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Theosophical World University, The

The suggestion that a Theosophical University be established was put forward by Annie BESANT, then International President, in 1925 and the same year, in October, a constitution was drawn up. The stated objective was to coordinate various existing theosophical educational activities. At this time there were a number of theosophical schools and research centers in England, India and elsewhere. The objectives were: “To train the coming generations in the World Wisdom which we call Theosophy; to explore fresh avenues of truth; to establish a world unity of thought and consciousness.”

The principal officers appointed in 1925 were:

Rector: Annie Besant.

Vice-Rector and Principal: George S. Arundale.

Directors of Studies: Charles W. Leadbeater; James I. Wedgewood.

Registrar: Harold Baillie-Weaver.

Assistant Registrar: Iwan Alex Hawliczek

The first constitution was based on conventional university systems and provided for control by a Senate and Convocation; division into faculties; the conferring of degrees; the posts of Professor, Assistant Professor, Reader and Lecturer. As a first practical step, correspondence courses of study were offered and students’ courses of lessons arranged.

The scheme was over-ambitious and at a meeting of the Council held March 6, 1934, it was decided to hand over the day to day activities of the T.W.U. to the various research centers then existing while maintaining the council as a coordinating body. The advent of World War II caused an interruption of all activities, but in 1947, under the direction of the then President of the Theosophical Society (TS), Curuppumullage Jinarajadasa, an International Council of the T.W.U. was established, the first members being: E. L. Gardner, Chairman; V. Walter Slater, Deputy Chairman; Elizabeth W. Preston, Secretary; and A. B. Crow, Treasurer; along with five Council members.

Whilst the T.W.U. never functioned as a University it did act as a coordinating body for much serious theosophical research.


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