Mangaluru: St Agnes College - Chronicles of ten decades

Media Release

Mangaluru, Apr 9: St. Agnes College (Autonomous) Mangaluru, India, is a Premier Catholic Educational Institution founded on 2 July 1920 by a great visionary Mother Mary Aloysia, the second superior general of the Apostolic Carmel Congregation.

The Apostolic Carmel Congregation was founded in 1868 in France by Venerable Mother Veronica. It was transplanted at St Ann’s Convent, Mangaluru, India in the year 1870.

The Apostolic Carmel Congregation is the pioneer in women’s education in South India that established Educational Institutions to educate girls and women in the 19th Century. It is the parent Educational Society, having under its wings more than a thousand educational, technical, health and social service institutions catering to the needs of varied students all over the world.

When the Apostolic Carmel Congregation celebrated its Golden Jubilee, the then superior general, Mother Mary Aloysia discerned the urgent need of a Catholic College for women. It was a rare and proud moment in institutional history when in 1920 the first Intermediate class comprising six students was started at St Ann’s in the ‘Garden House’ and transferred in 1921 to the present premises, St Agnes, Bendore. Today, the Apostolic Carmel Congregation is celebrating its sesquicentennial year 1870-2020, St. Agnes College is celebrating its Centennial year 1921-2021.

Architects of St Agnes

Mother Mary Aloysia - The second superior general of the Apostolic Carmel Congregation is the designer of this magnificent edifice of women’s empowerment.

A multi-faceted woman, fired with zeal, reading the signs of time, placed great importance for women’s education, realizing the contribution of women to the society. Her untiring zeal, determined dedication is the proof of this centenary celebrations.

Her contribution to the impressive growth of the college did not go unnoticed by the then British Government and she was awarded the Kaiser-i-Hind Gold Medal of the First Class in 1929. Once again a ‘first’ since she was the first woman recipient of this prestigious national award. This milestone achievement gladdened the hearts of all on the campus.

Mother Theodosia - At a later date, Mother Theodosia A.C. former Principal of the College, was awarded the Kaiser-i-Hind, Silver Medal (1946) and the Padma Shri Award (1970) for her contribution to the field of Women’s Education.

The same spirit of the leadership was passed on for generations through the efficient principals who took over the administration. The batten is now passed on to Sr Venissa, to continue the legacy and impart holistic education in the Post Centenary era.

The institution has some of the finest members of faculty in the city. Well qualified teachers number over 140 in strength and together with 70 committed support staff, they constitute the backbone of the College.

Pedagogical Transcendence of St Agnes

The mighty institution which started with just six students on roll under single BA programme in 1920, is now educating approximately 5000 students every year under PU, UG, PG, Diploma as well as research programmes.

This prestigious institution moulds the personality of its pupils through various streams of academic programmes.



History, Economics, Political Science
History, Economics, Psychology
History, Economics, Secretarial Practice
History, Psychology, Economics
History, Political Science, Economics
Office Practice & Management Economics, Psychology
Office Practice & Management, Economics, Secretarial Practice
Office Practice & Management, Economics, Political Science
Office Practice & Management Psychology, English
Office Practice & Management, Political Science, English
Office Practice & Management, Secretarial Practice, Psychology
Journalism, Economics, Political Science
Journalism, Psychology, English
Journalism, Political Science, English
NCC, Economics, Political Science
NCC, Economics, Psychology



Physics Chemistry Maths
Physics Maths Computer Science
Maths Statistics Computer Science
Maths Physics Statistics
Maths Statistics Economics


Botany Zoology Chemistry
Botany Zoology Psycology
Maths Zoology Chemistry


Bachelor of Commerce (Regular)
BCom with ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants)
BCom Professional
BCom. BPS – Industry Integrated offered through TCS
BCom with CMA (USA)


BBA (Regular)
BBA (Business Process Management )
BBA with Aviation


Added Facilities

• Internships of good standard
• Certificate programmes
• Well equipped laboratories
• Pre- Placement trainings
• Campus placement assessment
• Well standard Internships
• Coaching for Bank exams, Civil Services

In 2001 the College, which was until then composite, bifurcated into separate degree and pre-university institutions and in 2004 the PU College was relocated to a new building on the campus.

