One of the oldest and amongst the top ten colleges of India, Madras Christian College recently celebrated its 175 years of existence. Here we discuss what has kept the college performing so well even after such a long time of its establishment.
Last year in 2012, Madras Christian College celebrated its 175th anniversary. The celebrations were rightly named as “Celebrating History and Serving Humanity”, as the college has been more than being just a tool of dispersing academic knowledge amongst students. With its unwavering commitment towards community service and social responsibility, the college has managed to remain in the hearts and minds of the resident population of Tamil Nadu.
MCC helping school dropouts and destitute
Continuing its legacy of helping the needy, MCC is planning to start a community college at West Tamabaram near MCC Oxfam. The college will take care of the teaching needs of school dropouts and women and help them gain some skills so that they can earn their livelihood in a respectable manner. The initiative is a part of the celebration commemorating its 175th year of existence. The college’s efforts are to help the underprivileged section of society find a way to improve the quality of their lives. This endeavor will see the community college offering a nursing assistantship course and hardware training to a batch of 30 students, with 15 students in each course. The college will award certifications in association with Tamil Nadu Open University after successful completion of the course.
The grand 375 acres campus of the college has evolved from humble beginnings which the college had in 1835. It was a small school for boys founded by two chaplains of Church of Scotland in Madras. The school slowly and steadily expanded into a fully fledged college, reaching its peak under the leadership of Dr. William Miller. Its first campus building was launched in 1937 by the then governor of Madras, Lord John Erskine. In its long history, the college has been a host to some path breaking events. The Tambaram Conference 1938 is one of those. Also known as the third World Missionary Conference, it led to creation of World Council of Churches. A similar conference was held in 1988 also.
The college is a dominant force in education. With an array of regular courses in Arts, Sciences, and Commerce along with a number of vocational courses in fields such as Archaeology and Musicology, MCC disseminates excellent quality education to more than 6,500 students every year. The 220-strong faculty, over half of whom are doctorate-holders function with their entire dedication to mould the young minds into learned and enlightened individuals. Therefore, it doesn’t come as a surprise that the college has been consistently ranked amongst the top academic institutions of the country.
The illustrious list of alumni that the college has produced is a proof enough of its credibility and reputation. Sir S Radhakrishnan , the former president of India, P Subbarayan, former state chief ministers, George Sudarshan, an eminent scientist and receiver of Third World Prize, Indra Nooyi, the chairperson of Pepsico World and the tenth most powerful woman of the world (according to Forbes 2013 rankings), all have passed through the gates of MCC during their student life. This alumni list just represents the crème la de crème of the numerous dignified personalities who have enriched this society with their valuable contributions. Such is the pedigree of the college that those who gain admission here are relieved of any worries of a secure future.
Cultural legacy and Biodiversity: In its vast expanse the college supports a diversity of flora and fauna that matches that of a protected national park. The college has made conscious efforts to make sure that madras Christian college provides a growth-conducive environment to its plants and other elements of biodiversity. With the second largest scrub jungle of Asia, the college has every right to claim its green nature. It is maintained by the Scrub Society that is constituted of students and faculty of botany and zoology. The society is responsible for preserving, developing and protecting the biodiversity of the campus.
The college’s claim to fame is not just its academic achievements but it has also earned acclamation for a glorious tradition in chloral and instrumental music in different genres. With notable alumni like Handel Manuel and BAFTA and Academy Award winning music composer A.R Rahman, the college’s Bishop Heber Chapel sustains a student choir in the Western tradition. There are various spaces in the campus that generate significant exchange of ideas and intellectual conversation such as MCC Quadrangle, Boxing Ring, Cafeteria and Gutters, The Boxing Ring and Macphail’s Arts Centre.
The description of MCC’s legacy will be incomplete without the mention of its library, Miller Memorial Library. Established in 1863, the library is housed in a futuristic designed building, featuring an eco-friendly façade, replete with arboriums in its glass walls. Needless to say, the library has several thousand books and periodicals for the convenience of students and faculty.
Saurabh Tyagi is an expert writer having interest in diverse topics like education, technology, various top MBA colleges, career and Web 2.0. He is a social media enthusiast and a self-confessed gadget-freak, who loves to follow the latest happenings in the tech world.