TORONTO - On June 29, De La Salle College "Oaklands", Toronto's historic Catholic school, lost one of its most loyal and esteemed alumni, Dr. Rocco Martino. Generous supporter of the Lasallian mission, following the motto "enter to learn and leave to serve", he was a man of great intelligence, exceptional preparation and rare moral stature, as is clear from the beautiful portrait traced in an article by John Hunt of the Alumni Affairs and Giving Office of De La Salle College, which we publish below. Condolences to the whole Martino family in Canada and the United States from Corriere Canadese.
In 1942 a young unknown student entered Grade 9 at De La Salle. He was not distinguished in any way. His unknown status did not last very long. He blazed a trail through high school, graduating with a 98 per-cent average in the days of rock-solid marks when mark inflation was unheard of. His courses covered the widest range of subjects. In September 1944, he began the study of Latin taking both Grade 11 and Grade 12 courses. By December, he finished both courses and in January began Senior Latin. He wrote the final in June, getting 1st class honours. He was on the debating team and wrote for the school paper. He won scholarships and bursaries for the University of Toronto. Upon graduating, the teaching staff at DEL declared that "he set the scale by which future graduates would be judged."
At U of T, his star grew brighter. He was awarded fellowships for "outstanding work as an undergraduate" in honours math and physics. These studies eventually led him to outstanding successes in nuclear physics and atomic energy. In addition, he became an actuary in the insurance industry and then attended Osgoode Hall to obtain a law degree. Along the way, he graduated with a "first" in honours math and finance- yes, finance, from University College at U of T and went on to earn a doctorate in Aerospace Engineering from the Institute of Aerospace Studies.
Now, his career begins to accelerate, gathering success after success. Now, who is this wonder, this amazing DEL Grad? He is Rocco Leonardo Martino.
Dr. Rocco Leonard Martino is Founder and Chairman of the Board of the Cyber Technology Group, Inc. and of CyberFone Technologies, Inc. Most recently, he was Founder, Chairman and CEO of XRT, Inc., the world leader in providing complete global treasury, cash and banking relationship management solutions for many of the world's largest corporations and government entities. Treasury systems designed by Dr. Martino are integrated and operate in real-time in a fault-tolerant, on-line environment in over 11,000 organizations in 51 countries. Dr. Martino has patented and is the inventor of the CyberFone - the first Smart Phone - and the driving force behind the software systems that unite communication and computer power.
Dr. Martino is a pioneer and international authority in the planning and use of computers and originated many of the methods in use today. Dr. Martino served in various high-level positions prior to XRT and CyberFone Technologies, Inc. He was EVP of Mauchly Associates created in partnership with Dr. John Mauchly, the co-inventor of electronic computers. He allied with Rear Admiral Grace Hopper USN, on Automatic Programming techniques, which were the forerunner of COBOL. As Director of the Computer Division for Adalia Limited, a consulting firm headed by Sir Robert Watson-Watt, the inventor of radar, Dr. Martino participated in the extensive development of navigation systems.
He is the founder, chairman and CEO of U.S. Robots Inc. and was the founder, chairman and CEO of XRT, Inc., a global leader in providing complete treasury, cash and banking relationship management solutions for many of the world's largest corporations and government entities.
Dr. Martino is the author of 25 non-fiction books and five novels. One of his novels, "The Resurrection: A Criminal Investigation", received critical acclaim as a suspense-laden approach to making the Resurrection a matter of fact and not just a matter of faith. Most recently, he has completed a novel on Christianity and its founding in the first century. Sophia Institute published his latest non-fiction book "Rocket Ships and God" early in 2015.
Dr. Martino graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Toronto in Mathematics and Finance. He earned a Ph.D. from the Institute of Aerospace Studies for work in the re-entry of Space Vehicles, especially in heat transfer requirements for heat shields. In 1993 he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Science degree from Neumann University for his contributions in Information Technology. In 2000, he received Honorary Degrees from Chestnut Hill College in Philadelphia and from Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington. Both degrees were awarded for his humanitarian and charitable activities, as well as for his scientific achievements. Significantly, he was awarded a personal coat of arms by the Governor-General of Canada on April 15, 2003.
The National Italian American Foundation honoured Dr. Martino for Lifetime Achievement in 1992, as did the Monte Jade Society in 1999, and the CYO in 2000. In this latter award, he was chosen as a symbol for Youth. In March of 2014, he was the cover story subject of Inventor's Digest, and in November 2014 was profiled in the Legatus Magazine.
Dr. Martino served as Professor of Mathematics and Engineering at the University of Waterloo and at New York University. His graduate and senior undergraduate lectures included such topics as Artificial Intelligence, Information Systems, Economics, and Financial Modeling Systems. He continues to lecture throughout the World.
Dr. Martino has been knighted five times. Most significant is his Papal Knighthood in the Order of St. Gregory the Great awarded by Pope John Paul II in 1991. Dr. Martino has served on various Public Service, Charitable, and Church Organizations. He served a Vice-Chair of the Board of the Gregorian University Consortium Foundation from 1982-1998. He served as a member of the Board of St. Joseph's University from 1989-1998; as a member of the Board of the Vatican Observatory from 1993-1998; and was Founding Chairman and served from 1985-1989 with the MBF Foundation dedicated to applying computer technology for those with severe physical and/or mental handicaps. Dr. Martino has also served on various Corporate Boards over the past fifty years.
Dr. Martino has been a guest speaker at many functions in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Europe and Asia. He has taken part in scores of radio and video broadcasts speaking on Foreign Affairs, Information Technology, Innovation, and National Security.
Dr. Martino is the author of thirty published books as well as scores of papers, and numerous corporate monographs. He is listed in various biographical anthologies.
Currently, Dr. Martino serves on the Advisory Board of UTIAS. A visionary leader and philanthropist, Dr. Martino continues to create, dream and imagine possibilities through his writing and philanthropy. He not only predicts the future but creates it.
The occasion for this profile is that Dr. Martino is being honoured on November 12, 2017, by U of T's Engineering School. He is being entered into the Hall of Distinction, an assembly of extraordinary alumni selected for membership by their peers for their lifelong accomplishments. The careers of these distinguished leaders have defined what is most exemplary in the Engineering Profession.
To conclude, with a DEL connection, Dr. Martino told us that he has "the fondest memories of De La Salle. They were the happiest days of my life." This is indeed a happy conclusion and a needed inspirational story.
John Hunt, Alumni Affairs and Giving Office, De La Salle College "Oaklands", Toronto