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Marquette University Alumni Association

Klingler College of Arts and Sciences Recipients

Professional Achievement Award

Norfolk, Va.

“The great aim of education is not knowledge but action.”

Political theorist Herbert Spencer said it. Marilyn lives it. As the first and only African-American prosthodontist in the U.S. Navy, she is all about putting her knowledge to work. 

After graduating from Marquette, the former cheerleader earned her dental degree from Meharry Medical College in Tennessee. She then received two master’s degrees in the field and a specialty certificate in prosthetic dentistry, with a subspecialty in maxillofacial prosthodontics. More impressive is how Marilyn applies her expertise.

From operating her own private practice to teaching as an assistant professor, the Naval Dental Corps commander who has served at the Naval Hospital Far East in Japan and aboard the U.S.S. George Washington and U.S.S. John F. Kennedy actively seeks opportunities to help people with critical dental needs. Her work with initiatives ranging from the Wounded Warrior project to Delta Sigma Theta — a public service sorority — brings a smile to many because she provides prostheses for cancer survivors, veterans, accident victims, victims of violence and children born with oral or facial deficiencies. Marilyn explains, “The more time I spend with people less fortunate than I, the more I want to continue.”  

This is tremendous news, especially because Marilyn is eligible to retire soon from active naval service. Not surprising for a woman who is about action, she plans to return to work after retirement, having been asked by several dental schools and specialty clinics to teach. The value of working to make a difference through dentistry undoubtedly will be among her lessons.

Get to Know: Dr. Marilyn E. Braddock

Hometown: Washington, D. C.

Favorite book:  The Harry Potter series

Someone past or present she’d like to have dinner with: Abraham Lincoln

Favorite Marquette memory: Nothing can compare to being present and a part of Marquette’s 1977 NCAA Basketball Championship.

The Marquette faculty or staff member who had a great impact on her: She might have given up her freshman year had it not been for her great student advisor Dr. Barrett and Father Brink.