A band of seven Belgian Jesuits arrived at Calcutta in
November 1859, under the leadership of Fr. H. Depelchin
(Rector: 1860-1871), the Founding Father of St. Xavier’s, They shifted St. Xavier’s from Chowringhee
to the premises of the Sans Souci Theatre in January 1860, ever since the
honest home of learned professors and zealous students.
St. Xavier’s College, Kolkata, has grown today
a leading educational institution in India. Both St.
Xavier’s School and College are proud of their
to the cause of education and culture in Bengal for
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years. These twin institutions have produced many great
educationists and students who earned regard and respect
their Alma Mater.
Fr. E. Lafont was appointed Rector in October 1871, He
gifted teacher of physics. The terrible cyclone of
1864 proved the beginning of his fame. The catastrophe
have been much greater, had not Fr. Lafont signaled the
It was Fr. O’Neill (Rector: 1904-1913) who gave the
its crest and the motto: Nihil Ultra, a motto,
and suggestive of a noble ideal, of an unconquerable
that urges the Xaverian to a consistent quest for the
higher. The motto of the young Xaverian is the old maxim
Perfectum nihil est, aliqiriddum restat agentiim”
is Perfect as long as anything remains to be done).
The tiny seed has grown into a mighty tree. In the year
its centenary (1960), St. Xavier’s had on its rolls 3503
students. It has, now 60 years later, 7,106 students of
whom 2,162 are in the school and 4,944 in the college. A
total teaching staff of 213 are educating them. The
section, starting from the Primary, leads up to the ISC
Final Examination. The College offers UG and PG Courses
under five faculties : Arts, Science, Commerce, Business
Administration and Education.
St. Francis Xavier is the Patron of St. Xavier’s
There is not an educated Indian who has not heard the
of Francis Xavier. It is to India that Ignatius of
the Founder of the Society of Jesus, sent his greatest
Francis Xavier in 1542. Xavier was a zealous “missionary
the move”. He sailed to Malacca and Japan in 1549 where
spent two and a half years. In April 1552 he set sail to
China via Malacca from Goa, never to return alive. He
at Sancian, a small island facing china, on 3rd December
Wherever he went, he plunged himself into charitable and
pastoral work preaching the message of God’s love to
He worked in India for 10 years from 1542 to 1552,
the Xaverian decade.
The list of the old students of St. Xavier’s includes
scientists, actors, film makers, poets and
Bengal. It can boast of some of its pupils who became
international figures of repute: Rabindranath Tagore and
Jagadish Chandra Bose. While Tagore was impressed by the
relationship between teachers and students at St.
Bose found encouragement for his introduction to science
the person of Fr. Lafont, who was called “the father of
science” in India. Three chief ministers of Bengal – H.
Suhrawarby, Siddhartha Shankar Ray and Jyoti Basu passed
through the portals of St. Xavier’s. You will invariable
come across, in any important office in Kolkata, a
who has excelled in his field.
St. Xavier’s has always been known for its cosmopolitan
national character. Much before the expression “national
integration” gained currency, St. Xavier’s had tried to
foster among its students the spirit and practice of it.
Coming as they do from all over India and from various
communities, they live in complete harmony,
and mutual respect. Thus they are encouraged to develop
beyond local and group affinities, loyalties to the
and society at large.
The National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC)
recognized St. Xavier College as an “A” grade
2003. In May 2006, it was declared a College with
for Excellence by the UGC. From July 2006, it became an
Autonomous College (the first in West Bengal). In 2011,
assessed St. Xavier’s as an Autonomous College with a
of 3.53 on a scale of 4. In 2012, the UGC team visited the
college. The team granted the renewal of Autonomy. St.
Xavier’s College has purchased 17 acres of land at
and has taken possession of the property. The foundation
stone at Rajarhat was laid by the Honorable Chief
of West Bengal, Ms Mamta Banerjee on 27 December,
His Grace Archbishop Thomas D’Souza blessed the
stone and Fr. Jeyaraj Veluswamy SJ. Provincial blessed
In March 2014, St. Xavier’s was honored with the
of “College of Excellence”. In July 2014, the rural face
St. Xavier’s set up the campus at Raghabpur, South 24
Parganas – The college offers various courses in B. Com (Honours),
Bengali (Honours) and BA (Genral). An Honours course in
will be offered from July 2015.
The EMRC building at the EM By pass campus is another
instance of the extenstion of the college. Fr. Leeming Boys’ Hostel
and Mother Teresa Hostel for Girls has been in use from July 2014.
St. Xavier’s has over the
163 years remained steadfast
persevered in the midst of troubles and anxieties. Now
all the richness of the past, it embraces the future
the same spirit- “Nihil Ultra” (Nothing beyond).