Under the efficient leadership of Sr Linette, followed by illustrious principals, the PU College has been accommodating individuals to transform them into responsible citizens and achievers in life. At this juncture, with Sr Norine as the principal, the college offers the following courses:

(Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics, Biology, Electronics, Statistics, Computer Science, Home Science)

(Basic Maths, Statistics, Economics, Computer Science, Business Studies, Accountancy)

ARTS: HEPP (History, Economics, Psychology, Political Science)

LANGUAGES OFFERED: Kannada, Hindi, French, English (compulsory)

Along with the extended activities such as NCC, SELF DEFENCE (KARATE) and Clubs.

  • SRISHTI - Eco Club
  • ORATIO - Public Speaking
  • AASTHA - Socila Service
  • AGNETIO - Commerce Forum
  • UTSAV - Art & Culture
  • ABHINAVAN - Hindi Sangh
  • HANATHE - Kannada Sangh
  • AGNO HUMANICA - Humanities
  • SPECTRUM - Science Forum
  • ABHAYA - Women’s Forum

In 2008 St Agnes College made an entry into Post-Graduate education and presently offers the following programmes:

MA English Literature
MSc Psychology
MSc Clinical Psychology
MS Chemistry
MSc in Data Analytics

Phd Programmes in Psychology, English, Commerce and Chemistry

PG Diploma in Business Analytics

PG Diploma in Counselling Guidance

Seminars, workshops and conferences organized by various departments greatly intensify the academic experience on the campus offering the students global exposure and prepare them both for higher studies and various job opportunities.

Major and Minor Research Projects, paper presentations and publications by students and faculty members are some of the institution’s noteworthy scholarly accomplishments. To tap the potentials of students, the institution hosts a number of forums, clubs, units and wings in various fields of co-curricular, social and national interest.

Legendary Guests at St Agnes

In 1946, the institution celebrated its Silver Jubilee and on this occasion, Her Excellency Lady Nye, wife of the Governor of Madras visited St Agnes College.

It is noteworthy that St. Agnes College was the only educational institution in Mangaluru to be privileged by Indira Gandhi’s visit on 28th September 1955.

The institution welcomed the Countess Hemptinne of the World Union of Catholic Women's Organisations in 1965.

In 1995-96, the college celebrated its Platinum Jubilee.

The college was blessed with the presence of St Mother Teresa of Kolkata as the chief guest at the valedictory ceremony.

Philanthropic Volumes of St Agnes

As a Centenary memorial of the Apostolic Carmel Congregation, a Special School for differently-abled children was started and this new project was taken over by the Department of Psychology in 1971.

The institution was ever in the forefront for giving itself in service to humanity, and teaching its students to do likewise. In keeping with this, in 1972, the College launched the National Service Scheme (NSS).

St. Agnes College has remained steadfast on the lookout for opportunities for service and moral growth of the young women under its care. Therefore, when the U.N.O declared 1987 the ‘International Year of Shelter for the Homeless’, the College adopted a village of migrants named ‘Jyothinagar’ in Mangaluru’s suburbia. Also, a noteworthy Women’s Empowerment Programme was initiated in rural Mangaluru in 1992.

The college has continued to extend its service beyond the classroom. The staff and the students visited the Endo-sulfan victims of Kokkada village. After learning the situation, the college adopted a victim family and contributed towards a wheel chair for the child and constructed a house for the family.

During times of floods in different parts of the state and country the college has taken the initiative to visit the flood stricken victims and helped them with food, finance, clothes, medicine and such other needs.

St Agnes College started a noble service of saving life by organizing Blood Donation Camp in 2009. For the past 10 years the staff and students have generously donated about 100 pints of blood to Father Muller Medical College Hospital. In recognition for this continued lifesaving donation the college was awarded with an Appreciation Certificate by Father Muller Medical College in 2015.

The final Year Students are actively involved in rendering service to the society every Saturday throughout the year, through an outreach programme called, Agnes Towards Community (ATC). This outreach programme was started in the year 2015 with the objectives to inculcate in students a sense of social responsibility, to sensitize students to the needs of the community around them and to ensure that the students going out of the portals of St. Agnes College become powerful agents of change at home and in the world at large.

