St. Xavier’s College - Heritage Institutions
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18-08-2019    221 times
St. Xaviers College
college was once occupied by the 200 feet long and 50 feet broad, massive and majestic building of the Sans Souci theatre, which resembled the Greek Parthenon on the Athenian Acropolis, complete with six Doric columns and a huge portico in the front. Unfortunately, when Sans Souci was burnt to the ground in 1843, the site was bought by seven Belgian Jesuits for the construction of this educational institute. It is therefore often said that, the campus of St. Xavier's School and College stands on the ashes of Sans Souci Theatre.

(To know more about Sans Souci, interested persons may please visit- Indumati Sabhagriha Calcutta)

At the beginning, St. Xavier's College started working with only 30 students and within two years, it was affiliated to Calcutta University in 1862. However, due to crunch of funds, it became a problem to build more classrooms for the growing number of students and accommodate the Jesuits fathers. To solve the problem, the rector of the college arranged to publish an appeal to the public for generous donation and assistance in the newspapers in 1864, which was responded well. Apart from that, Fr Depelchin and Br. Koppes, the builder, personally tried their best to move around door-to-door collecting funds.

st Xaviers College

Finally, the construction of the present imposing five-storied building of the college started in 1934 and it took six years to complete the huge building in 1940. Apart from the liberal donation of the general public of Calcutta, the cost of the construction, amounting to 900,000 Rupees was also funded from the assistance received from Belgium and the rental received from the American army that occupied the building during the Second World War.

The present location of the building is actually, the combination of adjoining plot numbers 10 and 11, which were purchased later. Today, the college classes are held in more than 50 classrooms, audio-visual rooms, and computer laboratories, spread throughout the four floors across the two buildings. The morning section of the college, meant for boys, offers only the Commerce course. The Day section houses the Arts and Science departments in various subjects, along with the co-educational Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Business Administration programs. In 2006, St. Xavier's College became the first autonomous college in West Bengal.

st Xaviers College
The 1905 Crest remains unchanged

The college is equipped with two imposing six-storey buildings, Fr. Leeming Boys' Hostel and Mother Teresa Hostel for Girls, which accommodate 250 boys and 190 girls of the college. The Goethals Library, situated above the College Chapel, houses an invaluable collection of books, apart from some old periodicals, journals and books, donated by the Archbishop of Calcutta, Paul Goethals in 1908. The college also has a well-equipped observatory, located on the top floor of the main college building.

st Xaviers College
The observatory

The auditorium of the college, with a capacity of around eight hundred at a time, is equipped with proper sound and lighting systems. The college encourages sports and games and has facilities for cricket, football, basketball, volleyball and table tennis. Football and basketball courts are located in the backyard of the main college building and are shared with St. Xavier's Collegiate School.

Private Teacher

Xavotsob, the annual cultural festival of the college, is held in late January. The festival is organized by the students' council, which raises a healthy amount through sponsorship and donates part of the surplus funds for scholarships

It will be not out of place to mention here that, a sister of the college, St Xavier’s University, a private, Jesuit University, located in New Town, Calcutta, has already started functioning since January 2017.

st Xaviers College
softetechnologies
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Dibyendu Banerjee
Ex student of Scottish Church College. Served a Nationalised Bank for nearly 35 years. Authored novels in Bengali. Translated into Bengali novels/short stories of Leo Tolstoy, Eric Maria Remarque, D.H.Lawrence, Harold Robbins, Guy de Maupassant, Somerset Maugham and others. Also compiled collections of short stories from Africa and Third World. Interested in literature, history, music, sports and international films.
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