Dundee
26 South Tay Street, DD1 1PD

Mary Ann Baxter

Mary Ann Baxter was the co-founder of University College, Dundee, the forerunner of the University of Dundee and also, with her brother, Sir David Baxter (1793-1872) of the Technical Institute of Dundee which opened in 1888 and led to the founding of Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design.

The Deed of endowment and trust in the University archives, signed in 1881 when Mary Ann Baxter would have been 80 years old, lists the donation of £120,000 for the creation of an institution of higher education in Dundee from Miss Mary Ann Baxter of Balgavies assisted by her relative, Dr John Boyd Baxter, Esq., LL.D., an alumnus of St Andrews and Procurator Fiscal of Forfarshire who contributed nearly £20,000.

The deed stated that the college should promote "the education of persons of both sexes and the study of Science, Literature and the Fine Arts". Mary Ann Baxter's insistence on the education of women meant that the college's alumni include the social reformer Mary Lily Walker and Scotland's first female professor, Margaret Fairlie.

As a philanthropist, together with her sister Eleanor and her brother Sir David, Mary Ann Baxter also founded Baxter Park in 1861, buying 36 acres of "pleasure ground" and commissioning designer Sir Joseph Paxton to design a park so that "the labouring population of Dundee might breathe freely".