She was 72. Dr. Bratton had been a member of the Department of History since 1967. In addition to teaching, she held administrative posts in the history department as director of graduate studies from 1986 to 1989 and as acting chair of the department from 1992 to 1994. She retired in 1995.
She was commissioned by ECU in 1980 to write the school's first official history. Her 550-page illustrated volume, "East Carolina University: The Formative Years, 1907 - 1982," was published in 1986. More recently she helped to write a condensed account of the university's history for a booklet published to celebrate ECU's 90th Anniversary in 1997.
She wrote numerous articles and papers, primarily in the field of Southern social, cultural and intellectual history and was the recipient of awards and fellowships.
Another book, "Greenville: Heart of the East," was published in 1991. A native of Bluefield, W.Va., Bratton completed undergraduate degrees at Montreat College and at Virginia Polytechnic Institute. She finished her master's and doctorate degrees at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Memorial gifts will go to the Mary Jo Bratton Memorial Fund at ECU.
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