Donald G. Marquis (1908-1973)
Marquis was born in 1908 in Two Harbors, MN and grew up in an academic family. He received his A.B. in 1928 in psychology with a minor in physiology from Stanford University. He the started graduate school at Stanford and completed his first two years under the mentoring of C.P. Stone and L.M. Terman. Terman suggested that Marquis complete his Ph.D. at another university so that he would experience a broader training, so Marquis completed his Ph.D. at Yale through a neuroanatomy fellowship. He completed his Ph.D. in 1932 while working with Harold Burr, John Fulton, and E.S. Robinson in experimental psychology. Through a conversation with Bernard Wiener and Marquis’s obituary in the America Journal of Psychology (1973) I learned that Marquis considered his mentor to be L.M. Terman and in later years worked closely with Hilgard.
Marquis research interest began in visual cortex research then moved into learning, which he published with Hilgard Condition and Learning (1940). Some say this was his best contribution or achievement in the field. His later research was in organization and industrial management, which followed the new trend in psychology research. He held a professorship at M.I.T in industrial management at the end of his career.
Marquis’s previous career appointments included instructor and eventually chair at Yale University from 1930-1945. While at Yale he taught his favorite class experimental psychology. Following his time at Yale he worked for APA followed by chair of the psychology department at University of Michigan from 1945-1957. Marquis is credited for rejuvenating the department, incorporating interdisciplinary approaches, and modernizing the approach to psychology. In 1947 Marquis was president elect of APA.
Outside of the field Marquis enjoyed playing the clarinet and tap dancing. He was married twice. His first marriage was to Dr. Dorothy Postle in 1931 and his second was to social psychologist Dr. Peggy Cook in 1959. Marquis died in 1973 from coronary heart disease.