Henry Marshall Tory

Henry Marshall Tory
President of the University of Alberta
In office
Succeeded by Robert C. Wallace
President of Carleton College
In office
Succeeded by Murdoch Maxwell MacOdrum
Personal details
Born (1864-01-11)January 11, 1864
near Guysborough, Nova Scotia
Died February 6, 1947(1947-02-06) (aged 83)
Ottawa, Ontario
Alma mater McGill University

Henry Marshall Tory (January 11, 1864 February 6, 1947) was the first president of the University of Alberta (1908–1928), the first president of the Khaki University, the first president of the National Research Council (1928–1935) and the first president of Carleton College (1942–1947). His brother was James Cranswick Tory, Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia (1925–1930).


Alberta Research Council grounds in Edmonton Alberta

Awarded one of McGill's earliest doctoral degrees in science, Tory did not himself become a researcher but was the principal founder of several universities - University of British Columbia, University of Alberta and Carleton University - and of the Alberta Research Council and the National Research Council.

Early life

Born on a farm near Guysborough, in Guysborough County, Nova Scotia, he registered for Honours Mathematics and Physics in 1886 at McGill University and received an Honours B.A. with gold medal in 1890.[1] After graduating, he studied theology and received a B.D. from Wesleyan College affiliated with McGill. He spent the next two years preaching at a church. He married Annie Gertrude Frost in 1893; they had no children.


In 1893, he became a lecturer in mathematics at McGill University, and received an M.A. in Mathematics in 1896. He received a D.Sc. degree in 1903 and was promoted to associate professor of mathematics.[2] In 1906, he set up the McGill University College of British Columbia which was absorbed into the University of British Columbia in 1915. From 1908 to 1929, he was the first President of the University of Alberta.

During World War I, Tory, initially somewhat reluctantly, became a Colonel in the Canadian Forces in 1916.[2] After a tour of the front lines in France he returned to England and proceeded to set up and run what came to be known as the Khaki University, enrolling over 50,000 Canadian student soldiers by the end of the Great War.

Tory Theatre at the University of Alberta

Tory returned to Alberta in 1919, and resumed his position as President of the University of Alberta. Nearing retirement, on June 1, 1928, he accepted an appointment as the first President of the Council and Chief Executive Officer of the National Research Laboratories (which was later called the National Research Council of Canada). From 1939 to 1940, he was president of the Royal Society of Canada.

From 1942, until his death in 1947, he was the first president of Carleton College (which later became Carleton University).[2]


Tory building at the University of Alberta

The Henry Marshall Tory Building and the Tory Theatre at the University of Alberta were named in his honour, as was the Tory Building at Carleton University. The Henry Marshall Tory Medal at the University of British Columbia was established in 1941.

University Histories


  1. The New Trail, the University of Alberta’s alumni magazine, pp 188-195, October 1947
  2. 1 2 3 "Henry Marshall Tory, A Biography", originally published 1954, current edition January 1992, E.A. Corbett, Toronto: Ryerson Press, ISBN 0-88864-250-4
  3. "The University of Alberta: A Retrospect 1908-1929", William Hardy Alexander, Edmonton, University Printing Press, 1929
  4. http://www.ualberta.ca/~alumni/history/peopleh-o/69aprjohns.htm
  5. "History of the University of Alberta", Walter H. Johns, (The University of Alberta Press, 1981), ISBN 0-88864-025-0
  6. "The history of the University of Alberta, 1908-1958", John MacDonald, University of Alberta, 1958, ASIN B0007EFODW
  7. "I Was There: A Century of Alumni Stories about the University of Alberta, 1906–2006", Ellen Schoeck, Foreword Jim Edwards, (University of Alberta Press, 2006), ISBN 0-88864-464-7
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Henry Marshall Tory.
Academic offices
Preceded by
New position
President of the University of Alberta
Succeeded by
Robert C. Wallace
Preceded by
New position
President of Carleton University
Succeeded by
Murdoch Maxwell MacOdrum
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