Forerunner in the Field of Education
Loyola College has played an important role in the history of education in India. Founded in 1925 by Rev. Fr. Bertram, S.J., who himself was twice the acting Vice- Chancellor of the Madras University, Loyola College has emerged in the last seventy-five years as a premier educational Institution in the country and it is striving to break new paths in education. The major breakthrough is the autonomous status it received in the year 1978 and the restructuring based on the experiences of autonomy, which was introduced in 2001.
It was decided to begin the college with the first year BA Economics, History and Mathematics introduced in 1925. Within three years after the starting of the College, affiliation was obtained for the prestigious three-year Honours courses following the Intermediate.
The beginning of Fifties witnessed the introduction of French and Latin under Part III and Part II respectively. Chemistry and Zoology as ancillaries and BA in Latin were started [1950-51]. A new Commerce group with Maths, Logic and Commerce as optional subjects began in 1952-53. The decade witnessed the shedding of Intermediate in Arts and Sciences due to the new regulation of the University  and starting of the new two year PG Courses .
During, the Seventies saw the Evening College was started with the purpose of providing education to persons doing work during the daytime . The last batch of the Pre-university students passed out of the college during 1978-79. The Loyola Alumni Association was revived with the Golden Jubilee year celebrations. Loyola was chosen as one of the eight colleges to receive autonomy from the academic year 1978 onwards. Towards the end of the seventies BA History in the Evening College was started. As always in the frontier of education Loyola started the Loyola Institute of Business Administration with the focus of producing Managers with social concern.
The Eighties witnessed the multiplying of academic courses. The Evening College added two science courses namely B.Sc (Maths) and B.Sc (Physics) to its fold. The M.Sc (Statistics) was started during 1982-83. As a forerunner to the B.Sc Visual Communication course the Loyola Institute of Visual Communication was started in the year 1983-84. This decade saw the beginning of a variety of part-time Diploma courses such as Applied Chemistry, Tourism, etc. The English department was upgraded as a PG department [1987-88]. M.Phil. in Commerce too was started in the same year. The Evening College added B.A. (Economics) under its Arts courses.
The Nineties witnessed dramatic change in the policy of the college with the introduction of B.Sc. in Visual Communication; the college admitted girls to the newly introduced course as well as for the Branch XII Tamil. Several departments started full-time M.Phil courses [Physics, Economics and Social Work]. B.Sc in Computer Science and M.A. (Applied History) were started in the Self-Supporting system in the academic year 1993-94. M.A. Philosophy and B.A. French were started under the same structure in the year 1997-98. During the last five years there was an enormous growth in the disciplines introduced in Loyola under the self-supporting system such as M.Sc (Bio-Tech), M.Sc (Computer Science), MCA, B.A. (Corporate) and BBA.
Restructuring of courses in Loyola followed as a natural growth from autonomy. Restructuring has introduced the foundation courses and innumerable and countless elective subjects to the students. Under restructuring students in Loyola have more choice to select papers/subjects from their own and from other departments. In short, the new system has enhanced the inter-disciplinary approach at the under graduate level thereby widening the scope for students to higher education with choosing a career.
Situated in the heart of Chennai, and endowed a large campus of about 98 acres, this institution has provided an ideal environment for both teachers and students to enrich themselves intellectually, emotionally and physically by actively participating in the academic and co-curricular activities also.
THE GROWING LOYOLA COLLEGE - Highlights
Loyola produces men of eminence in the field of sports:
Loyola won the Wilson cup for the first time 1951. Hockey goalie, Muneer Sait, a Loyolite played for all India team against Belgians in 1961-62. Another Star hockey player Sultan M. Shah was selected as a member of the national hockey team. (1973-74). In the same year Madhavan from Loyola played under - 19 national Cricket team against Pakistan. Captain of the tennis-team, Ashok Amirtharaj became a National Junior Champion. In tennis, Vasudevan won the Junior National Champion. For the first time when Asiad was held in India in the year 1982, Vasudevan reached semi-finals in the tennis and Ram Gopal Narayan won the bronze medal as a member of the Indian water-polo team. D. Marimuthu won the ball badminton nationals at Delhi and was given the `Star of India' Award (1984-85). Keith Cooper and Ravikumar were selected to attend the Indian Junior Camp and Cooper was a member of the India Junior team (Tennis) which toured USSR and Pakistan. Viswanathan Anand has become a legend in Chess and he passed out from Loyola in the late nineties.
