Trustee Profile: Lauren Pacelli McLaughlin ’96
Hometown: Born in Marietta, GA; raised in Hollywood, FL; Sydney, Australia; and Fairfax, VA.
Personal: She lives in Arlington, VA, with her husband, Matthew, (married at Notre Dame Chapel), and their two children, Joseph Min-Chul (4) and Caroline Eunjee (2).
Undergraduate Double Major: French and political science.
Graduate Study: Juris Doctor, Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law, 1999.
Employment: Managing Partner and Co-Founder of BrigliaMcLaughlin, PLLC, a law firm focused on serving clients in the construction industry.
Why I chose Trinity: Choosing Trinity was probably the easiest personal decision I have ever made. As I began my college search, I looked to see where the most powerful women attended college. It became evident that many were graduates of women’s colleges. That helped narrow my search. I was intensely interested in politics and the upcoming presidential election (George H. W. Bush vs. Bill Clinton) I narrowed my search to a women’s college in D.C. After a tour of Trinity’s campus and a stroll through Seymour Court, however, 125 Michigan Avenue instantly felt like home.
Accomplishment of which you are most proud: The singular accomplishment of which I am most humbled is currently a “work in progress.” I am trying to be the best mother I can be to our two small children. I suppose it will take a lifetime to ascertain whether I accomplish my goal, but if successful, that would bring me the greatest happiness and peace.
Most memorable Trinity moments: There are simply too many to count. But three are most vivid: First: Opening my Trinity acceptance letter with none other by my side than my beaming first-generation Italian grandmother, (who only received an elementary-level education); Second: Competing in the Head of the Schuylkill Regatta in Pennsylvania with the Trinity crew team on a gorgeous fall day in 1995 (it made no difference that we came in last, we practiced on the Potomac for months and rowed our hearts out that day); Third: My senior year French comprehensive examination. The charge was to successfully engage in a discourse – all in French – with two sets of narrow eyes upon me. Madame Levitine and Sr. Maura Prendergast were not easy ladies to impress under normal circumstances. In this instance, we sat in a small room and, for over an hour, they grilled me on French politics, history, religion and culture. It was about 98 degrees and the air conditioning was not functioning. I walked out of my exam convinced of two things: that I had mightily failed and that I might have just lost 10 pounds. Always grateful for happy endings, I passed and the three of us travelled to Paris together with a Trinity group just a few weeks after graduation, and had the time of our lives.
Last book read: To my children, Ladybug Girl and BumbleBee Boy by Jacky Davis. To myself, Anna Karenina, by Leo Tolstoy.
My idea of a perfect vacation: In the hammock napping, waking only occasionally to see the sun peek through the pine trees and feeling the breeze over a gorgeous, granite-bottom lake in New Hampshire. Or, the South of France, Aix-en-Provence to be exact, with a bicycle, a baguette, and fresh fruits and veggies in my basket.
Why I am a Trinity trustee: Attending Trinity has been the singular most defining experience of my life. I am filled with gratitude and pride for that Red Roof, its faculty, leadership and staff, and especially, the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur. They helped shape the woman I am today and ingrained in me the leadership values I hold most dear. Not only do I feel compelled to bring that experience to other women, I want to share in the unbelievable journey that Trinity herself is embarking upon right now. Trinity is going places far beyond the imagination of any of its alumnae and I am committed to using whatever means I have to be a part of that stamp Trinity is going to place on this region, and the world.