Rangoon University

RU [22]

Two Sayas named Hunter

There were two Sayas named Hunter at the University of Rangoon.

  • Matthew Hunter taught Physics and Chemistry, and also studied Geology.
    He served as Principal of Rangoon College.
    He tried to persuade the student leaders of the 1936 RU Strike.
    The students explained, “We are not protesting you.
    We are protesting to have changes to the University Act.”
    He loved the students very much. Tears fell when he had to bid farewell after retiring from Rangoon University.

    Some awards (given out at the early Convocations) are named after “Matthew Hunter”.
  • Mark Hunter (John Mark Hunter) taught and wrote on English Literature. He was a member of the Commission responsible for the implementation of the Rangoon University Act of 1920. He later served as Professor at RU.


  • Andoniram Judson Jr. (1788 – 1850) was the most significant American Baptist Missionary to Burma.

    His supervisors told him that it would be a tough task.

    There were a few ABMs before him, but they did not stay long.
  • Judson and his team (which included some former dhamma teachers) compiled the English-Burmese and Burmese-English Dictionaries (see photos of two editions).
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  • Judson published the Burmese translation of the Bible.
  • He helped found the association for Baptists.
  • He is honored by having a church and a college named after him.
  • In 1920, Judson Collegeand Rangoon College became constituent colleges of the newly established University of Rangoon.
  • Two buildings for Judson College were donated by the American Baptists.
  • The Willington Hall was built in memory of two families — the Vintons and the Johnsons — of the Church of Willington for their missionary work in Burma.
    It was later known as Dagon Hall.
  • The Benton Hall was donated by Ms. Benton (Treasurer of the Judson Church and/or Judson College).
    It was later known as Thiri Hall.
  • Note: Depending on the period, a Hall may house classrooms or may be used as a hostel.
    There was also a building named North Hall (which later became Shwebo Hall).
  • Examples of evolution of halls
  • Mandalay Hall was a Residence Hall.
  • After the “Dark Days” (7th July and 8th July 1962), several Residence Halls were converted into Admin Offices and/or Classrooms.
  • Mandalay Hall was a temporary home for the UCC project before moving to Thamaing College Campus.
  • Geology majors had most of their classes at Mandalay Hall.
  • G-Hall in the Gyogone Campus initially housed single sayas.
  • In November 1964, G-Hall became a resident hall for female students.
    Madan Chand (C70) was inadvertently listed to reside at G-Hall.
    Lyo Kyin Sein (T69) was inadvertently listed to attend at a men’s Hall (e.g. C-Block)


  • In the early days, several languages (e.g. Pali) were taught by the Department of Oriental Studies.
  • Sayagyi U Pe Maung Tin (Pali and Burmese Scholar) proposed to have a separate Burmese Department.
  • Sayagyi translated Pali books (e.g. Visuddhi Magga) and Suttas (e.g. Dhammacakka and Anattalekkhana) into English.
  • ICS U Sein Tin (Theikpan Maung Wa), U Thein Han (Zawgyi) and U Wun (Minthuwun) were the early Burmese (Honors) students of Sayagyi. The trio is also known as co-founders of the Khit San Sar Pay movement.
  • U Sein Tin was a victim of a bungled burglary or the case of mistaken identity.
  • U Thein Han was offered to do Masters by both the Burmese Department and the English Department, but he chose to study Library Science in the UK. He succeeded U Khin Zaw as Chief Librarian of the Rangoon University Central Library.
  • U Wun studied Linguistics and Literature in the UK. He headed the Translation Department at the University of Rangoon. He later served as Professor of the Burmese Department, and as Visiting Professor at the University of Osaka (at the invitation of Professor Harada (pen name : Chit Mann Nwe). He is the father of U Htin Kyaw (former President).
  • In December 2019, the Myanmar Sar Htar Na (Burmese Department) will unveil a statue honoring Sayagyi.

Met Daw Tin Tin Myaing (Brenda Pe Maung Tin, Sayagyi’s daughter) at Winner Inn. She attended the unveiling of Sayagyi’s statue. She was also a guest at the Fund Raising Concert for RU Centennial. Two friends mentioned that his spouse (an Old Paulian) passed away in UK during the COVID-19 pandemic.

There is an album called Burmese (Myanmar Sar).

Some Posts

Per Hlaing Bwa : According to a “Shay Hmi Nauk Hmi” Saya, U Chit was detained for “providing food to the University Student Protesters”. He was questioned repeatedly for the rationale of his work. He wrote, “The students are my benefactors. I therefore need to repay their kindness in times of need.” Finally, a relative with connections managed to secure the release of U Chit. Sadly, he passed away 8 months later. He is an “unsung hero.”

Per Myo Thaik : He witnessed the “Tha Dar Phyu” (later referred to as “Tha Dar Ni”) incident and endured a tear gas bomb. His posts are based not only on his experience (recorded as dairy entries), but also on other sources : Gabriel (Thet Tun) and a post from the on-line forum.


  • Yadana Thu
  • Novem Pink
  • Min Oo Idw


  • Saya U Khin Zaw (Workers’ College)
  • U Tin Aye
  • Lin Htike
  • Thann Htutt Aung
  • Dr. Thwe Oo : Daughter of Saya U Khin Maung Nyunt and Sayama Daw Mya Mya Nu
  • Dr. Jillian Phyu Maung : Grand daughter of Saya U Aung Khin (Chemistry)

Categories: Rangoon University

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