Arnaud C. Marts, A Founding Father of Wilkes University

Wilkes University Archives has a guest blog post by Brianna Repetz, Junior Psychology major and History minor who processed the Arnaud C. and Anne Cartwright Marts Collection in Spring 2021. In Summer 2021 John Jenkins digitized the entire collection so that researchers can now access it online! Brianna hopes to do work helping others with their mental health in the future, but would also like to continue doing things related to her love of history on the side. Thanks to Brianna, John, and the Anne and Arnaud Marts estate which donated these belongings to the Eugene S. Farley beginning in 1989, we now have a complete digitized collection that is open for research. The finding aid with digitized materials can be found here and Brianna’s reflections can be found below.

For Spring 2021, I had the honor of processing the Arnaud C. and Anne Cartwright Marts collection at the Wilkes University Archives. This collection contains a variety of materials relating to Arnaud and Anne’s personal and professional lives, including publications and correspondence written by Arnaud C. Marts, Anne Cartwright Marts, and other individuals, photographs, genealogy of the Marts, Cartwright, and Hotchkiss families, and personal ephemera from various points of their lives. 

Arnaud Marts, early 1900s.

Originally born in Reeds Corner, New York in 1888, Dr. Arnaud C. Marts became an influential fundraiser and philanthropist in many parts of the United States. He graduated from Oberlin College in the year 1910 and held a wide variety of positions through the YMCA, serving as an assistant secretary and advancing all the way to the position of chief of boys’ work for all the branches of the greater Pittsburgh area. Following that in 1911, he left the YMCA to work for the Standard Life Insurance Company where he would have great success and be promoted to vice president and director for the company. Marts would eventually leave this position in 1917 in pursuit of other interests. Arnaud Marts was such an influential man that he even served as a Captain of the United States Coast Guard Reserve during World War II. Featured below is a picture of Marts with a group of men he served with in the military during World War II. 

Additionally, Marts was partnered with George E. Lundy and created Marts & Lundy Inc., a company established in 1926 which was created specifically for professionally raising funds for clients such as universities, hospitals, and a wide variation of other organizations. Arnaud Marts was President of the company for thirty years until 1956. He continued his involvement as a Chairman until 1967 and held an Honorary Chairman title until his passing in 1970. Marts & Lundy Inc., still lives on as a company today with its headquarters in Lyndhurst, New Jersey. 

Arnaud Marts was also a gifted writer. He wrote and published several articles and books during his life on subjects such as philanthropy, fundraising, World War II and America’s involvement, social justice movements, and higher education. One such publication was “A Notable Three Year Record of a College” published in 1939, which mentions the growth of Bucknell University Junior College, present-day Wilkes University (presented below).

 

In 1932, Marts became a trustee for Bucknell University. He was appointed President of Bucknell temporarily in 1935, but remained President of the institution until 1945. During his time as President of Bucknell University, Martz made many contributions and improvements to both the main university and the junior college in Wilkes-Barre, PA. It would not be unreasonable to say that without Marts’ guidance and vision, Bucknell University Junior College would not have existed, and probably would not have evolved into Wilkes University as we know it today. Below is a scan of “The Bucknellian” which included an article petitioning for Arnaud C. Marts to be instated as permanent President of the University. 

In his personal life, Arnaud Marts was married two times. His first wife, Ethel A. Daggett, died in 1953 of cancer. He later married Anne McCartney on November 28,1958. The two would stay together until Arnaud’s death in 1970. Neither marriage resulted in any children. Anne and Arnaud enjoyed traveling and spending time with family and friends. There are an abundance of photographs of the two on trips together, with loved ones, and visiting Bucknell University as well as Wilkes College. When they were not visiting friends and family, they were constantly writing letters to individuals regarding their business and personal lives. Below is a photograph of Anne and Arnaud Marts, and a photograph of the two with various members of the Marts family. 

Anne herself had quite the fascinating life. In 1942 she joined the American Red Cross and served as a nurse in World War II. Below is Anne’s Red Cross Nurses Aid Cap and pages from her Red Cross photo album. 

She concluded her service in 1946. Anne moved to New York where she worked at the American Association of Fund-Raising Counsel until 1959.  It is believed that Anne met Arnaud while serving as the Executive Director of the Town Hall Club where Arnaud was a Director at the time. She passed away in 1994, leaving behind many gifts to Wilkes University, including this archival collection. 

I was personally touched by the letters Anne received following Arnaud’s death in 1970. Many people wrote that they would deeply miss Arnaud. Several dedications were made by higher education institutions in Arnaud’s honor in the years after his passing. From processing the correspondence, photographs, and ephemera of Anne and Arnaud, it is evident that they were special individuals. 

Below is the press release written by Marts & Lundy regarding Arnaud’s death as well as a
newspaper clipping concerning the opening of the Arnaud Marts Sports and Conference Center, and a picture of Anne at the dedication of the Arnaud C. Marts Courtyard. Within the Eugene S. Farley Library, Arnaud Marts’ portrait and statue bust are still available to view as shown below as well. It is apparent that even decades after Arnaud’s death, his impact could still be found around the Wilkes Campus. The Marts Center was dedicated in honor of Dr. Arnaud C. Marts in February of 1989, proving just how influential Marts was and still is to Wilkes University.

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