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Howard Murray was a prominent Nova Scotia educator born in New Glasgow on 17 July 1859 to George and Mary (Patterson) Murray. He taught school in Pictou before receiving a series of appointments as principal of Stellarton High School, Guysboro County Academy, and New Glasgow High School. From 1876-1880 he studied at Dalhousie University, where he was awarded the Gilchrist Scholarship, enabling him to pursue further studies at the University of Edinburgh and University College, London. He returned from England with his BA in 1887 and taught classics at Halifax County Academy and Dalhousie. In 1891 he was appointed principal of the academy, a position he held until 1894 when he became professor of classics at Dalhousie. He was appointed dean in 1901 and in 1907 he received an honorary doctorate from the University of Toronto.
From 1906-1926 Murray served on the Nova Scotia Advisory Board of Education, including six years as chair. He was also chair of the Advisory Board of the Royal Military College of Kingston, Ontario, and between 1909-1921 he was a member of the Conservation Commission of Canada. He was twice president of the North British Society, a member of the United Church of Canada, and an elder of St. Matthew's Church. Murray died on 9 September 1930, survived by his wife Janet (Hattie) Murray.