Forrest Heaton, or "Wally" as he is called by his Albion classmates, was known early on for his compassion, leadership, and love of music. An economics and political science major and Dean's List student, he was also active in Delta Tau Delta fraternity and helped to organize the Charlie Brown Orchestra on campus.
After graduation, Heaton went on to a management career with Olivetti Corporation. That culminated in his leadership of the company's management and sales education/training programs. He then founded two publishing/educational marketing subsidiaries for Prentice Hall, Inc., serving as president through 1984. After joining American Express in 1985, he was appointed vice president, providing leadership to American Express' worldwide strategic account management program before his retirement in 1998.
Heaton has many passions, which include writing, poetry, and music. Playing guitar, singing, and writing music led him to release a self-published DVD entitled Sweet Mary on the St. Croix and, later, a CD entitled Delts in Duet featuring tenors Tom Leavy and Dick Morse. He also wrote and published Heaton's Hit Parade Songbook, followed by Aunt Mary & Uncle Wally & Friends with the Young at Heart Songbook.
He married his college sweetheart, Sally Ann MacArthur, '60, and together they raised three children, Matthew, Sara, and Amanda. Sally died of cancer in 1997. Following her death, he established the Heaton Endowment at Albion College, which provides scholarship assistance to first-year and/or sophomore females with special interest in literature. The Heaton Endowment also provides motivation for senior women and/or men via the Heaton Prize for top honors in English. Heaton also co-chaired his 50th class reunion at Albion this year.
While living in Summit, New Jersey, Heaton volunteered with Stephen Ministries at the Central Presbyterian Church, where he assisted pastors in one-to-one confidential ministry to members experiencing life difficulties. Through his work in this ministry, Heaton met and married his current wife, Mary.
He and Mary reside in Pittsboro, North Carolina.