Holland College gets new sundial

Ryan Ross
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Centrepiece for new quad replica of sundial donated to Dartmouth College in New Hampshire in 1773

Michael O'Grady, left, vice president of Holland College is joined by Richard Kremer of Dartmouth College in in Hanover, New Hampshire to unveil a replica of a sundial that Samuel Holland originally donated to Dartmouth.

A bit of old technology has joined the new with the dedication of a sundial at the Prince of Wales campus at Holland College in Charlottetown Friday.

Michael O'Grady, the college's vice-president, said the school wanted an appropriate centerpiece for its new quad.

"Among the suggestions was a sundial," he said.

Samuel Holland was the surveyor general of British North America and mapped out P.E.I.

He visited Dartmouth College during its first commencement in 1771, after which he commissioned the sundial.

By chance, O'Grady said he stumbled onto a reference online to a sundial Holland College's namesake donated to Dartmouth College in New Hampshire in 1773.

O'Grady said he contacted Dartmouth's museum of art, hoping the sundial was still around.

It was.

Eventually, Holland College had a replica made and it was installed in the centre of the pathway between the new buildings at the school's Prince of Wales campus, where it sat in shadow during Friday's dedication.

As he read out the sundial's dedication, O'Grady said the college is proud of its connection to Holland.

"His dedication to progress, his willingness to embrace new technology and his enthusiasm for teaching embodies the principles that we value here at Holland College," O'Grady said.

Richard Kremer, a Dartmouth College professor, said his school's sundial used to sit on a pole outside the college president's house to greet visitors and it has since become an icon for Dartmouth.

"Every time Dartmouth celebrates its history, every time in particular it wants to talk about the scientific history of the college it brings out the dial," he said.

Included on the dial's face are the names of cities for time zones from around the world, which Kremer said connected Dartmouth College through time to those cities.

"This sundial was a global representation of the world," he said.

rross@theguardian.pe.ca

twitter.com/ryanrross

Organizations: Holland College, Dartmouth College

Geographic location: New Hampshire, Dartmouth, British North America Holland

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