Ivan Lorin George Sutherland New Zealand

Biography of Ivan Lorin George Sutherland

Ivan Sutherland, PhD thesis 1924
Ivan Sutherland, PhD thesis 1924

Ivan Lorin George Sutherland graduated PhD from the University on 22 April 1924, making him the first international student to obtain a PhD at the University of Glasgow.

Sutherland was born in Masterton, New Zealand, the son of Robert, a machinist. He attended Victoria University College Wellington, graduating BA in Economics and Mental and Moral Philosophy in 1919, and MA in 1920. He was awarded the Jacob Joseph Scholarship with his thesis The Nature of Human Personality and Its Bearings on Some Modern Problems, and was also awarded a Post Graduate Travelling Fellowship in Arts, which offered him free passage to Europe.

The first leg of his trip brought him to the University of Glasgow in 1921 to complete a PhD within the department of Moral Philosophy, under the guidance of Sir Henry Jones. He took classes in (Hons) Moral Philosophy as well as (Hons) Political Philosophy. He remained at the University of Glasgow until September 1922 when he then transferred to continue as a research student at the University of London under Professor Hobhouse at Kings College. Ivan returned to New Zealand in December 1923, and completed his Doctoral Thesis, entitled A Critical Examination of Some Tendencies in Psychology in Relation to the Theory of Human Conduct in 1924, graduating in absentia from Glasgow University on the 22 April 1924.

Ivan was appointed lecturer in Psychology and Philosophy at Victoria University College in Wellington. It was around this time that he also became involved in researching the relationship between Maori and Pakeha, and he struck up a close bond with Sir Apiranta Ngata and the tribe Ngati Porou. In 1935 Ivan published The Maori Situation (Wellington, New Zealand: Harry H Tombs Ltd, 1935), outlining the Maori/Pakeha relations. It was in the year of 1937 that he was appointed Professor of Psychology and Philosophy at the University of Canterbury, Christchurch. In 1940, he edited The Maori People Today (London and New York: Oxford University Press, 1940).

Ivan's final piece of research, undertaken in 1951 documenting the education, housing, health and welfare of the Maori, was never concluded as he died on 11 February 1952.


Ivan Lorin George Sutherland
Born 10 May 1897.
Died 11 February 1952.
GU Degree: PhD, 1924; Arts,
University Link: Alumnus, Graduate, Researcher
English snippet: First international PhD graduate of the University of Glasgow
Record last updated: 29th Jul 2014

Country Associations

New Zealand New Zealand, Masterton
Place of Birth

New Zealand New Zealand, Christchurch
Place of Death

University Connections

University Roles

  • Alumnus
  • Graduate
  • Researcher

On This Day Entries