Henry Marshall Tory was the first President of Carleton College from 1942 to 1947. The College was created by the Ottawa Association for the Advancement of Learning, a group of businessmen and civil servants who identified the need for a non-denominational, liberal arts college in Ottawa. Marshall Tory, at the age of 78, was the leading light in this enterprise. His vision, and his ability to assume multiple roles, ensured its success.
Born in 1864 near Guysboro, Nova Scotia, Tory graduated from McGill University in 1890 with Honours B.A. in Mathematics and Physics. He then completed a B.D. at the Wesleyan College affiliated with McGill and was ordained a Methodist minister. In 1893, he became a lecturer in Mathematics at McGill, where he received his M.A. in Mathematics in 1896. He received his D.Sc., became an Associate Professor of Mathematics, and married Annie Gertrude Frost of Knowlton, Quebec in 1903.
In 1905, Dr. Tory was involved in the founding of the College of British Columbia. In 1907, he was selected to become the first President of the university of Alberta, where he remained until 1928. During the First World War, Dr. Tory spent almost two years in England as the first President of the Khaki College there. A firm advocate of the value of scientific research, Tory became temporary Chairman of the Canadian Council for Scientific and Industrial Research in 1923. He was appointed the first President of this Council in 1928, when he moved to Ottawa to direct the establishment of the National Research Laboratories. He served as President of the Council until his retirement in 1935.
Dr. Tory came out of retirement in 1942 to accept the challenge of founding Carleton College. When he died on February 6, 1947, he left to his successor, Dr. Murdoch Maxwell MacOdrum, a small but promising institution, housed in its first permanent location and poised for academic expansion.