Writer for Life

By the time she finished fourth grade, Meg Grant ’81 had decided that she would spend her life writing. “I’m one of those weird and maybe fortunate people,” Grant says, “who knew what I wanted to be when I was very young.”

Grant, a Phoenix native, fulfilled that vision; she’s been a working journalist for more than 25 years. Grant started out stringing for Time magazine and soon became People magazine’s Miami bureau chief. After that, she was the West Coast editor of Reader’s Digest.

In 2008, Grant, now in L.A., became West Coast editor of AARP The Magazine, writing, editing, and assigning cover stories and other print and digital content. “I’m aging with my magazines,” Grant says, laughing. “I’m following the demographic.”

While Grant never wavered from her grammar school plan, her family wasn’t convinced. “My parents told me that I could never make a living as a writer and that I would have to be a teacher,” Grant says.

So at LMU, she minored in education and art but threw herself into her English major, where Grant says she won an award and became “sort of a pet” to Richard Kocher, now emeritus professor of English.

Grant’s son, Ian Lecklitner, matriculated to LMU this academic year. “Now that he’s there,” Grant says, “visiting the campus just brought back so many of my memories.”

Grant recently made a donation to LMU’s Parents Fund. It was her first donation to the university.

“I’ve never been one of those people who gives to my old schools ‘just because,’” Grant says. But she and her husband, Gregory Lecklitner, decided to make gifts to the two places they thought had most shaped their family. One was Loyola High School, which Ian attended. The other? LMU.

“The university made me who I am, and now my son is there,” Grant says. “LMU was the place where I first got permission to think maybe I could do this.”

Jeremy Rosenberg is a freelance writer in Los Angeles whose work has appeared frequently in LMU Magazine. He also writes for the KCET blog “Departures.”