|Motto||In Hoc Signo (Latin: In this sign)|
|Type||Government Aided (Minority Institution)|
|300 Full Time|
|Campus||Suburban, 320 acres|
|Affiliations||University of Madras|
The Madras Christian College (MCC) is an arts and sciences college based in Madras (Chennai), Tamil Nadu, India. Consistently ranked among the top ten colleges in India, it is considered to be one of the most prestigious colleges in India. Founded in 1837, MCC is one of Asia's oldest extant colleges. The college is affiliated to the University of Madras but functions as an autonomous institution from its main campus in Tambaram, Chennai.
Established originally as a school for boys in the place where Anderson Church is located, the institution evolved into one of the pioneering modern colleges for higher education in India by mid-nineteenth century. From its origins as a missionary endeavor of the Church of Scotland.
MCC has, among its professors and alumni, several civil servants, administrators, educators, business people and political leaders, around the world.
MCC has its roots in a small school for boys established in 1835 when two chaplains of the Church of Scotland in Madras, Rev. George James Laurie and Rev. Matthew Bowie founded the St. Andrew's School on Randalls Road in Egmore, Madras. At their request, the Church of Scotland sent a missionary to India to govern it. Missionary Rev. John Anderson, set up the institution as the General Assembly's School, conducting classes in a rented house on the east side of Armenian Street in Georgetown, Madras. The headmaster and 59 boys from St. Andrew's School moved to this institution. It was named after the supreme governing body of the Church of Scotland and aimed at attracting students from the Hindu higher castes with the aim of "conveying as great as an amount of truth as possible through the channel of a good education especially of Bible truth". The college grew from the school into a 275-acre (1.11 km2) wooded campus under the leadership of educationalist Dr. William Miller, who created hostels and several academic and cultural associations, which shaped MCC into a premier educational institution in South Asia.
The rapid expansion of the college and the paucity of the space necessitated moving the campus to a more spacious location. Accordingly, the college under the leadership of Rev. William Skinner (principal 1909-1921) initiated the Tambaram Project in 1919. Rev. Gordon Matthew as the town planning secretary negotiated with the government, which set aside 390 acres (1.6 km2) of the former Selaiyur forest land in Tambaram. While Mrs. and Prof. Edward Barnes meticulously planted rare trees and worked out the physical landscape, the Swiss architect Henry Schaetti, then based in Kodaikanal, India, designed the buildings. After 100 years in the heart of the city, the college moved to the sprawling, green campus in Tambaram on the outskirts of Madras in 1937.
On 30 January 1937, the governor of Madras, Lord John Erskine declared open the first campus buildings. The hostel gave way to three halls of residence -- Selaiyur, Thomas' and Heber -- active today as semi-autonomous student communities. Women students were admitted on a regular basis from 1939, and a hostel for them came up in Guindy, Madras in 1950. This too evolved into an on-campus hall of residence for women, Martin Hall, named after Agnes Martin, in 1968, Margaret Hall in 2008 and Barnes Hall in 2016.
In 1938 MCC hosted the Tambaram Conference (also called The Madras Conference or Tambaram 1938), the third World Missionary Conference which eventually created the World Council of Churches. The same buildings were used again in 1988 (Tambaram 1988) to commemorate this landmark event which focused contemporary thought into ecumenism, Christianity's engagement with world religions and traditions. In the words of Bishop Stephen Neill, this event was "the most international gathering held up to that point in the entire history of the Christian Church." William Miller's vision in creating an educational institution that prepared the largely Hindu students to a Christward direction through education, rather than just conversion of their faith, was lauded.Lesslie Newbigin, the famous missionary and theologian who attended the 1938 conference, spoke at the 1988 event at MCC as well.
MCC's leadership in governance and education has arguably evolved its familial culture and values-driven education. The Rev. Dr. A.J. Boyd led the college for 18 years (1938-56). General Krishnaswamy Sundarji's autobiography reveals that Boyd knew each student personally. Sundarji relates in his book that when he expressed his intention to join the army, discontinuing his studies, Boyd advised him against it as he believed Sundarji would make a good doctor rather than a good soldier.
Alfred Boyd, Prof Macphail became principal, who was then succeeded by the first Indian principal of the college, Dr. Chandran Devanesan in 1962. A man of Gandhian principles, Devanesen involved the faculty and students in working with the neighbouring community in Tambaram. This period (1962-72) is affectionately referred to by MCCians as "The Devanesan Decade". Recently, the birth centenary of Dr Chandran Devanesen was celebrated in November 2017, and a compilation in his honour was brought out (see Dayalan Devanesen and Joshua Kalapati (ed.) Dr.Chandran D.S. Devanesen" A Life of Love and Service, Roofs for the Roofless Publication, 2017
The college was one of the first in India to be granted Autonomy in 1978 and the first batch of Autonomous graduates passed out in 1981. The year 2006 marked the Silver Jubilee of Autonomy for Madras Christian College. Besides, the 175th year celebrations were organized in the year 2012.