Loyola always insisted on the social dimension of education. In the late forties and early fifties the Social Service League took active part in the city slum clearance campaign started by the Madras Corporation. The Madras Corporation selected the League as one among the six best institutions doing civic work in the city for an award. The Award was given for outstanding contribution in the field of adult-education, distribution of milk and cloths, slum-cleaning campaign and for providing entertainment and instruction by exhibiting Tamil Educational Films.
The CSU (Catholic Service in the University) a Catholic student movement existed started during this period. Later it became AICUF All India Catholic University Federation to involve students in the concrete social issues through exposure and input sessions.
To involve the PG students concretely in the social issues, LEAP was launched in the year 1992-93. LEAP (Loyola Extension and Awareness Programme) gives exposure to the lives of the poor in order to improve the quality of life in the slums and in the suburbs of Chennai. This is in accordance with the Jesuit principle of making them `men and women for others'
The last five decades witnessed growth in the infrastructure such as new blocks for the hostel. The library became larger, besides Loyola non-teaching staff quarters, new recreation hall with new equipment for indoor games, construction of staff quarters and a new parade ground for NCC were added in the 50's to the college infrastructure.
The Sixties witnessed a new building to house Social Work department and a counseling centre. An exclusive Students Service Centre was also started.
During Seventies a new Day Scholars Centre being inaugurated. Sportsmen had the joy of playing in a concrete basket-ball court, A decision was taken to use the fallow land at the south-west corner of the campus as green paddy fields. The Astronomy club of the Maths department installed an electronic lab and a mini observatory.
The Eighties witnessed a New building for Entomology Research Institute and equipment was added to the premiere research center in India. The Social Work Department too had a new building closer to the Entomology Research Centre named after Fr. Jerome D' Souza who was the founder of Indian Social Institute of New Delhi and First Editor of `Social Action.' The New Administrative building in the Name of Fr. Jerome D' Souza with the Principal's office and Controller`s office was also opened. The old college office in the main building was given to Evening College office and functioned as an office for Shift II Courses.
The Nineties was a decade of great expansion in terms of infrastructure. The Physics laboratory was extended. Turning of all the roads into a tar road was completed during this decade. The inter-com system that was functioning over 20 years was replaced by a new electronic system at the cost of 20 lakhs. The new Physics Block was inaugurated or 23 January 1992 at the cost of 30 lakhs.
The new millennium started with the `platinum jubilee' building being inaugurated. The old line-blocks were pulled down and the new building with four floors and an air-conditioned auditorium in the name of Fr. Lawrence Sundaram with seating capacity of 300, a block in the name of Fr. Kuriakose, an examination hall and twenty-six classrooms was constructed.
The LIFE building and Computer Academy were additions to promote research and computer knowledge.
Loyola's Academic Achievements:
Loyola has distinguished itself in the past three decades for its academic achievements.
Loyola was one of the first eight colleges to receive autonomous status. It helped the college to introduce new courses, innovation in teaching methods and evaluation methods. Soon after autonomy many departments were elevated to the level of PG and Research departments. No doubt the UGC created-body NAAC, in 1999, conferred FIVE STARS to Loyola for its academic achievements.
Loyola being one of the first autonomous colleges in the country and having completed twenty years of autonomy, wanted to make higher education socially relevant. The main focus of this attempt was to restructure the academic programmes and administration. The restructuring aimed at making the academic programme learner - oriented, relevant, interdisciplinary and flexible. The restructured UG courses were introduced from the academic year 2000-2001.