Different villages are adopted by the unit, where the students dynamically contribute towards activities such as: sapling planting, cleanliness drive in anganavadis/primary health centres, door-to-door awareness campaigns on rain water harvesting, e-waste and dry waste management, water purification, prevention of dengue and malaria, epidemic diseases, beach cleaning, water analysis, cleanliness drive in schools and village areas (swachatha program), importance of Earthworms and Vermicompost. The students visit various schools and give training on Basic Computer Skills, Spoken English Class and teaching Mathematics through different methods like logic and origami.

Pioneering Role of St Agnes

The first women’s college also has many noteworthy pioneering achievements to its credit. It is the first women’s college on the West Coast of India and the first, under private management, established in the whole country. Though a minority institution, it has opened the door of opportunities to individuals irrespective of caste, creed, religion, or economic status and also given importance to the cause of the disadvantaged and the underprivileged.

The First University Extension Lecture in Mangaluru was delivered by an Agnesian alumna E K Leela MALT, on ‘Child Education’ in 1935. We are proud to say that it was the first lecture in Mangalore delivered by a lady in a Women’s College. Also, the first Mangalorean Diocesan Catholic Women’s Conference was held in this College in 1935.

The College Students Union came into existence in 1936. For the first time in the history of St Agnes College, a lady, Begum Sultana Mir Amiruddin, an enthusiastic patron of women’s education, graced the Presidential chair on College Day, on 22 January 1938.

In sports too, the institution has had a long and illustrious history. The students of the college participated for the first time in the Inter-Collegiate Athletics in 1956. The college went on to secure top honours in Badminton and Table Tennis. St Agnes College was the only college to represent Mysore State at the Inter-University Kho Kho Tournament at Indore. In 1974, the college introduced hockey for the first time. In 1975, the college hosted Inter-Collegiate Women’s Games and the MGS Zonal Inter-collegiate Tournament for Women on the college grounds.

St Agnes College was the first in South India to introduce a two-year Degree course and a two-year Post Graduate Degree course in Social Work in 1957.

To create job opportunities for students, Commerce as a programme of study was introduced at the PUC level in 1969 and at the degree level in 1971. In 2016 the College introduced the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) programme in association with the International Skill Development Corporation (ISDC) UK, the first college under Mangalore University to do so; the BCom. Professional Degree Programme in 2017 (CA); and the BCom with Business Process Services and BBA with Business Process Management (in collaboration with Tata Consultancy Services - TCS) in 2018 were introduced.

St Agnes College strengthened its reputation as a standard bearer in the field of higher education by being the first institution in Mangalore University to subject itself for accreditation by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) in 1999. It was awarded a Five Star grade. The College was awarded an ‘A’ grade in subsequent accreditations in 2005 and 2012. In 2017, in its fourth cycle of accreditation, the College obtained an A+ grade and a CGPA of 3.65 out of 4 in its fourth cycle, and this is the highest score that any college in Karnataka has ever received.

The awards and honours have come in quick and glorious succession. St Agnes College was recognized as a ‘College with Potential for Excellence’ by the UGC in May 2006. In November 2006, the prestigious International Jimmy and Roselyn Carter Foundation Partnership Award, the first of its kind in India, was granted to the Institution for its work in Watershed Management which greatly benefitted villages at Kirem and Vamanjoor in Mangaluru’s outskirts.

In 2006, St Agnes College was granted academic autonomy by the UGC and in 2007 by Mangalore University. In 2017 the institution was recognized by the UGC as a ‘College of Excellence’, and ‘Star College’ status was bestowed on it by the department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of India, in the same year.

In 2019, the college was selected for Unnath Bharath Abhiyan, a flagship programme of Ministry of Human Resource Development and in the same year the college was selected for Mentoring NAAC Accreditation Aspirant Institutions to promote Quality Assurance in Higher Education by UGC Scheme of Paramarsh.

Post Centenary march of St Agnes

Over the century, the Institution has the distinction of producing women graduates who hold positions in different spheres as educators, scientists, chartered accountants, management professionals and efficient homemakers.

