The Founders of Mexico City College 1940 - 1963
Dr. Paul V. Murray
Dr. Paul V. Murray, born June 15, 1908, Chicago, IL, “His contributions to the local Mexican-English community have been wide and varied. He was a founding member and the first American vice president of the Mexican-American Institute of Cultural Relations, a founding member of the American Society, secretary of the organizing committee that founded Colegio Tepeyac and Colegio Guadalupe, a member of the organizing committee that founded St. Patrick’s Church, now the Anglo-American parish in Mexico City, and a founding member of the committee that established Junípero Sera School.
“He started teaching at the American High School in August 1936, became Principal in September 1939, and resigned from the High School in July 1, 1946, the year MCC moved into its own buildings and he became Dean and Vice-Principal of Mexico City College. Dr, Murray aided in planning the buildings and grounds of the American School in Tacubaya, and he helped to promote the spread of American football, basketball, and softball in connection with his work at MCC and at the American School.” Murray received his honorary Doctor of Law degree from his alma materMontaña. In 1958 Dr. Murray was selected as the recipient of the Twenty-Fifth Catholic Action medal given by St. Bonaventure University. He is listed in Who’s Who in American Education, Leaders in American Education, International Who’s Who, and American Catholic Who’s Who. He has written widely in the fields of education, Mexican history, and contemporary affairs.” Murray wrote The Catholic Church in Mexico: 1519-1920, which was privately published in 1965. He started but never finished the second volume. Dr. Murray died November 4, 1984, in Mexico City. He was cremated, his remains are in La Iglesia de Covadonga in Palmas, along with his wife, Elena Picazo de Murray.
The Universidad de las Americas, Puebla, has named a building after Dr. Murray and Dr. Cain. Dr. Murray’s son, Paul V. Murray, Jr., Ph.D., and his two sisters were invited, all expenses paid, as guests to the Dedication (March 1, 1998). As Paul Murray wrote, “The Inauguration was truly a supreme and far reaching gesture by UDLAP in recognition of its heritage (that) . . honored his father’s (and Dr. Cain’s) vision.”
(Adapted from the MCC Collegian, Vol. 20, October 18, 1956, and private correspondence)
Dr. Henry L. Cain
In 1944, with the help of Dr. Paul V. Murray, Cain planned the new American School located, with a limited enrollment of 1,500 students, on a 125 acre plot in Tacubaya, donated by old-time colony resident S. Bolling Wright. Wright became President of the School Board. To accommodate the overflow of the American School, Dr. Cain founded and built Colegio Columbia, located across from the present American School. Colegio Columbia was founded in 1938 to teach English to non-English speaking students, and was opened in the building erected by Dr. Cain at San Louis Potosí where the Clases de Inglés and Clases Comerciales now operate. Elena Picazo de Murray, wife of Dr. Paul V. Murray, was instrumental in developing the English classes.
“In 1940 Drs. Cain and Murray founded Mexico City College to further education for the graduates of the American High School and to make a center for continuous study for visiting Americans. MCC was located in the American High School building until 1946. He served as first President until June 11, 1953, when Dr. Murray became President.
“In 1944 Cain was the Potentate of the Shrinners when Mexico’s ex-President Alemán was initiated into the local chapter. Cain led the campaign to get the North American Shriners to establish in Mexico what was their sixteenth hospital for crippled children. He became Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Mexican hospital that today (1957) has 30 beds and performs 200 operations on poor crippled children of Mexico.”
The Universidad de las Americas, Puebla, has named a building after Drs. Murray and Cain. Dr. Murray’s son, Paul V. Murray, Jr., Ph.D. and his two sisters were invited, all expenses paid, as guests to the Dedication (March 1, 1998). As Paul Murray wrote, “The Inauguration was truly a supreme and far reaching gesture by UDLAP in recognition of its heritage (that) . . honored his father’s (and Dr. Cain’s) vision.”
(Adapted from the MCC Collegian, Vol. 20, May 30, 1957, and private correspondence.)