St John's College In Agra Celebrates 170th Foundation Day

St John's College In Agra Celebrates 170th Foundation Day

Agra, December 17 (TNA) Students and faculty members Wednesday evening joined celebrations to mark the 170th foundation day of St John's College. Sportsperson Harvijay Bahia was the chief guest. Former teachers also joined the programme.

St John's College is one of the most prestigious educational institution in north India and it made us all proud to be part of this glorious legacy, speakers said. Its majestic red sand stoned building in Indo-Saracenic architecture was lit up and thanksgiving prayers were held.

Over years, St John’s College has provided a steady stream of distinguished academics and professionals ranging from presidents, governors, civil servants, sportspersons and missionary leaders.

Established in 1850 by the Church Missionary Society of England through the efforts of the Agra C.M.S. Association which came into being in 1840, the first Principal of the College was Rev Thomas Valpy French, a distinguished fellow of University College, Oxford.

Initially, the College formulated its own curriculum and conducted its own examination. From 1862 to 1888 the College remained affiliated to the Calcutta University and later up to 1927 to the Allahabad University. When the Agra University was established in 1927, the then principal of the College Dr AW Davies became its first Vice-Chancellor and the college was affiliated to the Agra University.

The college’s centenary wing’s foundation stone was laid in 1958 by former president Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan and was opened by Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru, former prime minister with the words “I have come to pay tribute to this temple of learning.”

The present principal Prof SP Singh recalled the great contribution of educationists to India’s development adding that the alumni had brought name and glory to India, from all parts of the world. The college has a long list of distinguished alumni including former president Shankar Dayal Sharma, Congress leader Khurshid Alam Khan, former governors Shailendra Singh, SMH Burney, journalist Pankaj Pachauri, diplomat Meera Shankar, he added.

Sportsperson Harvijay Bahia recalled how the college teams had won laurels at the state and national levels in basket ball, football and even cricket. An ex-student, Rajiv Gupta added “this college has given me a new confidence and identity. Everywhere I go there are St Johnians contributing to society’s development in myriad ways.”

The grand architectural elegance of the college building attracts tourists. A few films have also been shot including Lal Patthar, Bunty Aur Babli. "The architectural brilliance is in harmony with the Mughal ethos of the city and adds to the rich heritage of Agra," said senior photographer Vishal of the Nice Studio.

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