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Centenary celebrations begin for oldest alumni association in Karnataka

February 4, 2023

Commemorating a hundred years of its Old Students’ Association, now formally known as St Joseph’s Alumni Association, St Joseph’s University has crossed yet another landmark in its long history of 140 years.

The varsity, in an official note said that this was the oldest association that any institution has in the state of Karnataka, and is set to celebrate its centennial on February 5, 2023.

Although, technically, the year 2020 was the 100th anniversary of the St Joseph’s Alumni, celebrations were undermined by the Covid-19 pandemic and its several public restrictions.

The original roots of the Old Students’ Association (OSA) lie in the Old Boys’ Association (OBA) of St Joseph’s European Boys’ School. Since both St Joseph’s European Boys’ School and St Joseph’s College were linked in many ways, the Old Boys’ Association of the School formed in the year 1901 also became the Association for all the old students of our Institution (which was still a boys’ college). 1904 marked a new beginning for St Joseph’s College wherein formal separation of the College from the School took place, resulting in SJC becoming a distinct entity necessitating the creation of a separate Alumni Association for the College.

“The consistent hard work of Rev. Fr Cyril Browne, the erstwhile Principal of St Germaine’s School, paid off when the general meeting took place on September 7, 1919, which is considered the actual birthday of the OSA (now St Joseph’s Alumni Association),” a university spokesperson said.

From freedom fighters to distinguished scientists and innovators, administrators, managers, entrepreneurs, engineers, teachers, sportspersons, doctors, social workers, political activists, actors, writers, journalists, the varsity now boasts of an illustrious alumni.  

Among them were P Sundaralah, B Ratnakar Rai, Kripakaran, Deendayal Naidu, Narasimhan, Anslem Britto who actively took part in a war against colonialism. Many among the alumni are also prominent names in active politics — P Sundararam Reddy, Ebrahim Sulaiman Seth, Dr Rajeev Gowda, Dr Jeevaraj Alva, and Narayana Swamy, Legislators and Councillors, Grace Tucker, Abdu Samad, Kumar Bangarappa, Allum Veerabhadrappa, and Late Appaji Gowda are among them.

Justice Santhosh Hegde (Karnataka Lokayukta), former Home Secretary to GOI, G K Pillai, former Chief Elections Commissioner of India T Krishnamurthy, military officers General KS Thimmalah and Major Dr Muriel Texiera, social activist Sunitha Krishnan, mathematician Sujatha Ramdorai, historian Janaki Nair, and cricketers Roger Binny, Brijesh Patel and Syed Kirmani, also had their higher education from this varsity which is Karnataka’s only one based on a public-private-partnership. 

Also read: Karnataka: Dr Victor Lobo appointed VC of St Joseph’s University

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