FROM GOLD TO DIAMOND (1975 - 1986)
With pardonable anticipation we decided to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee, in the sixtieth year of the College. The major event during this decade after the Golden Jubilee was the granting of autonomy to the College in 1978 for a trial period of five years. At the end of the first five years, in 1983, the University sent a Review Commission, which recommended the extension of autonomy for another five years.
The first period of autonomy was monitored by Rev. Fr. J. Kuriakose, S.J., who as Principal was responsible for launching the college on this experiment after much discussion, debate and consultation. Rev. Fr. Casimir Raj, S.J., as Principal, made it almost impossible for the University and Government not to extend the experiment for another five years. Fr. Casimir Raj has left his mark on the College particularly by startingLIBA (Loyola Institute for Business Administration). It was declared, by a Central Government Commission, the best of its kind in Tamil Nadu. Rev. Fr. Casimir Raj, S.J., was succeeded as Principal by his own predecessor as Rector, Rev. Fr. Leo Correya, S.J., who during the last academic year has put his whole soul into his work. As Rector, he conducted the Golden Jubilee Celebrations and was the mover behind the Diamond Jubilee programmes under the direction and the co-operation of the Rector Rev. Fr. A.J. Thamburaj, S.J.
During this period, new post-graduate courses in Statistics, Physics and Zoology were started. Special courses in Journalism, Tourism, Communication, Art Appreciation, Photography, Soil Zoology and Computer Science were started as additional or optional disciplines.
Breaking the old masculine tradition, the College during this decade welcomed women on the Staff and among students too, for such post-graduate courses are not available to them in the city women's colleges.
Two important events may be recorded: the visit to the College of the Prime Minister of Zambia, Daniel Lesulo, an alumnus, in 1979 and of Rev. Fr. Arrupe, S.J., Superior General of the Society of Jesus, in 1980. For nearly fifty years he taught in three different colleges both in service and in retirement. On 10th December 1979, in his ninety-second year, died Father L.D. Murphy , who from the year this institution came into being was both a tower of strength and a light-house for about fifty four years. We may not forgetMr Fred Perreira, who was one of the first group of students admitted into Loyola in 1925 and who served here for four decades as Tutor and Lecturer in English and Administrative Officer of the N.C.C. He retired in 1967 and died on October 4, 1984.
The academic year, 1983-84, saw a new Rector in the person of Rev. Fr. A.J. Thamburaj, S.J., and a new Principal, Rev. Fr. N. Casimir Raj, S.J. An important event to be mentioned was the opening of theEntomology Research Institute (ERI) under the auspices of the Central Government.
From 1976 - 86 with only one break in 1979 our athletes won the Sir A.L. Mudaliar Silver Jubilee Trophy. In the All India Inter-University Athletic Meet, Errol Hart won the first place in the Decathlon event in 1981 and the Gold Medal in the same event in the Men's Inter-state Athletic meet in Calcutta in 1982. For three successive years, 1985-87, M.V. Rajasekhar achieved a hat-trick by winning the 110 metres Hurdles in the All India Inter-University Meet at Gwalior (1985), at Nainital (1986) and in Allahahad (1987). In Basketball, the Bertrarn Memorial shield has been retained by Loyola from 1974 till 1987 with one break in 1981. In the Asiad Games of 1982 Ramgopal Narayanan won a bronze medal for Water Polo. On a average more than 30 trophies are won and about fifty of our students represent the university in various disciplines, every year.
The 9th October 1986 was the day of official celebration of the Diamond Jubilee, presided over by Sri Farook, Chief Minister of Pondicherry State, an Old Boy of Loyola.
Curtain Raiser to the Diamond Jubilee Celebrations
The celebration of the 60th year started on the 28th of August. The first event in the series was a meeting of the alumni of the College on that date, organised and conducted by the office-bearers of the Alumni Association, animated by Sri T.T. Vasu, its President. Its purpose was to release a biography of Fr. Jerome D'Souza, S.J., entitled, "A Great Indian Jesuit, Priest, Educationist and Statesman", written by his old colleague, friend and successor as Principal of the College, Rev. Fr. Lawrence Sundaram, S.J. The meeting began with the chanting of the extract from Tagore's Gitanjali, "Where the mind is without fear". After the Principal, Rev. Fr. Leo Correya, S.J., had welcomed the gathering in a felicitous speech, the Archbishop of Madras-Mylapore, Rev. Fr. Dr. R. Arulappa unveiled a portrait of Rev. Fr. Jerome, S.J.,executed and donated by an old student.