Thursday, June 25, 2009

KTWV 10 Issue 14: Passing of Dr. Anil Wilson

News has just reached me of the passing away of our past Principal, Dr. Anil Wilson, today in Delhi.

Dr. Wilson (1947-2009) was an educationist who served as the Principal of St. Stephen's College, Delhi from 1991 to 2007.

His schooling was from the Irish Brothers at the St. Edward’s School, Simla. He graduated in Science with additional English from the Punjab University. His post-grad degree in English Literature was from the Centre for Post Graduate Studies at Simla. He was selected by the Public Service Commission to work in the lecturer cadre in Colleges in Himachal Pradesh. He obtained the M.Phil and the Ph.D degrees.

In January 1991 he was selected to head St. Stephen's College, Delhi. Dr. Wilson was the eleventh Principal of the prestigious institute and the first to have been appointed without prior teaching experience at the college. Throughout his tenure as Principal, however, he continued to serve as a lecturer in English to all three years of the undergraduate honours programme. In 1996 he was appointed Pro Vice Chancellor of the Himachal Pradesh University where he also officiated as the Vice Chancellor, but before he could complete his term there he was recalled by St. Stephen's College.

He was Principal till 2007. He received the Beresford Hope Award which he received in 1984 from the St. Augustine’s Foundation, England; the Soka University Award of Highest Honour bestowed on him in 1992 at a special investiture ceremony held in Tokyo, Japan; the Indira Gandhi Priyadarshini Award for outstanding achievements and contribution to education in 1999; the Distinguished Educationist Award in 2001.

He was a member of number of national boards and committees. He was nominated by the President of India to the Executive Committee of the North Eastern Hill University in Shillong and was the nominee of the Governor of Jharkhand on the Executive Council of the Birla Institute of Technology, Mesra, Ranchi. He has served on the Executive Council of the University of Delhi.

Dr Wilson was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in October 2008 and was undergoing therapy. In a highly courageous step, he had decided to donate his living body for further medical research on the disease. He passed away today, 25th June, 2009.

The funeral service is today at 5pm IST, at St. James Church, Kashmere Gate. Burial thereafter at Nicholsan Cemetary.

Before Dr. Wilson started blogging, he was a faithful reader of the Kooler Talk Web Page which became this blog. If you go trough the archives you will find communications from him when he was launching the official college web site.

Dr. Wilson's son, Amit, and I were in close contact for several years, but he then vanished from the scene. His daughter, Aparna and wife, Rita, have been in the news after the pancreatic cancer was diagonosed.

I convey my deepest condolences to the family of a man who served in one of the most prestigious positions in India, educating some of the best brains of our country.

May Dr.Wilson now rest in peace.


John Dayal said...

We have indeed lost a brave friend, a good Christian, and a great teacher
God bless his soul
and give peace to Rita and the family

Abhinav Dasgupta said...

Dr Wilson was Principal when I was in College...I shall remember him as an outstanding administrator and a great human being...Dedicating his living body to cancer research was a step worthy of the man he was...
May his soul rest in peace...

Anonymous said...

Dear Jacob,

thank you for your kind words.

Amit Wilson

Clarence McMullen said...

I had the previlege of knowing Dr. Anil Wilson for over 25 years. He was a gift of God not only to the Church in India but also to the while nation. Birlliant, but unasuming, ambitious but humble, rational but human, couragous but kind - a rare combination one finds in one person. He lived a full life and a life of service. He will continue to live in the lives he influenced and touched. He was 10 years my junior but a great friend and a role model. I join his wife and children in mourning our loss

Clarence McMullen, Canada

SB said...

My sincerest condolences to Amit, Anu, and Mrs. Wilson. As a former Stephanian, I recall Dr. Wilson as a man of great and uncompromising integrity, uncommon common sense, and incredible fairness. All of us associated with college owe him an incredible debt for his stewardship of St. Stephen's College during some extremely difficult times. Dr. Wilson stood steadfast against crooked clergy, rampaging babu's, bribing politicians, and Delhi's incomparable wheeling-dealing chattering classes. He was willing time and again to risk everything for the sake of the honor and prestige of college. Many have lamented the dearth of institution builders in India, it is my humble opinion that St. Stephen's has benefited immensely from the leadership of this individual. He was a remarkable visionary with an unforgettable sense of humor that disarmed the most trenchant of his critics. May his soul rest in peace.

Anonymous said...

Dr Wilson epitomised what St Stephens stands for, erudite scholarship and brilliant educationist!

oopsoogle said...

My condolences to Dr Wilson's family.
Urvi Sukul Singh
Alumnus 1979-82
St Stephens College