Theodore Harding Rand (8 February 1835 – 29 May 1900) was a Canadian educator and poet. Rand was born in Cornwallis, Nova Scotia in 1835. A Baptist, Rand attended Acadia College in Wolfville, Nova Scotia, which had been founded by the Baptist community in 1838. Rand graduated from Acadia College in 1860.
Upon graduation, Rand became Professor of Classics at the Provincial Normal School in Truro, Nova Scotia. Working at a normal school (which was charged with training future teachers), Rand soon developed an interest in education policy. He became interested in the common school movement and traveled to Great Britain and the United States to study the common school phenomenon. He began to advocate common schools for Nova Scotia, and produced writings and lectures on the topic.
Rand's advocacy proved successful in 1864 when the government of Nova Scotia, led by Conservative Premier Charles Tupper passed legislation creating a common school system for Nova Scotia. Tupper appointed Rand as Nova Scotia's first Superintendent of Education, and in this capacity, Rand oversaw the creation of Nova Scotia's public education system.
In 1871, the Province of New Brunswick, under the leadership of Liberal-Conservative Premier George E. King, passed the Common Schools Act which created a series of common schools in New Brunswick. Upon King's invitation, Rand became New Brunswick's first Superintendent of Education and oversaw the creation of public education in New Brunswick. Rand continued his own education during this time, receiving his D.C.L. from Acadia College in 1874.
Rand left the world of public education in 1883 when he became Professor of History and Didactics at Acadia College. In 1885, he moved to Toronto to take a position at the Toronto Baptist College (created in 1881 through funding provided by William McMaster). In 1886, he moved to Woodstock, Ontario to become college president of the Baptist Woodstock College. In 1890, the Baptist Convention of Ontario and Quebec voted to merge Toronto Baptist College and Woodstock College - the merged university was named McMaster University in honour of William McMaster's financial support. Rand served as chancellor of McMaster University from 1892 to 1895.
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