A professor at the MIT summer program for talented high school students of color, Leon Trilling is the one who tells Cedric that he is not cut out for MIT. Citing Cedric’s lousy SAT scores and his struggles during the summer program, Trilling informs the boy that he is simply not on the level of MIT students academically, and he discourages Cedric from applying altogether. He suggests that Cedric consider applying to lower-tier colleges, and even mentions Howard University, a historically black college in Washington, D.C. Cedric finds this extremely offensive and racist, and uses his anger to focus on getting into a different top-tier school: Brown University.
Leon Trilling Character Timeline in A Hope in the Unseen
The timeline below shows where the character Leon Trilling appears in A Hope in the Unseen. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 4: Skin Deep
...suddenly feels less alone in his academic climb. At their introduction, the students hear from Leon Trilling , the distinguished professor who will be reviewing their progress and meeting with each student... (full context)