Dr. Carl D. Dockery
by Stephen D. Wood,
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.