Beloved Professor John Trotti Died

Dr. Trotti upon the occasion of the dedication of the gargoyle in his image and honor.The seminary has learned with great sadness of the passing of John B. Trotti, Professor Emeritus of Bibliography, on the evening of January 29, 2013.


Dr. Trotti, a graduate of Davidson (N.C.) College, received his B.D. from Union Presbyterian Seminary, his Masters in Library Science from the University of North Carolina, and his Ph.D. in Old Testament from Yale University. In addition to Union Seminary, he taught classes at Yale and Randolph-Macon (now Randolph) College. Before coming to Union, he served as pastor of Altavista (Va.) Presbyterian Church. He taught many classes at Union through the years, including Old Testament and a very popular class in theology and literature, drawing from his vast knowledge of religious studies and of literary culture, particularly writers of the South. He served as Union Seminary's librarian from 1968 until 2002, when he continued his service to the community in his retirement.


In the theological library profession, Dr. Trotti pioneered a program in which books and periodicals not needed by the Union Seminary library were shared with theological schools all over the world. For over 29 years, the program contributed more than 135,000 volumes to libraries in 103 institutions in 49 countries, and has sparked creation of the American Theological Book Redistribution Project, through which many libraries share print resources with their international counterparts.


In addition, Dr. Trotti served as vice-president and president of the American Theological Library Association (1976-1978), president of the Presbyterian Library Association (1973-1974) and as a member of the board of directors of the Historical Foundation of Presbyterian and Reformed Churches in Montreat, NC. (1979-1986). He was recently named recipient of the 2012 Award for Excellence in Theological Education by the Presbyterian Church (USA), an honor that was recognized at the 2012 General Assembly in Pittsburgh.


A treasured mentor, leader, teacher, and friend, John Trotti will be greatly missed.

The entire seminary community extends our heartfelt condolences to Dr. Trotti's wife, Joan, and to their three children, Elizabeth, Margaret, and Michael, and their families. Services will be held Saturday, February 9, 2013, at 2 pm, at First Presbyterian Church, Richmond, VA.