In his remarkable 40-year career as an educator and mentor at Loyola Marymount University, civil engineering professor Dr. Michael E. Mulvihill influenced countless students — inspiring them to reach their full potential both personally and professionally. Mike retired as Professor Emeritus in 2006, but he continues to make an impact at LMU, serving on the Seaver Dean’s Executive Advisory Board, tutoring student athletes, advising former students, and enthusiastically supporting alumni and sporting events on campus.
Now, the university will honor Mike by creating an endowed scholarship in his name. We want to recognize his inspirational career, uphold his steadfast commitment to students and ensure Mike’s on-going legacy.
Mike’s received many accolades in his long career, including Teacher of the Year, the university’s Distinguished Alumni Award, commendations from the County and City and a spot on the Seaver College Wall of Fame. But for Mike, it always comes back to the students. “The real advantage of being at LMU is you really did get to know your students,” said Mulvihill, who made a point to know each student by name. “I had to know who the students were. I wanted to help them understand their potential and how to pursue that potential. That’s what makes the teaching profession so exciting.”
To many students, Mulvihill has been not only a teacher but also an inspiration, a mentor, and a friend. Known for his mantra, “PMA,” or positive mental attitude, Mike saw the importance of developing technical expertise alongside skills like communication and teamwork. For 25 years he served as academic advisor to all freshman engineering students, steering many young scholars forward on their career paths. “I am just happy that I was able to contribute to so many wonderful women and men as they proceeded through their careers,” he said. “One of the most exciting parts of the job was to see the growth and development of the students.”
Destined to be a Lion, Mulvihill feels a strong connection to LMU that began with the announcement of his birth in the 1937 Loyolan and continues to this day. Besides his own involvement, he counts two of his children as LMU alumni and a granddaughter as a current student. It’s a legacy he hopes will endure. “I have such a love for the university and I’m proud to continue to help its growth,” he said. “I was thinking, the real advantage of the endowed scholarship is that this will last for as long as the university will last — forever. It will go on for generations.”
“The civil engineering department has always been focused on the students and on their development,” Mulvihill added. “I hope this [endowment] continues to help civil engineering students grow and develop and become strong engineers who contribute to society.”
A registered professional engineer and an expert in flood control systems, Mulvihill earned his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from what was then Loyola University in 1960. He worked for the Army Corps of Engineers and earned his master’s degree from USC before returning to LMU in 1966, where he began his teaching career while earning his Ph.D. from UCLA.