Alumni National Awards


MahlockBrigadier General Lorna Chance Mahlock, Comm ‘91
Fort Meade, MD

Brigadier General Lorna Mahlock is truly a woman for others. She is the first African American woman to hold the rank of brigadier general (a one-star general ranked just below a major general) in the Marine Corps. Yet she maintains that there is nothing particularly unusual about her accomplishments. She is a firm believer that ordinary people can do extraordinary things when they are part of a powerful team of community, work, friends and family.

Over her 36-year career, Mahlock has served in a variety of roles and witnessed many improvements and diversifications to the Marines, especially regarding women being able to serve in combat. After enlisting in 1985, she was commissioned in 1991 and has served in areas ranging from air traffic control to three deployments in Iraq to her current service in IT compliance and cybersecurity.

Mahlock believes that living the Marquette mission has enabled her to be the start of a chain reaction for good. She has raised children who are now giving back in their own ways and has professionally mentored and coached many young men and women to “be the difference” in the world.

Mahlock’s journey at Marquette began a few years after she immigrated to the United States from the Caribbean. Mahlock credits Lt. Col. Jim Connolly, her Marine officer instructor, with being a game-changer during her time at Marquette. She says he and his wife, Lorraine, opened their home to Mahlock and her husband and made them feel welcome. Even after graduation, Lt. Col. Connolly continued to provide leadership and mentorship to Mahlock.

Mahlock says that it doesn’t matter where you start, it’s where you end and what you do on the journey that truly matters. Mahlock values Marquette as an integral part of her journey, shaping her thinking and creating the ladders she used to find her place in the world.

What is one of your favorite Marquette memories?
Drill meets and basketball games in the Marquette gym.

What’s your favorite song?
Defying Gravity from Wicked – that song embodies the idea that your trajectory is your own, regardless of how difficult the circumstances will be on that journey.

Leave a congratulatory message for BGen Mahlock!