E. Rae Harcum was born on March 1, 1927. He completed high school in 1945, and volunteered for the U.S. Navy in January, 1946. He was honor man in his recruit company, and first in his class in quartermaster school. He was discharged from the Navy in June, 1947, as a Quartermaster Third Class.
He enrolled at the College of William and Mary in 1947, and graduated Phi Beta Kappa in February, 1950. He served as director of the Wesley Foundation at William and Mary until matriculating in graduate school at the Johns Hopkins University in September, 1950. He received a Master of Arts degree in psychology in June, 1952.
Harcum continued graduate study at the University of Michigan in Fall, 1952, and received a Ph.D. in 1955. He worked in the vision laboratory at Michigan until September, 1958, doing applied research in visual perception.
He taught at William and Mary from September, 1958, until retiring in June, 1992, as professor. During his tenure at William and Mary, he served as department chair for six years. He also served six years on the Virginia Licensing Board for Psychologists, two as Chair. He spent one year as a Visiting Scholar at the University of California, Berkeley, and other leaves on COSIP and other grants. He was elected as Fellow by the American Psychological Association, the American Psychological Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He holds memberships in Sigma Xi (honorary research society), Psi Chi (undergraduate honor society in psychology) and Pi Tau Chi (honorary religious society).
Harcum has published numerous articles and chapters and five books in psychology. He has published two books on religion.
He was married in August, 1952, to Phoebe Carroll Martin. They have two children and three grandchildren.
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