Loyola College, Chennai

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Loyola College
Loyola College Chennai - Coat of arms.png
Coat of arms
Motto Luceat Lux Vestra
Motto in English
Let your Light Shine
Type Autonomous
Established 1925; 91 years ago (1925)
Founder Fr. Francis Bertram
Affiliation University of Madras
Religious affiliation
Jesuit (Roman Catholic)
Location Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
Nickname Loyolite
Website loyolacollege.edu

Loyola College is an autonomous, Jesuit institution under the University of Madras in the city of Chennai, India. It consistently ranks among the top five institutions in India for degree programmes in commerce, arts, natural sciences and social sciences.[1] It admits undergraduates and post-graduates and confers degrees in the liberal arts, sciences and commerce. The college is on a 99-acre (400,000 m2) campus in the heart of Chennai, in Nungambakkam. Its tree-lined pathways, academic buildings, steepled Gothic church which dates back to 1930, and separate fields for each sport, make it a landmark in the southern metropolis.


The name Loyola comes from the ancestral castle where Saint Ignatius of Loyola was born in 1491, the last of a large Basque family. He along with St. Francis Xavier and companions founded the Society of Jesus (Jesuits), a worldwide organization of religious men numbering about 19,000. Nearly 4,000 are working in the 18 provinces of India.[2] In Tamil Nadu there are 480 Jesuits working in schools, colleges, youth services, social work centres, parishes, mission outreach programmes, and in other forms of service and church ministry.[3]

Loyola Church

Loyola College was founded in 1925 by French Jesuit Fr. Francis Bertram, along with European Jesuits educated at the universities of Oxford, Cambridge, and the London School of Economics. The Department of Economics was founded by Fr. Basenach from the London School of Economics.[4]


Main building

The college offers courses at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels. The arts/humanities stream includes English, economics, commerce, history, Tamil and sociology. Science courses include physics, chemistry, botany, zoology and computer science. The college follows a credit-based, semester pattern. Undergraduate students must pass all examinations and obtain at least 120 credits in three years to be eligible for a degree. All students must also earn non-academic credits from extra-curricular and social service options. The Department of Outreach facilitates social work in the college. It is a degree requirement that every student irrespective of department complete the outreach program in second year, intended to form more complete human persons. The program takes students to slums and backward areas in and around Chennai to acquaint them with the sufferings of the people and to serve in small ways to better the living conditions. The program awards 3 credits.
Loyola College is the only college in the state capital Chennai with "A+" accreditation from NAAC. India Today magazine in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2009 ranked Loyola number one in India for science degrees,[5] and in 2007 in both science and humanities.[6] The Department of Scientific and Industrial Research has recognised Loyola College as a Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, the highest research honour for an Arts and Science College.[7] The college has been conferred a "College with Potential For Excellence" status by the University Grants Commission. It was given a 10 million grant (1 Crore) in 2006 by the UGC for continual improvement of facilities. The UGC has further certified it as a "College of Excellence" in the year 2014. The certification, for a period of five years till 2019, comes with a grant of Rs. 2 crore for the college to upgrade its facilities.[8]

Institute for Excellence[edit]


Loyola College was a pioneer among colleges in South India in hosting cultural fests, and stands out among men's college in Chennai for fostering well-rounded development. Women were first admitted at the turn of the millennium, and they too are encouraged to participate in cultural activities. The College has been commended for its blend of cultures and for requiring all students to have weekly contact with the poor.[12] Its cultural sensitivity also extends worldwide.[13]

The large, Down Sterling inter-college carnival was terminated by college authorities in 1992 when things got out of hand. This historic carnival is memorialized in the friendship song "MUSTHAFA MUSTHAFA" from the movie Kadhal Desam (1996). To somewhat fill the void the Loyola Student's Union organizes the inter-collegiate cultural event Ovations each September. The college also hosts an annual inter-collegiate dance competition called "Ignite" each February, where its dance team, Loyola Dream Team, excels; also featured are Western/acoustic music bands, and variety and mime teams. And Sanjay Pinto was already a fiery orator in 1991 to 1994 when he brought prominence to the Loyola Debating Society and college.

Notable alumni[edit]

Alumni include a former president of India, politicians, diplomats and civil servants, entertainers, eminent sportsmen, Olympic medalists, writers journalists and philosophers.

Politics and administrative service[edit]

Academics and business[edit]




  • Sanjay Pinto, Resident Editor, NDTV 24 X 7 (Editor of the Loyola Herald and the President of the Loyola Debating Society, 1991 to 1994)
  • Narasimhan Ram, journalist, Chairman of Kasturi & Sons Limited, Publisher of The Hindu[14]
  • Palagummi Sainath, Rural Affairs Editor of The Hindu and Magsaysay awardee.

Theatre and cinema[edit]



See also[edit]


External links[edit]

Coordinates: 13°03′43″N 80°14′02″E / 13.062°N 80.234°E / 13.062; 80.234