2 July 2021 is a red letter day in the history of St Agnes College as it was founded by the great visionary Mother Mary Aloysia A.C., the Second Superior General of the Apostolic Carmel on this date 100 years ago in a small dry land called hullu mulli, in Mangalore with just 24 students, in an era when educating girls was unheard of and the society wondered about whether it was advisable for girls to venture out of the ‘secure precincts’ of their homes.
Today, the college has progressed by leaps and bounds to be one of the premier institutions of higher education in the country. While education of the girl child and women empowerment are recognized as a national priority at present, St Agnes College has been serving this noble cause for the past 100 years, and its alumni scattered all over the world, are witness to this fact. This institution has trained young women to be leaders, pioneers and people for others, working shoulder to shoulder with men to shape a newfound nation.
The year 2021 is very significant to St Agnes College as it has completed the 100 remarkable years of empowering women by providing value based, socially relevant and globally competitive education. In the last hundred years, St Agnes College has witnessed several milestones. The college took the initiative of submitting itself to the accreditation process conducted by the NAAC (National Assessment & Accreditation Council) in 1999 and had the honour of receiving a ‘Five Star’ grade. In the successive re-accreditation process by the NAAC in 2005 and 2012, the College earned an ‘A’ grade. The year 2017 turned into a milestone for the college as the it secured an A+ Grade from the NAAC with a CGPA of 3.65/4, and also has been conferred the title of ‘College of Excellence’ by the UGC, New Delhi. St. Agnes College is the first college under Mangalore University to receive this recognition. The college was granted the “Star Status” by the Department of Bio Technology (DBT) of the Ministry of Science & Technology (MST), Government of India in 2017, for promoting basic sciences among students of the region.
Apart from national recognition, the college has also been the recipient of the ‘Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Foundation’ Partnership International Award for its path-breaking work in the field of watershed management in 2006. This is the only one of its kind recognition in India.
In 2007, St Agnes College was conferred the status of Autonomy by the UGC making it possible to start Post Graduate Programmes, St Agnes Research Centre for both men and women.
Reposing faith in the motto of the college “Deus Fortitudo Mea”- God is my Strength, the institution has not kept any stone unturned to empower women and excel them in their career as educators, scientists, chartered accountants, management professionals and efficient homemakers. These many years of glory of St Agnes College would not have been achievable if not for the strong foundation laid by Mother Mary Aloysia against all odds.
St Agnes College will always remain in the history as the first women’s college on the west coast of India as well as the first Catholic women’s college in the country and the first women’s college in the region which has witnessed its Centennial Jubilee.
Today, i.e. on 2 July 2021, as we celebrate the 101st birthday of this great institution, all the agnesians spread across the world would look back with gratitude to St Agnes, the patroness of the college, Mother Mary Aloysia, the founder, the management, a long line of Principals, scores of members of staff, students, alumni, parents, benefactors, well-wishers and donors whose unwavering faith, relentless endeavour and benevolence for making this institution what it is today.
To mark the significance of this red letter day down the memory lane, a sapling was planted by Sr M. Carmel Rita A.C., the administrator of the college, Sr Dr M. Venissa A.C, the principal of degree college, Sr M. Norine D’Souza A.C., the principal of PU college, Sr Dr M. Vinora A.C., Sr M. Roopa Rodrigues A.C., the vice principal of degree college, members of staff, support staff and the president of the student council. This sapling symbolises the inner beauty and resilience of the students of this prestigious institution. Like the branches of the tree, though the students leave the portals of this college, they will always get connected with their roots, the alma mater. At this juncture, St Agnes College History Vault was buried underground containing the book on the history of the college, the centenary badges, and the college emblem (crest) to bring back the nostalgic memories of this pioneering institution in the years to come. Sr M. Carmel Rita A.C., invoked the blessings of God and reminisce the contributions of all stakeholders of the college to its growth and paid befitting tribute to all of them. Sr Dr M. Venissa A.C., recalled the obstacles experienced by the staff & students due to the unprecedented covid-19 pandemic during the centenary year and threw light on the need for the introduction of New Education Policy (NEP) from the current academic year. She also pointed out the preparations required to update the calibre to fulfil the challenges of accepting NEP.
The sapling plantation ceremony was conducted at 10.30am in the close vicinity of Mother Mary Aloysia Centenary Auditorium on 2 July 2021 and the program was compered by Dr Devi Prabha Alva, Associate Professor of Commerce, St Agnes College (Autonomous), Mangaluru.