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Melvin, Dorothy Humphreys | 1881-1963 | OBE JP, Principal of the Glasgow and West of Scotland College of Domestic Science

  • P0068
  • Person
  • 1881-1963

Dorothy Humphreys Melvin was born in Glasgow in 1881. She trained at the Glasgow School of Cookery and was a member of its staff at the time of its amalgamation with The West End School of Cookery. On the 25th of July 1909 she tendered her resignation to take up a position at the National Society’s Training College, West Hampstead, London. She returned to Glasgow a year later and on the 25th of October 1910 took up the post of Superintendent and Office Secretary of the Glasgow and West of Scotland College of Domestic Science. This title was changed to Principal in April 1919.

Her job as Principal was mainly one of organisation. Initially there were about 6 subjects taught at the College, however by the end of Miss Melvin’s career this had increased to around 16 subjects.

Her role was central to the development and realisation of the new College premises at Park Drive, Glasgow, overseeing all areas of the planning, building and premises move.

Her work through two wars, showed not only that she was willing to support her country through the discipline of the College (especially in the areas of poor food supplies and economical cooking), but also that she managed to maintain the educational value of the College. She went on to offer training to the female casualties of the war years and the College trained many women for employment through difficult periods. She made the College an Institution that was aware of the needs of the community of Glasgow and the wider area of the West of Scotland.

Her educational and professional development again was exceptional. She was a member of the leading bodies in Domestic Science and she represented her subject with much public speaking and writing and was not afraid to fight for her beliefs. For her work in the College and for the general teaching of domestic subjects and the education of women in Glasgow and the West of Scotland, Dorothy Melvin was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in the Coronation honours list of 1937. She was also a Justice of the Peace.

The Melvin Prize for Children’s Teaching was started in Session 1944/45. It was a prize for the Diploma student with the best children’s teaching mark. Prior to this there was a Dorothy H Melvin Scholarship. This was established under the will of Miss May J F Tolmie and the terms stated a scholarship of £30 was to be given to a student selected by the Governors and Miss Melvin. This continued into Queen’s College when the scholarship was awarded to a graduate of the College for post-diploma study which was approved by the Principal and the Governors.

Dorothy Melvin retired in December 1946 but maintained links with the College, often attending on Diploma Days. She died on the 26th of December 1963, in her home at “Oakdene”, 15 Sherbrooke Avenue, Pollokshields, Glasgow. Her death was reported in the Glasgow and Edinburgh press, in related journals of the day, and tribute was given to this great pioneer of women’s education and domestic science.

Gibson, Isobel Scott | 1897-1993 |OBE JP, Principal of the Glasgow and West of Scotland College of Domestic Science

  • P0069
  • Person
  • 1897-1993

Isobel Scott Gibson was born in Glasgow in 1897, the daughter of George A Gibson, Professor of Mathematics at the University of Glasgow. Her father was involved with the Glasgow and West of Scotland College of Domestic Science as a Governor from session 1911/12 until his resignation in December 1925. He was also involved with the Board at Park School in Glasgow, joining in May 1915 and rising to Chairman of the Board of this prestigious girl's school in August 1917. Isobel Gibson also went on to become a member of the Board at Park School and a Director of the School Company.

Isobel Gibson was educated at the Park School, Glasgow, and then studied for a teaching diploma at the Glasgow and West of Scotland College of Domestic Science. In 1917 she left the College to work in the kitchens of the Erskine Hospital for limbless soldiers. She returned to the College 2 years later to complete her teacher training. In 1920 she took a one year course at the King's College of Household and Social Science in London. She returned to Glasgow in 1921 to teach at Park School. In 1927, at the age of 30 years, she entered the University of Glasgow to study for a BSc in Applied Science, specialising in chemistry and physiology.

After graduating in 1930, Isobel Gibson went to work in Edinburgh as a Superintendent of Domestic Subjects with the Education Authority. Promotion followed in 1937 to the general staff of the Scottish Education Department's Inspectorate and in 1944 she was again promoted to the rank of His Majesty's Inspectorate. In January 1947 she took up her new position of Principal at the Glasgow and West of Scotland College of Domestic Science. In June 1951 she was awarded an OBE in recognition of her work.

During her career she helped the College recover from the war and struggle through the period of scarcity and rationing. She encouraged the academic developments of the College and put much work into the establishment of a proper library at Park Drive. She also played an important role within the International Federation of Home Economics, being elected as its president in 1959. She was also a president of the Glasgow branch of the British Federation of University Women. She instigated the new student residences at Dorchester Avenue that were formally opened by the Queen in 1968. The residences were named Gibson Hall in recognition of her vital role.

After her retirement at the end of 1962, Isobel Gibson moved to Edinburgh to live. In May 1993, she died in a nursing home, aged 96 years.

Calder, Juliann MacKinnon |1914-2008 | Principal of the Glasgow and West of Scotland College of Domestic Science

  • P0070
  • Person
  • 1914-2008

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.