The college offers over 30 regular courses in undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in Arts, Sciences, and Commerce, besides undergraduate programmes in vocational streams of Archaeology, Musicology and Industrial Fish and Fisheries; and post graduate programmes in Social Work (MSW) and Computer Applications (MCA). A number of departments at the college offer M. Phil and Ph.D. programmes.
MCC has 38 departments including day and evening streams, with over 8500 students. Half the student body are women and several faculty members are women teachers. The institution has about 294 faculty members, over half of whom are doctorate-holders.
The Department of Plant Biology and Plant Biotechnology supports students in practical applications through their Phycolab PHYCOLAB and Center for Floristics Research FLORITICS, in addition to the regular courses. Several new species and new varieties in flowering plants, fossils and algae have been described by the staff of the department. A fossil specimen Araucarioxylon giftii named after Prof. Dr. Gift Sironmoney, by Dr. D.E.P. Jeyasingh. A species of grass, Eragrostis Dayanandanii, was discovered and named after P. Dayanandan for his valuable contributions to botany, especially in the field of grasses. Two newly discovered plants of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Aidia livingstonii Karthig et al. and Liparis livingstonii Jayanthi et al. are named in honour of C. Livingstone for his contributions to plant taxonomy. A species of whitefly namely Aleurocanthus livingstonii is also named after Livingstone. Two new species Anoectochilus narasimhanii (orchid) and Orophea narasimhanii (custard apple) have been discovered by researchers of the department pursuing angiosperm taxonomy.
The Department of Biotechnology has funded a multi-institution project for species recovery. Associate professor Dr. D. Narasimhan is the principal investigator for the DBT Species Recovery Project.
Madras Christian College has hosted DeepWoods, an inter-collegiate cultural festival, since 1980. It is typically held each year in February.
The three-day event sees participation by various colleges from Chennai and all over India with attendance touching almost 30,000. MCC, as the host college, does not participate in the festival.
The highlight of the second day of the event is a light music show, aimed at integrating youth of different ethnic backgrounds through multi-lingual music.
Anuratha Sriram, Malgudi Subha, Srinivasan, Unni Krishnan, Naresh Iyer, Anirudh Ravichander, Sid Sriram, Hiphop Tamizha, Shakthisree Gopalan and Gana Bala are among the many artists who have performed to packed audiences at the event.
The third and final day ends with a rock concert with the headlining act being among India's leading bands. Parikrama, Orange Street, Pentagram,Moksha, The Killer Tomatoes, Acquired Funk Syndrome, Them Clones, Thermal and a Quarter and Avial, are among the various acts that have graced the stage over the decades.
The 365-acre (1.48 km2) campus is known for its flora and fauna, notably deer and rare trees. The college is distinguished by a lake on campus. The campus curator maintains these natural resources and ensures that no damage is done through unauthorized cutting of plants or grass. The first curator of the campus was Prof. Edward Barnes. Several faculty members from the department of Botany and Zoology have since served as curators of the campus. They are Dr. K.R. Venkattasubban, Mr. Giles Lal, Dr. D.E.P. Jeyasingh, Dr. P. Dayanandan, C.Livingstone, Dr. G.Ebenezer and Dr. Manu Thomas. Dr.Selva Singh Richard from Botany Department is the current Curator of MCC.
The Scrub Society at Madras Christian College, along with other departments and units in the campus, strives for the development, preservation and protection of this campus for the future generations. It was headed by Prof. Dr. C. Livingstone from inception to his superannuation in the year 2007. The college is well known for encouraging student leadership and governance among students through the College Union Society in which, all students are members.
The most recognizable building is the 'Main Building' to which the main entrance leads. It houses administrative offices and some departments as well as lecture rooms. The Miller Memorial Library is another landmark building, built in anticipation of then-prime minister Rajiv Gandhi's visit in 1987.
MCC has actively supported the diversity of flora and fauna on campus. Several eminent staff from various departments have contributed to the development and the upkeep of the campus diversity. Professor Edward Barnes (Department of Chemistry), the first curator of MCC Campus (along with his wife) began this process. Dr. K.R. Venkatasubban (Professor and Head, Department of Botany), Dr. P. Sanjeeva Raj (Retired Professor and Head, Department of Zoology), Dr. Gift Siromony (Professor and Head, Department of Statistics), Mr. Giles Lal (Department of Botany) and Dr. C. Livingstone (Department of Botany) have documented the Biodiversity of the campus as well as other areas in the region.
