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GLIMPSES OF THE UNIVERSITY AT WORK FROM 1907 UNTIL THE FIRST WORLD WAR (ll)1 SIR RoBERT FALCONER JT was high summer, just after Convocation, when first I walked across the lawn and passed through the magnificent front doorway of University College, then called the Main Building, 1nto the President's office. Few persons were to be seen on the grounds, which in all their beauty deeply impressed me as a most proper setting for a great University. Soon Principal Hutton appeared. He had acted as President for the past year, and had given tone to University College as Head of Classics, and latterly as Principal, for nearly a generation. Distant by nature and never familiar with many, he was admired by all for his distinguished mind and implicitly trusted for his integrity. He consented to act as President on the understanding that another should be chosen for the permanent posttwn. Dr Loudon, whom he followed, had been faced for years with a very difficult task. The income of the University was quite insufficient to keep a rapidly growing institution , at a time of universal advance in science and learning, abreast of the rising needs which as a scholar and a physicist he knew only too well; but the government was unfriendly, and there were bitter personal antagonisms both within and without the University, while he was unable to appear at his best in public speech. When from time to time I dropped in to chat with him, I found a quiet, cultivated gentleman, agreeable and not prone to rehearse his past grievances. Shortly, Dr Ramsay Wright, Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Vice-president of the University, came across from the Biological Building. He had :filled the chair of Biology for :fifty years, and was probably the most brilliant lecturer in the University, notwithstanding a naturalized, foible of precise, anglified pronunciation. He was one of the most eminent exponents on the continent of the new method of teaching the natural sciences, and not a few of his students became well-known leaders in biology in the western world. He was an excellent administrator and was clear and sane in guiding committees. Doubtless he was disappointed in not having been asked to become President, but he never showed it to me and helped me in every way. We became 1The first article appeared in the issue of January, 1942 (EDITORs' NoTE). 389 390 THE UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO QUARTERLY close friends, both being sons of the manse and graduates of Edi;flburgh , and, after his retirement to England in 1912 to my personal toss, he and his wife corresponded with us until the death of each. The Faculty of Medicine, already -well into its new era of expansion , was effectively directed by Dean Richard A. Reeve, a loyal, generous and modest gentleman whose retirement from the deanship two years later was universally regretted. A successor was found in Dr C. K. Clarke, wise and kindly, the most eminent alienist in the Dominion, interested in music and bird-life, and concerned above all things in relieving human troubles. When he became Superintendent of the Toronto. General Hospital, he was held responsible, of course, for happenings that were beyond his control in a little world of sick folk and doctors, but it was sometimes said that over-critical trustees became uneasy u·nder his imperturbable gaze lest he was rating them in the scale of mental patients. His freedom from self-seeking gave him unusual in.fh~ence with the staff, anq few could handle students as well as he. Dr John Galbraith, the deeply loved and shrewd '(Johnny," was Dean of the "Old School," the Faculty of Applied Science. When word of his death reached me in Trondhjem, Norway, at the outbreak of the first World War, I was conscious of an overflowing wave in a rising sea of troubles; but his place was taken for the duration of the war by his colleague and friend Dr W. H. Ellis, who had been on the point of retirement; a first-class scientist, steeped in humanism , he was a genial though reticent soul. Two new Faculties had just been created, Forestry and...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1712-5278
Print ISSN
0042-0247
Pages
pp. 389-402
Launched on MUSE
2015-07-01
Open Access
No
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