Sir William Copland (1838-1907), Chairman of Glasgow and West of Scotland Technical College, photographed c 1900.
A native of Stirling, Copland was educated at both Anderson's University and the University of Glasgow. After working as an engineer with the Edinburgh & Glasgow Railway, he served as Burgh Engineer in Paisley from 1862 to 1866. He then founded the successful engineering firm of Copland & Foulis in Port Dundas. As Deacon Convener of the Trades House, he sat on the Town Council from 1891 to 1893.
In 1896 Copland was appointed Chairman of the Board of Governors of Glasgow and West of Scotland Technical College. The College's reputation and student numbers had grown since its formation in 1887, but there was criticism of its inadequate premises and facilities. A decision was taken to build a large new building, later to become the Royal College Building, at the corner of George Street and Montrose Street.
As Chairman, Copland played a leading role in intensive fundraising activities to meet the cost. Philanthropists, public bodies, corporate donors and former students were successfully pursued, and by 1906 £230,000 had been raised. Copland presided over the ceremony when King Edward VII laid the memorial stone in 1903.
Reproduced with the permission of Strathclyde University Archives
colleges, Copland & Foulis, councillors, Deacon Conveners, Edinburgh & Glasgow Railway, engineering, engineers, foundation stones, fundraising, Glasgow and West of Scotland Technical College, memorial stones, Royal College Building, Trades House