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David Murray

David Murray was born in Bovina, New York on October 15, 1830. He graduated from Union College in 1852. After serving as the principal of The Albany Academy in New York from 1857 to 1863, Murray became a professor of mathematics, natural philosophy, and astronomy at Rutgers College from 1863 to 1873. With George Cook, he helped develop a full science curriculum at Rutgers and lobbied for Rutgers to become the state’s land grant college. Murray was also responsible for Rutgers’ first astronomical observatory. 

In 1872, a Japanese embassy was sent to study foreign nations, especially the system of a national education system. They sent out letters to many prominent institutions throughout America for advice and Dr. Campbell, the President of Rutgers College, turned it over to Professor Murray. Murray, intrigued with the Japanese, replied back and interviewed to work for the Japanese. 

In 1873, Murray left Rutgers to be an education advisor for the Japanese government. He was the Superintendent of Educational Affairs in the Imperial Ministry of Education from 1873 to 1879. As Superintendent, he created a universal education system where even the lower class would get a proper education. He also enlarged the scope of the university which was started under Dr. Verbeck. 

Murray was an integral part of the modernization of Japan. Without Murray, the Japanese education system would not have advanced as quickly as it has or become as successful as it currently is. 



Chamberlain, William Isaac. In Memoriam, David Murray, PH. D., LL. D., Superintendent of Educational Affairs in the Empire of Japan, and Adviser to the Japanese Imperial Minister of Education, 1873-1879. Chamberlain, W. I. (William Isaac), b. 1862, Ed : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming.” Internet Archive, New York, Priv. Print., 1 Jan. 1970,