Local resident Holly Heaton honored with ARCS Light award

Holly Heaton leads by volunteering


Each year the ARCS—Achievement Rewards for College Scientists-- organization honors one of its members with the ARCS Light award. This year Holly Heaton is the ARCS Light honoree. She has been a member of ARCS for 10 years and served in many roles, including as president for the past three years. She steered the group through the unprecedented Covid pandemic and was instrumental in building membership and setting fundraising records during her tenure, according to a news release.

Holly Heaton
Holly Heaton

ARCS is a national organization founded 65 years ago by four women from Los Angeles who realized the importance of advancing and promoting science in the U.S. after the Russians launched the Sputnik satellite. San Diego is one of 15 chapters nationally, and since its inception in 1985, it has raised over $12 million and funded over 1,550 PhD scholars at Scripps Research, UC San Diego, San Diego State University and the University of San Diego.

On May 7 at the Conrad in La Jolla, ARCS is holding its Scientist of the Year celebration, its annual signature fundraising event. The Scientist of the Year to be honored is Dr. Margaret Leinen, an award-winning oceanographer and distinguished national and international leader in ocean science, global climate and environmental issues and the 11th director of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego. For more information, visit san-diego.arcsfoundation.org.

Heaton has been an active volunteer with and board member of several local not-for-profits, including the San Diego Blood Bank, San Diego Hospice, the Salvation Army Women’s Auxillary, ARCS and, most recently, the Sharp HealthCare Foundation Board. She is grateful to give back to so many worthwhile organizations and to have the opportunity to work with so many incredible people who give of their time and talents to improve the lives of those in the San Diego community, according to the news release. Heaton acknowledged the honor by thanking her colleagues for their commitment, service and enthusiasm in promoting outstanding leaders of tomorrow.

Holly and her husband, Bob, who is a distinguished professor in the UCSD School of Medicine, have two grown daughters and live in the Del Mar area.