Benjamin Rand was born in Canning, Nova Scotia in 1856. He graduated from Acadia University with a B.A. in 1875 and an M.A. in 1879 and from Harvard University with a Ph.D. in 1885. He subsequently embarked on a career at Harvard that included stints as Assistant in Philosophy from 1892-1897, Instructor from 1897-1902, and finally Philosophical Librarian from 1906 until his retirement in 1933.
He was named after his father's brother, who died at the age of 24 in a famous tragedy in 1852. That Benjamin Rand was one of four Acadia College students drowned in the Minas Basin while sailing home to Wolfville from a geological expedition at Cape Blomidon, along with the College's only Professor, a visiting Baptist minister, and a boatman.
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