrew Le Blanc, an assistant coach for the swimming and diving program, was a teammate of Lougheed’s while she was at Seton Hall. He was one of those the witnessed the generosity that she bestowed to those around her.
“Maran was one of the kindest souls you will ever meet,” Le Blanc said. “I know that is said of a lot of people, especially after they pass, but it could not be more true for her.”
Lougheed was a leader that every swimmer and student-athlete should strive to be like. To honor her, the Pirate Blue Athletic Fund and the swimming and diving program created the Maran Lougheed Memorial Scholarship Fund. Although the endowed scholarship is in its early stages, Le Blanc knows that the recipients will be just like Lougheed.
“I know they want someone who is driven, has a good moral compass, and works very hard in academics and in the pool, which were all characteristics she exemplified to the top,” Le Blanc said.
To allow the scholarship to be initiated, there must be a minimum of $50,000 raised. To gain funds, the program brought some old faces head back to South Orange to experience a meet.
“A lot of (the fund raising) has been through Pirate Blue,” head coach Derek Sapp said. “We had an alumni gathering after our first home meet against Towson earlier this year. Just the support and everything we have is awesome. We had a lot of alumni back and it’s great to see that kind of support knowing I never had the opportunity to meet Maran, but seeing the number of people who came back and had really good things to say. It’s a great representation.”
The reason so many alumni came back was because of the lasting impact Lougheed had on them. Her presence was one that will always be in the minds of those she came across.
“The alumni are very determined to make sure her memory lives on, especially here at this school,” Le Blanc said. “I do not think you could have a better person be the symbol of the program than Maran. In terms of her personality, her hard work, what she accomplished in her life was still amazing, even outside the pool, and what she used her degree for. Again, I do not think you could find a better person to be a symbol for the program or university.”
Robert Fallo can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @robert_fallo.