Trustee Profile: Marilyn E. Demorest ’65
Hometown: Born in New Haven, CT; now Baltimore, MD, for almost 45 years.
Alma Mater: Trinity College, Blue Class of 1965
Graduate Study: The Johns Hopkins University, M.A., 1967, Ph.D., 1969, Experimental Psychology
Employment: Professor of Psychology, University of Maryland, Baltimore County, since 1972.
Why I chose Trinity: The reasons I chose Trinity and the reasons I’m glad I chose Trinity are quite different. My parents had saved enough for me to attend a local Catholic college. Fortunately, I received a scholarship to attend Trinity, which was close to the Naval Medical Center in Bethesda where my high school sweetheart was stationed. Trinity met my most important criteria. And oh, yes, I heard it was a very good school, too. I am glad I chose Trinity because the intellectual challenge and academic rigor prepared me so well for graduate school and my future career.
Accomplishment of which you are most proud: In the 1980s, the cochlear implant was being developed for clinical use with the profoundly hearing impaired. I served as a statistical consultant to an Australian biotechnology corporation seeking FDA approval to market their implant in the United States. I wrote the statistician’s report for FDA approval and testified at FDA Advisory Panel meetings. My association with this life-changing technology remains my most satisfying professional accomplishment.
Most memorable Trinity moment: Facing a stern-faced and somewhat incredulous Sr. Columba with my decision to switch my major from mathematics to psychology. Although I loved math (and had an A+ average,) it was 1963 and the world around us was passionately engaged in debates over civil rights and social justice. Psychology, (in which I had a low C!) seemed to offer more opportunity to make a difference. My love of math continued and I have since spent my research career applying quantitative methods and models to data.
Last book read: Garlic and Sapphires by Ruth Reichl in which the former New York Times food critic recounts her adventures playing a variety of characters while dining in disguise at New York’s finest restaurants.
If I were stranded on a deserted island I would have to have: I would want three food groups: bread, wine, and cheese. My plan is to harvest fish from the sea and find fruits and berries in my surroundings. I would then try to emulate my forbears, make fire, and develop my cuisine.
The three people I would most like to have dinner with: Julia Child, Jean Utley, and Mary Moran. Julia Child exercised her passion tirelessly. In 1945, Jean Utley was the first woman to earn a doctoral degree in speech and hearing at Northwestern University. Mary Moran is my maternal grandmother, whom I never met.
Why I am a Trinity trustee: Trinity played such an important role in my intellectual and personal development that an opportunity to give back in some way was one that I relished. Also, as an academic administrator at UMBC, I knew that I would enjoy learning about administration in a small private university. An added bonus has been getting to know so many wonderful, high-achieving people – students, faculty, administrators, staff and especially my fellow trustees.