A newspaper for ECU faculty and staff
Pieces of Eight

Martoccia family
The family of Tom Martoccia attended the dedication of the library in the psychology department, named in the late professor’s honor. A photo of Professor Martoccia rests on a shelf in the background as Carol Martoccia Bickle (center) stands with sons Randall Martoccia (right) and Doug Martoccia. (Contributed photo)

Martoccia Library Dedicated

By Nancy McGillicuddy

East Carolina University’s Department of Psychology recently dedicated a library in honor of the late Charles “Tom” Martoccia, who taught at the university for 39 years.

Located in the Rawl Building, the Martoccia Library contains a collection of journals and articles from Martoccia’s private collection. The former classroom now holds bookshelves with Martoccia’s historical psychology books and worktables designed to create a comfortable working space. A memento shelf includes Martoccia’s vintage Underwood typewriter, his black and white portrait and longhand letters written to him from noted American anthropologist Margaret Mead and Harvard psychologist Edward G. Boring.

“The library is a perfect space to be named in his honor,” said Larry Bolen, acting chair of the psychology department who worked with Martoccia for 30 years.

“He was the type of person that devoured anything in print.” Bolen recalled how his former colleague’s office reflected that passion. Journals and books stacked up to his waist as Martoccia kept up with the latest psychology publications for himself, his students and his colleagues.

The late professor’s enthusiasm transferred to his students and his sons. One of his sons, Randall, is a lecturer in ECU’s Department of English.

“His children — even as young children — would sit in Tom’s study and just read and read and read some more,” Bolen said. “How he got them to do that I just don’t know.”

Martoccia began his academic career at Davidson College in 1960 before joining the faculty at ECU in 1961. He was a graduate of the University of Virginia, where he was initiated into Phi Beta Kappa. He received his master’s degree and his Ph.D., both in psychology, from the University of Florida.

He also served as a corpsman in the U.S. Navy’s Naval Cadet Program. Martoccia died Dec. 12, 2000 after he was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's Disease. An initial $25,000 donation from the Martoccia family started the library and the ECU Board of Trustees approved the naming of the space last fall.

This page originally appeared in the July 15, 2005 issue of Pieces of Eight. Complete issue is archived at