Person: Thom, George
George Thom was a Scot who became Rector of Dollar Institution (later to become Dollar Academy). He held this post for 24 years.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- George Thom attended the University of Aberdeen and was awarded an M.A. in 1863.
- Thom was Principal of the Doveton Protestant College until 1876 when he returned to Scotland.
- The Trustees' Minutes for 1878 indicate that the new Principal was to take charge of Mathematics and Natural Science and of the short leet of three (Thom, Aberdeen; Kinmond, Dollar; Gall, Lucknow) Thom was offered the job mainly because he had most recently taught (and was teaching) Botany.
- Thom became the first non-clerical Principal, and possible the first to be termed Rector.
- We give a few details of how the school developed during Thom's period as Principal.
- The Edinburgh Mathematical Society was founded in 1883 and Thom was one of the founder members, joining the Society at its first meeting in February of that year.
- The University of St Andrews conferred an honour on Thom during his time as President of the Edinburgh Mathematical Society.
- At a meeting of the Senatus Academicus held on Saturday 11 February 1887 it was agreed to confer the degree of Doctor of Laws on George Thom, M.A. Principal of Dollar Institution, president of the Edinburgh Mathematical Society.
- Thom left the Edinburgh Mathematical Society in 1902, the year in which he retired due to ill health.
- In the year he retired The Dollar Magazine began publication and an article about Thom appears in the first issue.
- The period of Dr Thom's Headmastership has covered a very important era in the history of Dollar Academy, and of secondary education in Scotland, namely, that following upon the action of The Endowed Schools Commission, restricting the application of school endowments to secondary education.
- This was done in the most thorough and efficient manner under the advice and supervision of Dr Thom, with the result that Dollar Academy will now bear comparison with any school of its kind in Scotland.
- It is not too much to say that the school as it stands-which is immensely in advance of what it was fifteen years ago-has been formed entirely under Dr Thom's management, and its efficiency and completeness are a standing monument to his thorough up-to-date knowledge of educational matters.
- The numbers of pupils fluctuate considerably from year to year, so that it is difficult to know exactly how we stand, but it is a coincidence worth noting, that three years ago the enrolment was exactly the same (405) as it was in the upper school in 1878 and 1879, the year Dr Thom came.
- On the closing day of last session Dr Thom was presented with a handsome piece of silver plate bearing the following inscription: "Presented to Dr Thom by his pupils, as a mark of affectionate regard.
Born 2 July 1842, Forgue near Huntly, Scotland. Died 20 December 1916, Aberdeen, Scotland.
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Adapted from other CC BY-SA 4.0 Sources:
- O’Connor, John J; Robertson, Edmund F: MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive