Madras Christian College Heritage Exhibition

Madras Christian College celebrates its 175th year and an exhibition is held on this occasion. Madras Christian College was the first institution in India to have hostels for students. This later turned into a tutorial system with teachers too staying there. Read on to know more about its exhibition of photos and articles.

The history of the first campus hostel system, and more, are on display at an exhibition on the Madras Christian College campus to mark its 175th year celebrations which kicked off on Saturday 7 January. It will showcase rare photographs of the college hostel, students,faculty and buildings from its first campus in George Town.

Old documents and photographs on exhibit, mostly sourced from the campus archive, are as old as the civilization of the city. An 1850 photograph of Madras Black Town, now known as Esplanade, is one of the oldest in the exhibition.

A full-size portrait of William Miller, the first principal of MCC, is another attraction as the photo print brought in 1892 from Edinburgh has survived for decades without any protective frame or coating.

Joshua Kalapati, senior philosophy professor and historian at Madras Christian College, said, the exhibition would prove to be an eye-opener for students and historians as the institution had pioneered several educational practices in the country.

“It was William Miller who started the first student’s hostel in the country, called ‘student homes’. He wanted the student homes to be governed by the inmates themselves,” said Kalapati.

But Miller built the student homes keeping in mind differences in caste prevalent at that time. “Caste Hindu students were allowed to live separately. Breaking caste identities was impossible and undesirable,” say early documents of MCC.

The exhibition showcases photographs and documents in five sections through which the history of the campus will be portrayed. The exhibition also showcases photographs and articles on various themes, including campus biodiversity and famous women alumni. Rare pictures of hall life are another attraction. The self-governed student hostels known as ‘halls’ and the healthy rivalry between them are also being portrayed in the exhibition.

Rev Robert Willis, dean of Canterbury Cathedral in the United Kingdom, took part in a thanksgiving service organised in the campus to mark the college’s 175th year.

The alumni members are encouraged to contribute any material (write-up, photos, letters etc) that you wish to see exhibited. Please send them to Dr. Joshua Kalapati, the convener of the exhibition committee by email

Venue: Examination Hall, Madras Christian College,  Chennai

Date:  07 January to 20 January 2012
Time:  9.00 am – 5.00 pm

Posted on January 10, 2012, in Events and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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