In 90s, the College signed an MOU with the Pondicherry Central University to offer PG Diploma Courses on a regular basis.
Collaboration with South-Bank University :
An MOU was signed with the South Bank University , London to conduct a joint M.Sc. International Business. Initially this programme was funded by the European Union.
Centres of Excellence:
Loyola has started several Centres of Excellence such as LIFE, (Loyola Institute of Frontier Energy) Entomology Research Institute, RACE, (Research Academy for Cumulative Excellence) Culture and Communication, LIVE (Loyola Institute of Vocational Education) and LISOR (Loyola Institute of Industrial and Social Science Research).
In 1998, B.A. French and M.A. Philosophy were started. In 1999, B.B.A., M.Sc., Biotechnology and M.C.A. were started. The Platinum Jubilee Memorial Building , including Fr. Joseph Kuriakose block and Fr. Lawrence Sundaram auditorium were inaugurated by the Very Rev. Peter Hans Kolvenbach, S.J., Superior General of the Society of Jesus.
Towards the Future:
Loyola is envisages a blue print of plans and programmes which includes restructuring the curriculum, improving and enriching the infrastructural facilities. Care has been taken to see that it projects a meaningful direction to the future, which are definable, practical and realisable. It earnestly tries its best to reconcile social equity with academic excellence and relevance. Thus Loyola marches on towards a centre of academic excellence.
The Silver Jubilee Celebration commenced on October 27 1950 with the inauguration of the three-day long function by the then Chief Minister of Madras, Hon'ble Sri. P.S. Kumaraswami Raja. 1956 was the Ignatian Centenary Year commemorating the 400 th death anniversary of Saint Ignatius.
The Golden Jubilee Celebration, though originally planned for 1975, due to some unavoidable reasons was celebrated in 1976. The then Prime Minister Mrs. Indira Gandhi inaugurated the celebration. Along with her words of wisdom and encouragement, she added comments about her friendship with eminent Jesuits like Fr. Jerome D' Souza and Fr. Theo Mathias. The major event during the decade after the Golden Jubilee was the granting of autonomy to the college in 1978. Loyola Institute of Business Administration also started functioning from 1979. Another important event was the opening of the Entomology Research Institute under the auspices of the Central Government in 1985.
The Diamond Jubilee of the College was celebrated in October 1986. Mr. M.O.H. Farook, the then Chief Minister of Pondicherry , presided over the celebration and inaugurated it. From 1993, a new trend in education emerged in the form of self-financed courses. Loyola Institute of Vocational Education, Loyola Institute of Frontier Energy, Ignatian Institute of Career Development etc., were also started during this period. In 2000, M.Sc. International Business in collaboration with South Bank University, London was started.
The College celebrated Platinum Jubilee as the Governor Fatima Beevi inaugurated the year long celebration. The final celebration along with statewide competition on Religious Harmony, took place on 6 February 2000. Honourable Chief Minister Dr. M. Karunanidhi, presided over the function and distributed the prizes. Mr. Anbazhagam, Education minister inaugurated the Platinum Jubilee exhibition. Several past Students who are in the Cine - Field were felicitated during a musical evening by Gangai Amaran. Platinum Jubilee year witnessed the visit of the Superior General of the Society of Jesus - Very Rev. Fr. Peter Hons Kolvenbach, who blessed Platinum Jubilee Building and addressed the Staff and Students of the College.
Fr. Jerome D. Souza's birth Centenary was celebrated on 6th August 1997. Shri. R. Venkataraman, an alumnus and Mr. C. Subramaniam graced the occasion. A postage stamp in honour of Fr. Jerome D' Souza was released on 18th December 1997. The Chief Guest for this occasion was his Excellency, Dr. M.M. Jacob Governor of Meghalaya, another distinguished alumnus.