William Peterson (academic)
|Sir William Peterson|
29 May 1856|
|Died||4 January 1921
Hampstead Heath, England
Born in Edinburgh, the fifth son of John Peterson and Grace Mountford Anderson, Peterson graduated from the University of Edinburgh in 1875 and Corpus Christi College, Oxford in 1879. In 1882, he became the first Principal of the recently established University College, Dundee, a position he would hold until 1895. Peterson, despite being aged only 26, won this position ahead of three other candidates including John Edward Aloysious Stegall, who would go on to serve as Professor of Mathematics and Natural Philosophy at University College, Dundee. Stegall seems to have resented this for he failed to mention Peterson in the lengthy account of the College's early years which he produced fifty years later.
A Latinist and a classical scholar, Peterson, while enjoying academic argument, disliked the politics of academia, particularly the issues arrising from the complex relationship between University College and the University of St Andrews.
From 1895 to 1919, he was the Principal of McGill University in Montreal, Canada. Despite being in Canada for almost 25 years he considered himself an exile and always returned to the UK for his summer vacation. He suffered a stroke in Montreal in 1919.
Peterson was appointed a Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George (CMG) during the visit to Canada of TRH the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and York (later King George V and Queen Mary) in October 1901. In 1915, he was knighted as a Knight Commander (KCMG) of the same order.
- Baxter, Kenneth, Rolfe, Mervyn and Swinfen, David (2007). A Dundee Celebration. Dundee: University of Dundee. p. 60.
- Shafe, Michael (1982). University Education in Dundee 1881-1981: A Pictorial History. Dundee: University of Dundee. pp. 25 & 34.
- Shafe, Michael (1982). University Education in Dundee 1881-1981: A Pictorial History. Dundee: University of Dundee. p. 34.
- The London Gazette: . 11 October 1901.
- "Peterson, Sir William, 1856-1921, Knight, classical scholar and educationalist". GASHE: Gateway to Archives of Scottish Higher Education. Retrieved 2007-01-30.
- "William Peterson". Dictionary of Canadian Biography (online ed.). University of Toronto Press. 1979–2005.
None (Post created)
|Principal of University College Dundee
1882 – 1895
John Yule Mackay
Sir John William Dawson
|Principal of McGill University
1895 – 1919
Auckland Geddes, 1st Baron Geddes
- M. Fabi Quintiliani institutionis oratoriae liber decimus at Project Gutenberg
- Works by or about William Peterson in libraries (WorldCat catalog)
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