Founded by Amir Kabir, then the royal vizier to Nasereddin Shah, the Shah of Iran, Dar al-Funun originally was conceived as a polytechnic to train upper-class Persian youth in Medicine, Engineering, Military Science, and Geology. It was similar in scope and purpose to American land grant colleges like Purdue and Texas A&M. Like them, it developed and expanded its mission over the next hundred years, eventually becoming the University of Tehran.
The institute was planned by the Iranian educated Mirza Reza Mohandes, and built by the architect Muhammad Taqi-khan Memar-Bashi under the supervision of the Qajari prince Bahram Mirza. Facilities such as an assembly hall, a theater, library, cafeteria, and a publishing house were built for the institute.
Many parts of the institute were later on absorbed and merged into the newly establishing Tehran University. The Faculty of Medicine for example, was particularly the successor to the Dar ul-Funun Department of Medicine, established in 1851, which had become the School of Medicine (Madreseh-ye tebb) in 1919.
The elite school was training 287 students by 1889, and had graduated 1100 students by 1891. During this time, the faculty consisted of 16 European, and 26 Iranian professors.
- Mirzā Mehdi Khān Shaqāqi (Momtahen-od-Dowleh) (1808-1882), architect
- Ali-Qoli Khān Hedāyat (Mokhber-od-Dowleh) (1829-1897), politician
- Mohammad-Hassan Khān (Sanee-od-Dowleh) (1843-1896), politician
- Mírzá Abu'l-Faḍl-i-Gulpáygání (1844-1914), Baha'i scholar
- Abdolmajid Mirza (Eyn-od-Dowleh) (1845-1927), prime minister
- Mirza Ali-Akbar Khān (Nazem-ol-Atebba) (1847-1924), physician
- Mohammad Khān Ghaffari (Kamal-ol-Molk) (1847-1940), painter
- Morteza-Qoli Khān Hedāyat (Sanee-od-Dowleh) (1856-1911), politician
- Mahmoud Khān Alamir (Ehtesham-os-Saltaneh) (1862-?), politician and diplomat
- Ebrahim Hakimi (1863-1959), prime minister
- Mohammad Mirza (Kashef-os-Saltaneh) (1865-1929), diplomat and enterpreneur
- Ali-Akbar Dāvar (1867-1937), minister of Justice
- Gholam-Hossein Darvish (1872-1926), musician
- Jahangir-Khan Sur-e-Esrafil (1874-1908), journalist and political activist
- Soleiman Mirza Eskandari (1876-1944), political activist
- Mohammad-Ali Foroughi (Zoka-ol-Molk) (1877-1942), prime minister and scholar
- Ali-Akbar Dehkhodā (1879-1956), politician, author and linguist
- Gholam-Hossein Rahnama (1880-1946), scholar and mathematician
- Hossein Khan Motamed (1893-1955), surgeon
- Issa Seddiq (1894-1978), scholar
- Hossein Gol-e-Golab (1895-1985), musician
- Ali-Akbar Siassi (1895-1990), scholar
- Abbas Eqbal Ashtiani (1896-1955), scholar
- Ghassem Ghani (1898-1952), scholar and politician
- Haj Ali Razmara (1901-1951), Imperial Iranian Army (IIA) general and prime minister
- Sadeq Hedayat (1903-1951), novelist
- Mojtaba Minovi (1903-1976), scholar and historian
- Ali Amini (1905-1992), prime minister (1961-62)
- Mohsen Hashtroodi (1908-1976), scholar and mathematician
- Mohammad Gharib (1909-1975), physician
- Manouchehr Eghbal (1909-1977), prime minister (1957-60)
- Mohammad Moin (1914-1971), scholar and linguist
- Fereydun Adamiyat (1920-2008), historian and diplomat
- Jalal Al-e Ahmad (1923-1969), author and political critic
- Fereydoon Moshiri (1926-2000), poet
- Ehsan Naraghi (1926-2012), sociologist and writer
- Mostafa Chamran (1932-1981), minister of National Defence
- Faramarz Payvar (1933-2009), musician
- Dariush Ashoori (1938- ), author and translator
- Bahram Bayzai (1938- ), film director
- Ahmadreza Ahmadi (1940- ), poet and screen writer
- Mohammad-Ali Sepanlou (1940- ), poet
- Mohammad-Hossein Adeli (1953- ), politician and economist
References and notes
- توانا بود هر که دانا بود - ز دانش دل پیر برنا بود - Ta'vānā Bo'vad Har'ke Dānā Bo'vad - Ze Dānesh De'le Pír Bor'nā Bo'vad. In verse form the couplet may be translated as: Capable is he who is wise - Happiness from wisdom will arise.
- For an illustrated report on Dar ol-Fonoun see: Hamid-Reza Hosseini, Dar ol-Fonoun in want of love ("Dar ol-Fonoun dar hasrat-e eshgh"), in Persian, Jadid Online, September 22, 2008, . The pertinent photographs (15 in total) can be viewed here: .
- Encyclopædia Iranica: http://www.iranica.com/newsite/articles/v9f2/v9f224.html#v
- See Mohammad Mirzā Kāshef-os-Saltaneh in Persian Wikipedia.
- Higher education in Iran
- Alborz highschool
- Academy of Gundishapur
- List of universities in Iran
- List of Iranian scientists from the pre-modern era.
- Modern Iranian scientists and engineers
- List of Iranian Research Centers
- School of Nisibis
- Media related to Dar ul-Funun at Wikimedia Commons
- Dar al-Funun in jazirehdanesh
- Encyclopedia Iranica: Darolfonun, p.662-668