Tuesday 5 January 2010

100 years ago...

In January 1910 students were returning to their studies at University College, Dundee following the Christmas holidays. Teaching at the College resumed on Tuesday 11th January, classes having ended for the holidays on 17th December 1909. Among the students at the college during the 1909-1910 session was Robert A. Watson Watt (pictured left), the future father of radar. This was a good session for Watt who was awarded the Carnelley Prize for Chemistry as well as the class medal for Ordinary Natural Philosophy. Another medal winner was David Rutherford Dow who was awarded the class medals for Ophthalmology, Operative Surgery, Junior Clinical Medicine, Systematic Medicine and Midwifery and Gynaecology. Dow would later become Professor of Anatomy at University College and in 1954 was appointed as the first Master of Queen's College, Dundee.

The 1909-1910 session saw 234 students at the college of whom 101 were female. The number of female students had fallen by about 10% from the previous session, which was thought to be due to the fact that new teacher training regulations made it less likely that women studying to be teachers would attend Psychology and Education classes at UCD. Despite this, there were a number of promising female academics at UCD. These included Miss Doris L Mackinnon, the assistant to D'Arcy Thompson (Professor of Natural History), who won praise from her superior for her 'excellent services' and ran the practical Natural History class with great efficiency and ability. She would later become Professor of Zoology at King's College, London.

January 1910 was a busy month for extra-circular activities. The month saw the founding of a UCD Rugby Football Club following a mass meeting held in the Classical Room of the College. The Scientific Society, which was one of the strongest societies at UCD at this time, held several meetings in January including a very successful musical evening. The Debating Society, which had only recently been reformed, held an 'impromptu concert' towards the end of the month where performers were both 'willing and able'. The Students' Representative Council meanwhile expelled two of its members during its monthly meeting since they had failed to appear at previous meetings and had 'produced no satisfactory reason for absence.'

This and more information about College life in 1910 can be found in the University College Calendars and the College Magazine in the University Archives, for more details contact archives@dundee.ac.uk or visit www.dundee.ac.uk/archives .

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