Juliann MacKinnon Calder (also known as Sheila Calder to close friends), was born in Glasgow in 1914. She graduated in 1936 with a BSc (Hons) Chemistry from the University of Glasgow. She then attended Jordanhill College of Education where she was awarded a double qualification in primary and secondary teaching. Following qualification she taught in primary schools in Kinross and Glasgow.
In January 1940 she was appointed to the Glasgow and West of Scotland College of Domestic Science where she taught Inorganic Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, Physiology and Hygiene. Drawing on her specialism in organic chemistry, she developed studies in textiles and synthetic materials. Whilst working full time she studied for a Master in Education, which she was awarded in 1948 from the University of Glasgow.
When Isobel Gibson, the Principal of the Glasgow and West of Scotland College of Domestic Science retired at the end of 1962, Juliann Calder was appointed her successor. Her strength of leadership guided the College through an important period of academic development. A new extension to the College to cater primarily for the sciences, was formally opened in September 1975. The new building was named the Calder Wing in honour of her work.
In 1975, under Juliann Calder’s administration, the College not only celebrated its centenary, but also received a royal accolade, changing its name to The Queen’s College, Glasgow. In that same year, Juliann Calder donated £200 to provide an annual prize in chemistry, which she asked to be named the Mary Andross prize in recognition of the contribution her former Head of Science had made to the College. Students were able to enrol on the first College degree course in Dietetics in September 1976 and one of her successors, Dr John Philips, said that “in many ways she brought the College forward 20 years academically.”
She was a Fellow of the Chemical Society; the Educational Institute of Scotland; and the Association of Home Economists. She was a past president of the Scottish Branch of the Association of Women Science Teachers and a member of several professional bodies, including the Society of Chemical Industry; the Catering and Institutional Management Association; the Association of Home Economists; and the Council of the National Committee for Education in Home Economics. She also served on several committees, notably being a member of the steering committee which set up organisation for the Scottish Certificate of Education Examination Board.
Juliann Calder retired as Principal on 31st August, 1976. She died in Glasgow on 28 December 2008 at the age of 94 years.