Loyola College, Chennai

Loyola College, Chennai is an autonomous Jesuit college of the University of Madras, Chennai, India. It consistently ranks among the top ten institutions in India for degree programmes in commerce, arts, natural sciences and social sciences.[1]

Loyola College
Coat of arms
MottoLuceat Lux Vestra
Motto in English
Let your Light Shine
Established1925 (1925)
FounderRev Fr Francis Bertram
AffiliationUniversity of Madras
Religious affiliation
Jesuit (Roman Catholic)
Location, ,

Loyola College admits undergraduates and post-graduates and confers degrees in the commerce, sciences and liberal arts. The college is on a 99-acre (400,000 m2) campus in the neighbourhood of Nungambakkam. The campus features tree-lined pathways, academic buildings, steepled Gothic church that dates back to 1930, and separate fields for each sport.


The name Loyola comes from the ancestral castle where Íñigo López de 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 (the Jesuit Order), 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 College was founded in 1925 by, along with other European Jesuits, the French Jesuit priest, Rev Fr Francis Bertram (originally a.k.a. Père François Bertrand; 1870/1871–1936),[4] educated at the universities of Oxford, Cambridge, and the London School of Economics. The Department of Economics was founded by Rev Fr Basenach from the London School of Economics.[5]


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 along with Women's Chritian college are the only colleges 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,[6] and in 2007 in both science and humanities.[7] 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.[8]

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 until 2019, comes with a grant of Rs. 2 crore for the college to upgrade its facilities.[9]


  • Dr. Savarimuthu Ignacimuthu, S.J., Principal of Loyola College, Chennai from 1997 to 2000. He was vice chancellor of Bharathiar University, Coimbatore from 2000 to 2002, and University of Madras, Chennai from 2002 to 2003. He is the director of Entomology Research Institute, Loyola College, Chennai since 1996. He published more than six hundred research papers and sixty books. Some of his books on biotechnology,[20] bioinformatics,[21] bioethics[22] ecology and environment[23] are used as textbooks in universities and colleges. His Tamil book on environmental awareness got the best book award from Tamil Nadu Government in 1995. He was awarded Tamil Nadu Scientist for Life Sciences (2000) by Tamil Nadu Government. He is a Fellow of the Royal Entomological Society (FRES) and the National Academy of Agricultural Sciences, New Delhi. He is Scientist Emeritus of CSIR and ICMR, New Delhi. He also holds many patents. One insect species is named after him (Jacthrips ignacimuthui),[24] and so is one molecule (Ignaciomycin).[25][26][27][28][29]
  • Father. Charles Racine, S.J. (1897–1976), Head of Department of Mathematics, Loyola College, Chennai from 1939 to 1968. His research contributions are in the field of relativity and celestial mechanics. He presided over the 38th Indian Science Congress, Bangalore, 1951. He received the Legion of Honour from the President of France. A portrait of Fr. Racine was unveiled at the Math-Science Institute (Ramanujan Institute for Advanced Study in Mathematics (RIASM), University of Madras), as one of ten eminent mathematicians[30][31]
  • Fr. Francis P. Xavier, S.J., Scientist, Vice President Global Academics & Research at Jesuit Worldwide Learning: Higher Education at the Margins (JWL)[32] Geneva, Switzerland. Fr. Xavier is also the founding director of an interdisciplinary research institute, Loyola Institute of Frontier Energy (LIFE), Loyola-ICAM College of Engineering and Technology (LICET) from 2010 to 2016 and Thomas I. Gasson, S.J., Professor in the Physics Department in Boston College, Massachusetts from 2017 to 2018.[33][30]
  • Father. Lourdu M. Yeddanapalli, S.J. (1904–1970), Pioneer scientist in physical chemistry and was a contemporary of Einstein at Princeton University, USA. Fr. Yeddanapalli joined the Department of Chemistry in 1946 and served as the Head of the Department from 1946 to 1970. Fr. Yeddanapalli did valuable research in chemical kinetics, high polymers, chemisorption, heterogeneous catalysis, adsorption of polar gases on collagens, and paper chromatographic studies of amino acids and proteins. From 1970 the Indian Chemical Society, Kolkata has been awarding biannually the Fr. L.M. Yeddanapalli Medal for outstanding research in Physical Chemistry done in India.[34][31][35] Fr. Yeddanapalli was a member of several professional organizations like the Plastic Research Committee (CSIR, New Delhi), and the Chemical Research Committee (CSIR). He was also a member of the Syndicate of University of Madras (1959–62; 1964–67). About 360 Chemistry students (BSc. Hons, MSc. and PhD), guided by him have become eminent professors, research chemists and administrators (IAS, etc.) in India and abroad.[36]

Institute for Excellence


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.[39] Its cultural sensitivity also extends worldwide.[40]

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.


Loyola college alumni also referred to as Loyolites have been contributors in various fields of law, politics, civil services, science, education, business, sports and entertainment.

Law and politics

Heads of state and Heads of government
Supreme Court Judges
High Court Judges
Other political figures
Civil servants
Social workers

Science, technology, medicine, and mathematics


Educational institution founders and presidents
Professors and scholars





Film, theatre, and television


See also


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