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In Memoriam: December 2013

Published: December 2, 2013

Maxine Merlino, a well-known art professor and administrator during CSULB’s early years, passed away on Nov. 2, in Madrid, Spain, where she had been living with her son, Dante Merlino, and family since April 2009. She celebrated her 101st birthday in July.

Merlino received her bachelor of fine arts degree in 1950, placing her in the first graduating class of CSULB. She followed that up with a master’s in fine arts degree in 1952 and doctorate in education from USC in 1962. During the course of her tenure at CSULB, Merlino taught both drawing and painting, as well as set design for theatre. She eventually became dean of the School of Fine Arts and retired in 1976.

Personal accomplishments included climbing to the summit of several of the world’s highest mountains. Following her retirement, Merlino was inducted into the Master Swimmers Hall of Fame, with several first place finishes well into her ninties. In 2003, CSULB named one of its art galleries—the Dr. Maxine Merlino Gallery—in honor of her.

Until her move to Madrid, Merlino remained active in the Emeriti and Retired Faculty Association and spent many hours on campus volunteering in the library.