The college has six residential halls for students - St. Thomas's Hall, Selaiyur Hall, Bishop Heber Hall, Martin Hall (earlier known as the Women's Hostel), Margaret Hall and Barnes Hall.
St. Thomas's hall was built in 1937, named after St. Thomas who brought Christianity into India. The first warden of St. Thomas's Hall was Rev. J.R. Macphail and the first general secretary was A. Mohammed Nabi. The Hall constitution was drafted in 1950-51 on the basis of the Indian Constitutional and Parliamentary system, administered by resident students (called the 'general body') who elect representative leaders holding eight ministerial positions and the post of the Speaker. The hall's current 'E' block was earlier a campus school known as St. Thomas's Annexe.The Hall Emblem is represented using various elements that describe foundational and philosophical bases of the Hall: in the top portion, a lamp signifying enlightenment, divided by a cross signifying the Christian foundation of the college. On the top left: the crucified palm of Jesus Christ. On the top right: An elephant reaching out to a palm branch, signifying striving for higher ambition. On the bottom left: Maize, signifying India's reliance on agriculture. On the bottom right: A dove, signifying peace. The hall organizes an annual dance competition, named Utsav. Hall publications include USHA, the hall magazine and Tribune, the Hall newsletter. The hall has Table Tennis tables, Basketball grounds gymnasium, library, and entertainment room. The hall motto is "For God and Country."
Bharathi Mandram organizes debates, lectures, seminars to promote Tamil culture while Jatra is the theatre society. The St. Thomas's Hall's Literary Programme organizes debates and distributes donations for various charitable causes. The Nature Club prepares the hall for Vatika, Martin Hall's biennial gardening competition. It also has an active Tennis club that organizes and facilitates games.The Current Serving Warden is Dr.S.D.Christopher Chandran.
Selaiyur Hall, the oldest one on the college campus, was founded in 1937 and was named after the Selaiyur forest reserve, a part of which was set aside for the college.
The Hall's coat of arms consists of a shield incorporated with an anchor and held together by a rope. Above the emblem are images of a lotus, a pair of laurel leaves and a torch, which stand for purity, victory and truth respectively. The Latin motto at the base reads Esse Quam Videri which means "Sincerity not sham" and alternatively "To be rather than to seem".
The Selaiyur Constitution is derived from the British constitution. The governing body, or the Cabinet, is headed by the nominal-executive President (Hall Warden), the Chairman and The General Secretary and his cabinet consisting of six Secretaries. Finance, Appraisal, and Jury committees are appointed by the Chairman in consultation with the General Secretary and the President. Four general body sessions are held through the academic year in the presence of at least 2/3rd of the residents to pass budgets and coordinate planning.
It is the only hall on campus that hosts an annual alumni meeting organised by the Selaiyur Hall Old Boys Association (SHOBA). An annual magazine called Thots is published at the end of each academic year. Discussion sessions are held through Parnassus meetings while a social initiative called STEPS is used to bring Selaiyur's mess workers into the academic fold.
The Tamil society, Kamban Mandram, regularly conducts events of literary and cultural significance. It hosts the Kathir event annually on the eve of the Pongal festival. The Annual Hall Day is held around the end of the academic year and is an occasion for the residents to invite friends and family to partake in the celebrations.
The most eagerly awaited event during the academic year is the Moonshadow cultural festival which sees all the Halls competing in literary and debating (L&D) and performing arts events. Traditionally, a rock band is invited to play at the end of the festival and numerous Indian bands have graced the Selaiyur stage over the years, including Galeej Gurus, The Circus, Kryptos, Parousia and Slain.
Since 2009, Selaiyur Hall has an in-house Integrated Knowledge Centre (IKC) named after Dr Bennet Albert, one the Hall's former and most celebrated wardens. It is based in the library for the residents to avail of Internet and printing facilities, books, videos, and music. The Current Serving Warden is Dr.Johanan Christian Prasana.
