The Pachaiyappa's College for Men, Kanchipuram (Campus)

The idea of starting a College at Kanchipuram, the birth-place of Pachaiyappa Mudaliar, suggested itself to the Trustees of Pachaiyappa’s Charities, Madras and the citizens of Kanchipuram when the centenary of Pachaiyappa’s High School at Kanchipuram was celebrated in the year 1946. Though there was a move in the very next year towards this end, it could not take any concrete shape, as sufficient funds and the necessary accommodation could not be made available immediately. But the need for a College in this district and in a central town like Kanchipuram, came to be felt more and more acutely as the year passed, and none felt it more poignantly than the late Thiru C. Kandaswami Mudaliar of Kanchipuram, a retired clerk of the Army Clothing Department, who realized the inconvenience of sending his son and daughter, who had completed the S.S.L.C. Course, for higher education outside Kanchipuram. An unkind cut of nature snapped their lives in their youth almost at the same time, and the old gentleman was suddenly left issueless. The shock of this bereavent opened the springs of philanthrophy in his heart, and he determined to Will away all his hard earned savings (which he had originally accumulated for his children) for the cause of higher education in his native town. He left a substantial portion of his property amounting in all to about Rs.60,000 for an Arts and Science College to be started at Kanchipuram, in the time-honoured name of Pachaiyappa Mudaliar and entreated the Pachaiyappa’s Trust Board to sponsor the scheme and shoulder the responsibility for running the College.

This gave the necessary inspiration and impetus to Pachaiyappa’s Trust Board and the citizens of Kanchipuram. The former readily came forward to sponsor the scheme once again and the latter constituted a Formation Committee under the Chairmanship of Thiru M. Vedachala Mudaliar of Chingleput to find the additional funds necessary for the immediate starting of the college.

The new College was opened with the name Pachaiyappa’s College, Kanchipuram” in June 1950, in a rented building in Tirukatchinambi Street, Little Kanchipuram, and the University of Madras granted it affiliation in Groups III A and B (Ancient and Modern Histories, Logic and Elements of Commerce and Accountancy) under Part III and Tamil and Hindi under Part II, of the Intermediate Course. The next year (1951) further affiliation was secured in Group I (Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry). An Additional Building just opposite was rented in the same street for housing the laboratories. A strength of 60 in Group III and 80 in Group I in each of the two years of the Intermediate Course was then allotted to the College.

In the meantime, strenuous efforts were made by the late Dr. T.Satakopa Mudaliar, M.D., the then President of the Pachaiyappa’s Trust Board and his colleagues, to secure a suitable site for the College on which the permanent building of the College, the hostels, and the staff quarters could be erected with ample open spaces for the play-fields and game courts. Dr. Kanakasabapathy Mudaliar, M.A., Ph.D., (London) and other members of his family were persuaded to make, in 1950, a free gift of about 71/2 acres of land belonging to them, along the northern bank of the river Vegavathi to the east of Little Kanchipuram. An assignment of the adjoining 53 acres along the same river bank was secured from the Government immediately after, in May 1951 and the plans for the new building of the College on this ideal site were got ready. The foundation stone was laid by Dr. Sir A. Ramaswami Mudaliar, B.A., B.L., D.C.L., in September 1950 and the construction work commenced early in 1952.

A substantial structure consisting of six Lecture Halls measuring 30’X40’ each, for the classes and the Library and two Laboratory Halls measuring 30’X60’ each for Physics and Chemistry, with four smaller rooms for the Principal, the Office, the Staff and the Physical Director, were completed by the middle of 1953. The formal opening of the building was performed on the 6th June 1953 by Dr.Rajah Sir M.A. Muthiah Chettiar of Chettinad, kt.,B.A.,D.Litt., Pro-Chancellor of the Annamalai University, and one of the members of Pachaiyappa’s Trust Board. The College moved on to the new premises at the beginning of the academic year 1953-54.

The increased accommodation available in the new building had secured for the College additional strength in the affiliated groups from the beginning of the academic year 1953-54, 144 in Group I and 96 in Group III in each of the two Intermediate Classes. The College also secured affiliation in Natural Science in July 1956 and a Natural Science Block was put up consisting of a Lecture Hall measuring 30’X30’ and a Laboratory-cum-Musuem Hall measuring 30’X50’. Under the University re-organisation programme, the Intermediate course was abolished and the Pre-University course with four batches was introduced in the year 1956-57. The College was upgraded as a First Grade College in July 1957 with Branches I (History, Economics and Politics) and IV (Economics, Statistics and Commerce) in the new Three-Year B.A. Degree course and with Branch I (Mathematics and Statistics or Physics) in the new Three-Year B.Sc., Degree course. In the year 1963-64, on account of unprecedented rush for admissions into the Pre-University class sanction was obtained from the University for running two additional batches of 80 students each. On account of poor response from the students for B.A. Degree course in Branch I (History Major), it has been discontinued from the academic year 1963-64.

In the year 1965-66 two more batches of 90 students each were sanctioned by the University, thus raising the number of batches to eight in the Pre-University Course. Affiliation in the Three-Year B.Sc., Degree Course in Physics Major was also obtained from the University with an allotted strength of 48. From 1966-67 Tamil has been introduced as the medium of instruction for Commerce and Psychology under Group III (b) of the Pre-University class. An additional block of buildings was constructed to accommodate the extra batches of the Pre-University class and the newly introduced B.Sc., Degree Course in Physics Major. The Foundation stone of the additional block was laid by Hon’ble Thiru M.Bhaktavatsalam, B.A., B.L., the then Chief Minister of Madras on the occasion of the Founder’s Day celebration on the 27th March 1964. It was declared open by Lt. Col. Sir A. Lakshmanaswami Mudaliar, M.D., LL.D.,, D.C.L., D.Litt., F.R.C.O.G., F.A.C.S., M.L.C., Vice-Chancellor of the Madras University on the occasion of the Founder’s Day Celebration on the 15th April 1965.

The Library has been shifted to a bigger hall in the new block of buildings and named after the late Dr. T. Satakopan, a former president of the Trust Board, who had made immense efforts in the starting of this College and who had endowed by will a sum of Rs. 10,000 for the development of the Library. The formal naming of the Library was done by Dr. P. Srinivasan, former President of the Trust Board on the 12th March 1966. On the same day, Dr. P. Srinivasan also formally named the central Hall of the college Buildings in the ground floor after Thiru C. Kandasami Mudliar of Kanchipuram. The foundation stone for the Hostel in the College campus was laid by Thiru Bishnuram Medhi, Governor of Madras, on the occasion of the first Founder’s Day celebrated on the 20th March 1962.

The construction of the three-storeyed building for the Hostel with all amenities was completed in March 1966 and it was declared open by Hon’ble Thiru P. Kakkan, Home Minister, on the occasion of the Founder’s Day Celebration of the College on the 12th March 1966. Under the works Project Scheme of the U.G.C., an Open Air Theatre has also been constructed within the campus with the voluntary contribution of labour by the staff and students.

Foundation stone for the western Block of the college buildings was laid by Justice Thiru P. S. Kailasam on the occasion of the Founder’s Day Celebration on the 11th March 1967. Other plans for developing the institution into a full fledged Residential College with more branches of studies are being contemplated.