Sarah Lawrence College Mourns the Passing of Psychology Faculty Member Marvin Frankel

Marvin Frankel, longtime member of the psychology faculty at Sarah Lawrence College, passed away suddenly this week.

Marvin received his undergraduate degree from City College of New York, and his PhD from University of Chicago. His early work focused on client-centered therapy and he brought his extensive knowledge and experience of therapeutic models to his classes at Sarah Lawrence.

Marvin’s passion for teaching and the intensity of his intellectual engagement were inspiring to both colleagues and students. He created unique courses: “The Holocaust,” “The Empathic Attitude,” “The Talking Cure.” His colleagues in psychology say of Marvin, “These courses simply could not have been taught by anyone other than him. No one else could, or would even think to, combine radical behaviorism with gestalt social psychology and Rogerian client-centered therapy.” Students spoke of Marvin’s courses as being transformative, changing the ways in which they thought, encouraging and supporting vigorous debate. He was an incisive, original thinker who enjoyed provoking intellectual sparring. Fellow members of the psychology faculty relied on his keen mind and ability to pose probing, incisive questions during searches and tenure discussions. They describe him as consistently, characteristically forthright; in their words: “He held a singular position within our group.”

In this difficult time, all members of the community—but especially Marvin’s students—are invited to come to the North Room of the Pub today, January 19, from 12-1 p.m. Members of the psychology faculty, the Dean of the College Office, the Dean of Studies Office, and Health & Wellness will be present for those who need assistance or wish to talk.