Life and Legacy of Madras Christian College (1837-1978)

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legacyThis book, authored by Dr Joshua Kalapati (Philosophy) and Dr Ambrose Jeyasekaran (History) chronicles the life and growth of the Institution through five historic phases. The First Phase (1837-1862) captures the arrival of Rev. John Anderson and his colleagues, who laid a strong foundation for the General Assembly School in 1837. It covers not only the growth of the main school, but the branch schools, girl schools and the boarding home. The second phase (1862-1907) centres around the dynamic leader Rev William Miller, who not only upgraded the fledgling school into a college, but earned a national recognition for it through his innovative programs and sacrifices. The third phase (1907-1937) begins with Dr Skinner taking over the mantle of leadership from Miller, and highlights the plans for shifting the institution to the sylvan surroundings in the scrub jungle of Tambaram in 1937. In the Tambaram era, Dr Alexander Boyd strode like colossus for 18 long years (1938-56)as the principal of the College; his colleagues and growth of buildings in Tambaram are also captured in the fourth phase (1937-1962). The fifth and final historic phase begins with the charismatic Dr Chandran Devanesen taking over the reins of administration in 1962, who was succeeded many illustrious leaders until 1978, when Autonomy was granted to the Institution.

One cannot imagine the history of MCC being written without capturing its illustrious alumni—Dr S. Radhakrishnan, S.Satyamurti, R.K Shanmukham Chetty, Gen. Sunderji, T.N.Seshan—to name just a few. The book, in its last chapter spanning over 100 pages, offers pen portraits of more than 60 of its most famous old students, their lives and influences during the college times, as well as their achievements in the wider arena of life.

 This book also contains more than 100 rare photographs of the missionaries, college campus, buildings as well as the alumni.


“We are delighted to receive a copy of your book through post. Thanks also for the acknowledgement of us in the book. It is a work of great scholarship”.
Ann and David Miller, U.K. descendants of Rev William Miller, former Principal of MCC

“The book is a well researched chronicle in its 173rd year”
S.Muthiah, The Hindu, Metro Plus, October, 25, 2010

“Comprehensive, well-researched and well-printed book on the history of MCC”
Dr Hugald Grafe, German theologian, and author of History of Christianity in India, Vol.4 (Tamil Nadu), Church History Association of India

“What makes the book especially valuable is its treasure of detailed information about personalities who contributed to the rise of the college from its earliest infancy until 32 years ago, together with its trove of photos, annexure of lists, bibliography, index and scholarly apparatus. This book will serve as a pillar of reference for years to come”
Professor Robert Eric Frykenberg, author of Christianity in India: From Beginnings till the Present (Oxford University Press, 2010)

“The negativism associated with colonialism has rendered us reluctant to give credit where it’s due. You have taken the bold step of acknowledging the invaluable contribution of those famous Scottish Christian men who have contributed a great deal and rendered a service to us in Chennai with no ulterior motive other than to show how to live our Christianity. I have of course read the Fifth Phase and Outstanding alumni with special interest”
Ms Helen John Mathai I.F.S., Alumna & Deputy Secretary, Ministry of External Affairs (retd.)

“After going through it, I must say that you and Ambrose have done a very good job in documenting the important periods of the college history. You have also given a valuable account of the teachers and alumni of the college”
Shri Prakash Karat, General Secretary, CPIM

“You have gathered all details so painstakingly, and presented so graphically. It is a monumental production”
Thiru Walter Dewaram, IPS, alumnus and former DGP, Tamil Nadu.

For copies of the book please contact:

  • Dr. Joshua Kalapati: Email: / Phone: 91-9840924718 (4 to 9 p.m)
  • Alumni & Public Relations Officer: Email: / Phone: 91-44-22397731
  • Ms. Christina (Teacher), MCC Higher Secondary School, Chetpet / Phone: 9884872320
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