Richardson, Geoffrey Alan | b 1936 | Principal of The Queen's College, Glasgow

  • P0071
  • Person
  • b 1936

Geoffrey Alan Richardson was born in Lancashire on 27 July 1936. He graduated with an MA (Hons) in Geography from Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge in 1958. He went on to gain his teaching certificate from Exeter University in 1959, before beginning his career as a geography teacher.

He taught in primary and secondary schools in England and Australia, where he and his wife lived for 3 years. On their return to England he became a senior tutor in Ilkley College of Education, Yorkshire and his career interests developed into education management. He was awarded a diploma in Education Management from Sheffield Polytechnic in 1973. His role at the College included teaching students of environmental studies, home economics, professional studies and teaching practice as well as having overall responsibility for student welfare in the College and for a hall of residence. He was involved in education management developments at the College and began research on a part-time basis at the University of Manchester towards a masters degree in Education. He also wrote several geography textbooks at this time. He was a man of wide interests, he fished, ran 3 miles every morning and had been principal clarinettist in the Cambridge University Orchestra, continuing to play in several music societies.

Geoffrey Richardson took up the position as Principal of the newly named The Queen’s College, Glasgow, on 1 September 1976. He was the first male to take on the role at the College which had been led by women for over a century. He led the College through difficult times, upgrading the academic standards and modernising its organisational structure. He achieved this through a College Development Programme from 1977 to 1986, involving all staff in the process of change. During his time as Principal the College also expanded its syllabus and premises, including the provision of Social Work courses from 1976, the transfer of the physiotherapy schools from Greater Glasgow Health Board to the College in 1977, and the schools of the other allied health professions between 1984 and 1990. The College also achieved CNAA (Council for National Academic Awards) accreditation for its degrees and underwent an HMI (Her Majesty’s Inspectorate) inspection in May 1985. During this time Geoffrey Richardson studied towards a Doctorate in Education which he awarded by the University of Glasgow in 1980.

He resigned from the College, leaving in January 1991 to take up the position of Director of Roffey Park Management College in Sussex.

Phillips, John Clifford | b 1943 | Principal of The Queen's College, Glasgow

  • P0072
  • Person
  • b 1943

John Clifford Phillips was born in Dyfed, Wales, on 29 January 1943. He attended Llandeilo Grammar School before studying Mathematics at Aberystwyth University and graduating with a BSc in 1964.

He started his career as an engineering mathematician, later becoming a specialist in systems development. After graduating he carried out research at the Mathematics Department of the University of Glasgow. During this period he met his wife, Anne Margaret and they were married in 1967. That same year he took up a position as lecturer at Lancashire Polytechnic. After 2 years he moved to Leeds Polytechnic where he remained until 1990. Initially employed as lecturer he had a series of promotions, eventually becoming Head of the School of Mathematics and Computing in 1986 and then Dean for the Faculty of Engineering and Computing in 1987. His final post at the Polytechnic, between 1988 and 1990, was as Senior, Executive, External Development. He was responsible for the Polytechnic’s external income generation work and undertook consultancy work in Brunei, Guyana, Tanzania, Hong Kong and China, mainly in training needs analysis and institutional management. After leaving Leeds Polytechnic he worked as a freelance consultant before taking on the role of Principal of The Queen’s College, Glasgow, in February 1991.

His management experience equipped him to lead the College through a difficult period of uncertainty culminating in merger with Glasgow Polytechnic in 1993 to become Glasgow Caledonian University. John Phillips was appointed Vice-Principal of the new University.

Glaister, Isabella Scott Scoular |1879-1954 | Principal of the Glasgow and West of Scotland College of Domestic Science

  • P0073
  • Person
  • 1879-1954

Isabella Scott Glaister (known as Ella) was born in Glasgow in 1879. She was the eldest daughter of Professor John Glaister, Regius Professor of Forensic Medicine and Public Health at the University of Glasgow.
She took up the post of Superintendent and Office Secretary (later changed to Principal) of the Glasgow and West of Scotland College of Domestic Science in March 1908. The College had just been formed from the amalgamation of the Glasgow School of Cookery and West End School of Cookery. Ella Glaister had the difficult task of managing the merger at staff level and had to oversee the four College sites dispersed across Glasgow. During her time at the College she founded the “Glasgow Cookery Book”, originally a text book on cookery which was updated over the years by staff and eventually went into public circulation. The first edition was printed in 1910. She also attended meetings of the National Union for the Technical Education of Women in Domestic Subjects and of the Association of Superintendents of Recognised Training Schools in Domestic Subjects.
Ella Glaister resigned on 9 Sep 1910 to take up the post of Scotch Education Department Inspectress of Domestic Subjects. On 24 June 1919 in Melbourne, she married Professor Harold A Woodruff and her wedding cake was presented by the College. He was a professor of veterinary pathology and director of the veterinary institute at the University of Melbourne, a widower with two small sons. In Australia she continued her pioneering work in the field of domestic science education. She was a founder of the Australian Invergowrie Homecraft Hostel and was its chief examiner from 1928 to 1949. She was also a founder and councillor of the Emily McPherson College of Domestic Economy.
She died in Melbourne on 3 March 1954.