Life, Death and Nuclear War – Brian Durkin ’87

Life, Death and Nuclear War – Brian Durkin ’87

Interviewed by Sophia Gourley ’19 

SG: My first question is pretty broad—what have you done since leaving Trinity?

BD: I went to Marine Corps Officer Candidate School during the summer of my sophomore and junior year so when I graduated, I was offered a commission and did four years in the Marine Corps. I lived in Okinawa, Japan, for a year. I was involved in Operation Desert Storm. After the Marine Corps, I started in medical equipment sales. I never expected to go into sales, but I found it rewarding. I’m now the vice president of a company that sells blood analyzers in laboratories in operating rooms in the US and Canada, responsible for sales and marketing and service, and customer training.

SG: That sounds great. It seems like you like the company if you’ve been with them for so long. Was there anything that you learned at Trinity, either with your political science degree or not, that you think was helpful in shaping your career?

BD: It may sound cliché, but I had a broad range of classes. My first-year seminar was called “Life, Death and Nuclear War” and was a really interesting seminar. I took a creative writing class, which is important too, to be able to write. A broad, well-rounded experience. As it turned out, my advisor’s son had gone through OCS, officer candidate school. I talked to him about that opportunity. My senior seminar was on the Marine Corps and they were recruiting. It was very interesting.

SG: That’s awesome. What would you say your proudest accomplishment is since leaving Trinity?

BD: My proudest is my children, from a personal side; professionally, serving in Desert Storm, from the military side; and from the business side, leading the North America organization.

SG: That sounds great. Do you have any hobbies or passions that you want Trinity to be aware of?

BD: Another thing I loved about Trinity was it being a smaller school, so I was able to play on the JV basketball team. I wouldn’t say I was very good, but it gave me a chance. It’s something that I still do today. I was also a percussionist drummer and I still play in a band in my 50’s. I guess what I really loved about Trinity is that I took everything from economics to constitutional law, but every semester I was in the jazz band. It allowed me to be involved with a different thing.

SG: It sounds like you had a really well-rounded experience while you’re here.

BD: Yes, and a lot of great pride still attached to it.