Margaret Isgoughie Balabanian

Biography of Margaret Isgoughie Balabanian

Margaret Isgouhie Balabanian was born in Glasgow on 31 Dec 1900, the daughter of Hevork Balabanian, a photographer. She attended Whitehill Secondary School, Glasgow.

She enrolled in the University of Glasgow as an Arts student in 1918. In her first year she studied Latin with Professor John S Phillimore and received a certificate of distinction. In her second year she took French Language and Literature with Professor Charles Martin at Queen Margaret’s College and was top of the class receiving a first class certificate. She also took Roman History and Antiquities with Dr S N Miller receiving a certificate of distinction in history and unseen translation. She wrote an essay for the first semester of the class on “The question of the identity of the Pudens and Claudia of Martial with the Pudens and Claudia of Paul” and for the second on “The opposition to the Principate under the Julio-Claudian line”.

In her third year she took Higher French and received the intermediate class second prize. She took English Literature with Professor W Macneile Dixon and John D Smart and received a first class certificate. She took Junior Honours Latin and attended lectures on Latin prose composition, Virgil, and Cicero. She wrote an essay on “The nature and value of originality in a poem, with reference to the Aeneid”.

She took a year out after her third year but returned to study for a fourth year in 1922-23. She took Latin with honours taking lectures with Mr Nisbet on the History of Latin Literature and Latin prose. She took Senior French Honours class and won the fourth prize awarded by the Franco-Scottish Society. She wrote two essays one titled “Discuter la thèse soutenue par Diderot dans le Paradoxe sur le comédien: que l’acteur ne doit pas avoir de sensibilité” and the other “Les Idées pédagogiques de Jean-Jacques Rousseau. Son système” for Monseur Pitoy. She also took Geology with Professor John W Gregory in the winter and received a second class certificate.

She studied a fifth year taking the Latin Honours class and received a Certificate of Distinction “For general excellence in all the work of the Class”. She took lectures on Statius, Silvae, 11, History of Latin Literature and Proses. She also took French and received the “Prix des Veterans” oferred by the Franco-Scottish Society. She graduated with a first class MA honours degree in Latin and French 22 November 1924.

After she graduated she became a teacher and lived 138 Norfolk Street, Glasgow. She was part of a Latin Reading Circle held at the University with James Paterson of the Greek Department c 1926. She also worked as an external corrector for the French Department c 1928. She later moved to 24 Riverside Road, Glasgow. She donated her papers to the University Archive in 1977.

She died 22 December 1988 in Glasgow. She bequeathed to the University of Glasgow the sum of £750 for an annual prize in French to be known as the Maragaret I Balabanian Prize. It was open to students at the end of their second year, who intended to proceed to Joint Honours in French and another modern language.


Margaret Isgoughie Balabanian
Born 31 December 1900.
Died 22 December 1988.
University Link: Benefactor, Graduate, Student
GU Degree: MA, 1924; Arts, 1918-24;
Occupation categories: teacher
Record last updated: 14th Aug 2018

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  • Benefactor
  • Graduate
  • Student

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