St. Thomas College, Palai
|Motto||“Vita (Life), Lux (Light), Amor (Love)”|
|Established||August 7, 1950|
|Type||Aided (Minority Institution)|
|Principal||Dr Sunny Joseph Panjikunnel|
|Patron||Mar Joseph Kallangarattu|
|Location||Pala, Kottayam, Kerala, India|
|Affiliations||Mahatma Gandhi University, UGC, NAAC|
St. Thomas College, Palai, was founded on 7 August 1950 by the Diocese of Palai, Kerala, India. The college was re-accredited with A grade by NAAC in 2015 May and is affiliated to Mahatma Gandhi University Kottayam. It is recognized under section 2(f) and 12B of the UGC Act 1956. The Government of Kerala has recognized the College as a Special Grade College.
The founders of the college set before themselves the task of providing a Christian formation to the younger generation by fostering in their minds faith in God, love for their fellow-men and devotion to motherland. These aims are to be realised by imparting moral and religious discipline in addition to the instruction aimed at general intellectual and physical advancement. They made it their mission to spread the light of learning all around, irrespective of caste, creed, religion or language.
Coat of arms
The College coat of arms symbolically suggests the intellectual and moral task the college assigns to itself. The motto on the crest, “Vita (Life), Lux (Light), Amor (Love)” shows how light and love, which stand for knowledge and fellow-feeling respectively, can enrich a person’s life. The bearings on the shield represent a river in the lower portion, a pepper-vine, a book and a lamp and a setsquare in the upper portion. The river is River Meenachil on whose banks the college is seated. The pepper - vine denotes the trade and agrarian associations of Palai and the charges to its right are symbols of learning and skill. Further, the setsquare evokes memories of St. Thomas, our Heavenly Patron, who is traditionally represented as holding a setsquare.
To create a center of excellence through the formation of young people empowered to create a bright future for themselves and others, irrespective of caste, creed, religion or language through dissemination of knowledge, skills and noble values.
Founded in 1950, St. Thomas College, Pala has to its credit more than 60years of distinguished, service in the field of higher education in the state of Kerala sending out many graduate maxima cum laude to carve out their destinies in diverse spheres. The idea of establishing an arts and science college at Pala had been dormant for a long time in the minds of the Roman Catholic community of the area. The year 1950 was also remarkable in that, true to Taine’s dictum, man, moment and milieu conspired to make history, the Diocese of Palai was born and Fr. Mani Sebastian Vayalilkalapura, president of the college committee, was made the first Bishop of the diocese and the Patron of the college. Veteran leaders like Mr. George Thomas Kottukapally, Mr. Cherian Kappen, Mr. R.V.Thomas, Mr. K.M.Chandy etc. joined hands with the bishop in founding the college for fulfilling the educational dreams of the hardworking agrarian people of Meenachil. The sanction for starting the college had, in fact, been obtained from the erstwhile Travancore University two years earlier and a committee for the construction of the college building had been started. We were singularly fortunate in having Dr. P.J. Thomas, the renowned economist, and advisor and representative to the U.N of the Govt. of India, as the first Principal of the college. Prof. V.J. Joseph, who was appointed Vice Principal, was also an academician endowed with a vision of the college growing like the mighty king of the forest, an evergreen oak- with its branches reaching out far and wide. Between 1950 and ’60, apart from the intermediate course, UG courses in Mathematics, Botany, Economics, Chemistry, Zoology, Politics and postgraduate courses in Hindi, Politics and Statistics were started. At present the college is situated in a lush green campus with a complex of more than half a dozen multi-storeyed buildings accommodating all class rooms, a modern library, laboratories, staff and students’ hostels and having over 10 acres of fields exclusively ear marked for sports and games along with a swimming pool. In the year 1952, Rev. Fr. Joseph Kureethadom was appointed the Principal of the college. During his tenure the college expanded rapidly and reached its high watermark of growth with an array of undergraduate and postgraduate courses with arts and science subjects as majors, and an expansive campus conveniently and aesthetically studded with impressive college buildings, grassy playgrounds, hostels and ancillary facilities. The main block, “Tisserant Hall”, called A-block, stoutly built with an enormous roof span and massive columns was ready to house the administration, classrooms, laboratories and libraries in 1953. The first Prime Minister of India Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru visited the college in 1954. In 1981 Rt. Rev. Dr. Joseph Pallickaparambil took over as the Bishop of Palai and the patron of St.Thomas College. In 2005 H.E. Bishop Mar Joseph Kallarangattu became the Bishop of Palai and the Patron of the college. The college was fortunate to have able and visionary managers such as Msgr. Emmanuel Mecherikunnel, Msgr. Philip Valiyil, Bishop Mar Joseph Pallikaparampil, Msgr. Kurian Vanchipura, Msgr. Joseph Mattam, Msgr. Philip Njaralakkattu, Msgr. Enas Ottathengumkal and Msgr. Joseph Kollamparampil. The college celebrated its Silver Jubilee in 1976 with Prime Minister Mrs. Indira Gandhi as the chief guest. The preceding decade had been one of hectic academic activity during which more Post graduate courses- English, Physics, Economics and Mathematics were started, new hostels inaugurated, more blocks added to the cluster of buildings in the campus etc. Rev. Dr. N.M. Thomas, who succeeded Fr. Joseph Kureethadam as principal in 1968, retired from service in the jubilee year passing the baton to Prof. P.M. Chacko. Fr. James Vellankal followed Prof. Chacko in 1984. The successors of Fr. Vellankal included an illustrious line of academic administrators combining erudition with sharp acumen - Fr. O.P. Eanas (1986-1991), Fr. Philip Njaralakkattu (1991-1995), Rev. Dr. Kurian Mattam (1995-2001) and Rev. Dr. M.M. Mathew Maleparambil (2001–06). During 2006-09 Rev. Dr. Mathew John K was officiated as the drawing and disbursement officer. Dr. K. K. Jose, a renowned academician and researcher of international repute was appointed as Principal in 2009 and the college is marching to greater glory under his dynamic and innovative leadership. All our visionary Patrons, veteran Managers and efficient Principals have contributed to the enrichment of the academic life of the college. In their respective tenure they could add feathers to their caps by effectively co-ordinating the existing course programmes and by starting new courses ranging from the highly academic to the broadly vocational. In 2000 and 2010 the college celebrated its Golden Jubilee and Diamond Jubilee in a befitting manner with a number of curricular and co-curricular programmes. In 2010 the college was identified by UGC as a College with Potential for Excellence. In 2012, Dept. Of Science and Technology, Govt. of India has identified this college for DST-FIST support for the development of all the science departments based on our achievements in teaching, research and consultancy and community development activities.
The National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) has awarded A Grade to St. Thomas' College. Furthermore, UGC has recognised St. Thomas' College as one among the six colleges in Kerala accorded with the status of 'College with Potential for Excellence'(CPE).