The history of Bishop Heber Hall could be traced back to a similar school started by a German missionary Christian Frederick Schwartz at Trichy in 1762. The school at Trichy grew and became a college in 1878. It was named Bishop Heber College after Bishop Reginald Heber (1783-1826) the hymn writer and erstwhile Bishop of Calcutta. In 1934 this college was closed and merged with Madras Christian College. The teachers and students who shifted to Madras formed the Bishop Heber Hostel at Vepery. After a short stay at Vepery and later at Royapettah, the hostel moved out with the rest of Madras Christian College to Tambaram in 1937. The chapel, the hall library and the coat of arms are reminders of the transformation of the college at Trichy to the Bishop Heber Hall at Tambaram. Heber Hall, as it is known, has several features that are unique to it- a natural pond in its courtyard, the Bishop Heber Chapel and the bridge across the facade of this chapel.
The hall coat of arms, originally of the Bishop Heber College, bears the rock at Trichy, a cross and a Bible, surmounted by a pelican, feeding its young with its own life-blood, symbolizing sacrificial giving.
The motto, in Latin, is "Nisi Dominus Frustra". This means, "In vain, without God." It is from the first verse of Psalm 127 which reads "If the Lord builds not the house, the builders labour but in vain". A hall resident is generally known as Heberian
The Current Serving Warden is Dr.Logamanya Tilak.
The Chapel is a unique and prominent speciality of Bishop Heber Hall. It is located between the building's C and D blocks. The garden in the frontyard of the chapel is also home to the bell tower. Sunday services are held weekly and the order of worship is a blend of Anglican and Southern Indian styles. The chapel walls are painted and tiles are carefully polished each year by the residents themselves. The floor tiles were imported from Scotland and the altar was cut from a single piece of rock that was transported from Tiruchirappalli. This is a constant reminder of the roots of Bishop Heber Hall. The Current Serving Warden is Dr.J.Logamanya Tilak.
Established in 1968, Martin Hall was the only hall for women on campus until 2009, when Margaret Hall was set up. The hall was named after Agnes Martin, wife of Prof. Gavin Martin of the College. Mrs. Martin was also the YWCA's Madras secretary and a caring social worker. The halls has facilities like The Agnes Martin Auditorium, a library, an Indoor Games and Recreation Centre and outdoor badminton and throw-ball courts. Martin Hall is home to 210 students from India and other countries in Asia and Africa.
The Vatika Inter-hall Garden competition was first hosted by Martin Hall in the 1997-98 academic year to commemorate 30 years of women's residency on campus. It has been held every alternate year since then.
Galarompics is an inter-hall sports meet hosted by Martin Hall. This meet started in the academic year 1996-1997. Adds valor and sporting sprit to the men in campus as they vie for the championship and for the charm. The residents of this hall are known as Martinians. The Current Serving Warden is Dr.(Mrs) D.Merlin Juliet Arul Thangam.
This is a second hall established in 2009 for women students on campus. The hall has the capacity to house 140 students. Margaret Locher Anderson was the wife of our founder, Rev. John Anderson, who laboured for the institution from 1845-1887. She was instrumental in starting the first on-campus women's hostel at her own home. Hence it was a natural choice for the Hall to be named after her.
The Hall Emblem depicts a cross in the shape of an anchor which stands for strong faith and foundation. A lady holding a pearl stands on the cross representing every margarita, as Margaret means 'pearl'. At the top left, there soars an eagle which highlights the Hall Motto "Auf Fluegeln Wie Adler", which in German means "On Wings Like Eagles". The flowers at the lower left hand side symbolize the Hall theme, fragrance.
Margaret Hall has four blocks, each named after fragrant flowers- Freesia, Magnolia, Peonia, and Azalia. There are a total of 56 rooms which can accommodate around 150 residents. One of the greatest assets of the Hall is the Multi-purpose Conference Hall, which was originally constructed as an exclusive prayer room for the residents and for their gathering. The room now serves the entire college community as a classroom for overseas students, a viva-voce exam centre, an alternative chapel and a venue for various celebrations.
The Hall Magazine, Saisei (Japanese for 'A New Beginning'), was introduced during the third year of the Hall by the then Literary and Debating Secretary, Ms Nikhila Sudharma Ajeer. The Hall Library was inaugurated by Pastor Charles during the third year of the Hall. It is a customary tradition for all first years of the hall to donate a book to the library. The Garden at the centre of the Hall is host to a variety of flowering plants, trees and bamboo. It is also visited by several rare species of birds through the seasons
The hall conducts an inter-hall and inter-collegiate theatre event called Dionysia. Hall residents refer to themselves as Margaritas. The Current serving Warden is Mrs.Shyamala Lionel.