The institution is proud of its alumni, who possess exceptional qualities of head and heart. It must be placed on record that the alumni extend support to the needy students of the College through their scholarship programme.

Now, with the march of time, the institution stands on the threshold of completing its Centenary celebrations. The College marked a vibrant beginning with the unveiling of the Centenary Logo and the launching of the Alumni website on the Feast of St. Agnes, 21 January, 2018.

August 15, 2018 was an auspicious date in the history of St Agnes College as the day marked the laying of the foundation of the Mother Mary Aloysia AC Centenary Memorial Block by the bishop of Mangaluru, Dr Aloysius Paul D’Souza in the presence of the provincial superior of the Apostolic Carmel Karnataka Province and various other dignitaries including academic luminaries, political leaders, benefactors, friends, well wishers, staff, students, parents and alumni. In the same year a two day Centenary Fiesta was organized in association with the alumni. In 2019 the Centenary Special Postal Cover was released on the College day. A centenary run was held on 15 December to celebrate the empowerment of women. A number of students of all the institutions on the campus, faculty members, support staff, parents, alumni and the public joined in marathon/cyclathon/walkathon to create awareness of the 100 glorious years of service to society through education.

Having inherited a legacy and mission from Mother Mary Aloysia, generations of religious sisters, faculty members, support staff, students and alumni have kept that vision alive and made the empowerment of women their mission and life’s work.

St Agnes, the Virgin – Martyr is the patroness of this institution. Her purity of life, modesty, truthfulness and steadfastness are the virtues we want our young women to live out in their lives. The motto of St Agnes College, ‘God is my strength’ is the guiding principle in the life of every person who enters the portals of the institution. In the sincere effort of every Principal, member of the faculty and student, the spirit of Mother Mary Aloysia is ever renewed.

Even one hundred years after the birth of St Agnes College, the human spirit and the power of the divine combine on the campus to make daily miracles of life, love and learning continue to happen. It is a singular privilege to be part of the great Agnesian experience as the curtains fall after the memorable centenary celebrations, and the dawn of a new era in the ever evolving arena higher education begins. A detailed history of the institution is now in print and will be available as a book.

At St Agnes College what has been and still is the cornerstone of excellence is: Passion, Purpose and Progress.







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Comment on this article

  • Yolande (Pinto) Wersching, Mangalore/Ooty/Chicago/

    Sun, Apr 11 2021

    Congratulation on 100 years of education! I taught there (very briefly!) back in 1966. Although I do not have many memories of St. Agnes, I have fond memories visiting my Aunt Ena (Mother M. Carmelita AC) and she always treated us so well. I treasure those visits and I wish St. Agnes all the very best in the years ahead.

    Reply Report Abuse Agree

  • Louis Miranda, Ferar / Kuwait

    Sat, Apr 10 2021

    Congratulations to all the AC Sisters for this successful accomplishments. Good Luck & all the best. Praying for you all.

    Reply Report Abuse Agree

  • Ben D'Souza Prabhu, Mangalore, Bombay Bandra now in Canada

    Sat, Apr 10 2021

    Many thanks to you dear AC Nuns. We all Mangloreans are very Proud of you for the Omen Services rendered to the Comunity now for nearly 100 years !!! At least 8 members of my family have benefited and achieved their goal in the course of past 60 years from these Institutions. Your guidance and discipline was a key factor and cause for their personalities. Many many thanks. Our Gracious Lord is caring and guiding you well. Good Going and Good Luck. Praying for you all.

    Reply Report Abuse Agree [9]

  • Jossey Saldanha, Mumbai

    Fri, Apr 09 2021

    St. Agnes is the Pride of Mangalore ...

    Reply Report Abuse Agree [15]

  • Ina Carmelita D'Souza, Mangalore

    Fri, Apr 09 2021

    Congratulations dear AC sisters!!! You have walked the 100 years of successful accomplishments!!! All Praise, Glory, Honor, Thanksgiving, Wisdom, Power and Might be to God Almighty now and evermore!!! Amen. Alleluia Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

    Reply Report Abuse Agree [12]

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