Tri-County Community College Library
21 Campus Circle
Murphy, NC 28906
In Memory of Carl D. Dockery, PhD
1941 – 1998
English and Humanities Scholar and Instructor
1981 – 1998
“…gladly would he learn, and gladly teach…” - Geoffrey Chaucer
|In April 2000, the Board of Trustees and the Faculty of Tri-County Community College dedicated the Library/Media Center to his memory.|
Carl Dockery, known as “Doc” to his friends, was a shining fixture of the Tri-County Community College campus, “an ever-fixed mark … a star to every wandering bark.” In particular, he was a constant joyful presence for many years in the McSwain Building. Whether teaching in one of the classrooms across from the library, playing the piano in the auditorium between classes and during lunchtime, talking with students in his office, or perusing the stacks in the library, Carl Dockery devoted his life to the institution that he loved so much as well as the ideal of liberal arts education. His years of service to the students of TCCC reflected his love of knowledge and his desire to pass along that knowledge, but they also reflected his love for the students in this area and for the day to day process of learning.
Carl Dee Dockery was born on August 8, 1941, to Ernest and Edna Dockery. A native of Cherokee County, Carl had seven siblings: David Dockery, Glenn Dockery, Jolene Bryson, Judy Blair, Jennifer Willey, and Donna Clore. He graduated from Murphy High School in 1959, and he graduated from Young Harris College with an A.A. degree in 1961. In 1963, he graduated from Newberry College with a B.A. in English and a minor in French. He then enrolled in graduate school at Auburn University and obtained his M.A. in 1967.
The activities of teaching and learning continued to intertwine through Carl’s life. He taught for a year at Auburn in the English Department, then spent three years teaching in the Honors Program at the University of Kentucky, a teaching assignment that was always a source of pride for him. However, he returned to Auburn and completed work on his doctorate, receiving his Ph.D. in 1975. The focus of his dissertation was a study of Charles Williams, J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, and Jungian psychology.
He then taught for Berea College for two years, years that were happy ones for him. Working with the United States Navy for two years, teaching in the PACE program afforded him an opportunity to travel.
In 1981, he returned home and began teaching at Tri-County Community College. Carl taught courses in music, art, literature, composition, oral communication, journalism, and both western and eastern philosophy. He was also the head of the English Department, the advisor for the school paper, played the piano for graduation exercises each year, and served the College in many other ways, such as working on committees, creating a school yearbook, proofing and editing many of the College’s publications, as well as advising and counseling students. The faculty, students, and administration of the College recognized his generous spirit, his service, and his talent for teaching by presenting him the Excellence in Teaching Award in 1995.
Carl Dockery loved learning; he never stopped in his search for wisdom. He loved teaching; his lessons didn’t end at the classroom door. It is therefore fitting that the library, the eternal symbol of teaching and learning, bears his name.
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