This is the newest and the third girls' hall established on 20h June, 2016 by Shanthi Manuel for women students on campus. The UGC, New Delhi, has sanctioned a grant of Rs.1.20 crores for the construction of a new Women's Hostel for the College. The hall was named after Mr. Barnes who was the first curator of the college. The first warden and current serving warden is Dr. E. Joyce Sudandara Priya. The governing body or the cabinet is headed by the President (Hall Warden), The First Minister, The Deputy First Minister and 7 secretarys. The Hall is a home to 95 members. The motto of the hall is Shine Agad Agothan which means "Shine Your Light" in Scottish Gaelic. The Hall Logo consists of a Cross symbolizing Christian foundation of the college, a Creeper symbolizing growth and prosperity, a Female face symbolizing women empowerment, a Flame symbolizing light, purity, and guidance, a Bible symbolizing knowledge and wisdom, a Pomegranate symbolizing unity. Barnes is the only hall with 24/7 water supply.
MCC has been known and acclaimed for its tradition in choral and instrumental music in numerous genres. Notable musicians who have been MCC alumni include pianist and composer Handel Manuel and music director Samuel Joseph (commonly known as Shyam)
The Bishop Heber Chapel sustains a student choir in the Western tradition, who serve the weekly Sunday services as well as the daily prayers, evening compline, special services such as on Christmas, Good Friday, Easter Sunday as well as college-specific occasions. The college choir serves to support the daily morning worship services at Anderson Hall, as well as numerous other events at the college.
The college has also been known for its student rock bands over the decades which remain popular in Chennai while some have gained prominence nationally. Over the years, these bands have performed at competitions and events across the country and some continue to perform regularly. Notable bands started by or comprising MCC students include The Mustangs, Rusty Moe, and Blacklisted.
MCC's largest auditorium, named after its founder Rev. John Anderson, was built in anticipation of the third World Missionary Conference which was held here in 1938. In the words of Bishop Stephen Neill, this event was "the most international gathering held up to that point in the entire history of the Christian Church." The hall also hosted evangelist Billy Graham's visit to the campus in 1956. He delivered his address in this auditorium. The hall is used for a variety of events and has hosted several notable people -- the nation's highest leaders, politicians, theologians, preachers, educators, businesspeople, civil servants, etc. -- and continues to be the predominant indoor public space on campus.
The quadrangle or diamond directly in the front of the main building is the largest outdoor public space, used primarily for large student gatherings, such as the shows hosted during the annual Deepwoods intercollegiate cultural festival.
The Boxing Ring, in front of the Principal's Quarters, doubles as an outdoor stage with green space in the front for a sizable audience, primarily used for student gatherings.
This modern building, designed by a Swedish architect to western standards, is situated in the midst of a densely wooded area near the athletic fields. Wild deer grazing outside the dining room is not an uncommon sight.
The cafeteria and gutters are the spots students congregate during breaks or free hours. The gutters are popular hangouts for intellectual conversation and often the birthplace of artistic or culturally significant initiatives by students.
The purpose of the Fine Arts Centre, named after J.R.Macphail, was to provide students interested Arts, with the assistance to develop their talents and enable them to participate in various cultural activities which would enrich the academic life of the college.
Madras Christian College boasts of one of the most extensive sports fields for any college in India. Set amidst lush green campus, a cricket pavilion was also constructed and named after the former Physical Director of the College, C.A. Abraham. These sports fields are most sought after places for student community, especially during the inter hall sports among three men's halls and among three girls halls as well.
An extensive library that was established in 1863, it is now housed in an elegant building that was designed in 1987 in anticipation of a visit by then Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. The eco-friendly design was ahead of its time, housing shrubs in arboriums within its glass walls.
The library has several thousand books and periodicals in every course administered by the college and many others. A section of these books and journals are now being digitized for use by the students. The library also has facilities for visually-challenged students to read in Braille. Several volunteer students assist them in this exercise, particularly under the National Service Scheme (NSS) program.
On the assumption of autonomous status, the College geared itself up towards augmenting Human Resources for achieving innovative ventures and one such pioneering venture that was launched in 1983, was the Department of Continuing Education. With Dr.R.Rajkumar as its dynamic first Director, the Department emerged as the autonomous M.C.C. School of Continuing Education (MCCSCE) of the college. As an expression of its commitment to respond effectively to the plight of the less privileged youth, who, for various reasons, could not join the main stream of the college the MCCSCE through the years developed several Job and Career Oriented and Skill-Development Courses.
An alumnus of Madras Christian College is called an MCCian. Among India's oldest and foremost institutions of higher learning, MCCians have held distinguished positions in various fields, including the Indian Government, commerce, academia, journalism, sport, entertainment and the arts.prabakaran is one of the major notable alumni.
E. G. Silas, Kerala Agricultural University