Sir Theodore Morison
|Born||9 May 1863|
|Died||14 February 1936 (aged 72)|
|Alma mater||Trinity College, Cambridge (B.A., 1885)|
Early life and education
After completing his education at the University of Cambridge, he joined the Department of Education. He was appointed as educational advisor to young rulers of Chattarpur (Bundel-Khand) and Charkhari (Hamirpur) and subsequently moved to India.
He was the principal of Muhammadan Anglo-Oriental College from 1899-1905 and member of the Council of India from 1906. He was the principal of College of Sciences at Durham University from 1919-1929. He was also the principal of Armstrong College. He was also the Vice Chancellor of Durham University from 1924-1926.
Association with Aligarh Movement
In the year of 1899, he was appointed as a Professor of English at M.A.O. College. He served as a Professor of English at the college until 1905. In 1899, he went to England for vacation and resigned from his teaching job of M.A.O. College. On 2 September 1899 Principal Theodore Beck died in Shimla and M.A.O. College offered the job of Principal to Prof. Theodore Morison which he accepted and joined on 29 October 1899. The 5-year tenure of Prof. Morison as Mohammedan Anglo-Oriental College Principal was a distinctive period for Mohammedan Anglo-Oriental College. He paid much attention to the educational upliftment of Mohammedan Anglo-Oriental College. He paid special attention to the discipline of MAO College and established Proctorial System at Mohammedan Anglo-Oriental College. Hostel life of MAO College became disciplined and peaceful. He took keen interests in discipline and hygiene of student’s community. The college discipline was in good shape during his tenure as Principal. He established Proctorial system in the college and appointed Mir Wilayat Hussain as Proctor. He enforced student’s 24-hour time table. He equally enforced discipline among his staff and never tolerated indiscipline in their teachings and schedules. His disciplined approach paid and the college results were improved and student strength started growing. In 1899 when he joined as principal, student strength were 465 but in 1903 it became 713. At the same time the performance of the students were also on the rise. From 1900 to 1904, the rate of success in B.A. examinations was between 71% and 79%. Morison paid attention to other activities of students and promoted The Siddons’ Club. To improve Arabic conversation and communication, he established "Lahjatul-Adab". He also established "Anjuman Urdu-e-Moalla" to promote writing and oratory skills among college students.
Morison also paid attention to the religious studies. He created a position of Dean of Theology. He promoted the Darse-Quran program which used to be given by Allama Shibli in the Strachey Hall and asked Nazim-e-Diniyat, Maulana Abdullah Ansari to continue. Principal Morison also paid attention towards sports. He had a keen interest in riding so paid key role to establish The MAO College Riding Club in 1893. Due to his interest in riding, he was also known as "Sipaahi Morison".
He also started an Employment Bureau to help the students to get a job. He used to keep student records with his personal remarks so that upon the request of the government he can furnish the record to help the students.
Principal Morison was also appointed as Finance Secretary of Mohammedan Anglo-Oriental College. He helped a lot to improve the financial condition of the college.
He was also elected as President of Muhammadan Educational Conference in December, 1904 at Aligarh. In 1905 he took early retirement from MAO College and moved back to England. Even then he was a part of Aligarh Movement and always took keen interest in helping MAO College and Aligarh Movement. He made several visit to MAO College from England and proved his belief of teacher taught relationship. For his contributions and key role and active participation in Aligarh Movement, MAO College board of Trustees elected him as a Visitor MAO College.
After 1920, when Mohammedan Anglo-Oriental College became Aligarh Muslim University, Morison was honored by naming one of the hostel of Aftab Hall as Morison Court hostel and a road Morison Road was named after him in the campus respectively.
The Morison medal was given to the student of MA History, standing first. It was endowed by the staff of MAO College in honour of its Principal Morison. It was Silver Medal, Gold Bordered.
Later life and death
In 1933, Morison moved to Paris to become director of the University of London Institute in Paris. He died at his flat in Paris in 1936. In 1895, he married Margaret, daughter of barrister and politician Arthur Cohen.
- . The Empire and the century. London: John Murray. 1905. pp. 696–706.
- "Sir Theodore Morison". The Times. 15 February 1936. p. 14.
- "The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. 2004. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/35108. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
- "Sir Theodore Morison (1863–1936), KCSI, KCIE, BA, DLitt, Principal, Armstrong College (1919–1929)". ArtUK.org. Retrieved 14 March 2016.
- "Theodore Morison". Retrieved 14 March 2016.
- Burke's Peerage, Baronetage and Knightage, 107th edition, vol. 3, ed. Charles Mosley, Burke's Peerage Ltd, 2003, p. 4036
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