Origin & HistoryAfter Independence, the demand for higher education greatly increased, and many young men of Vijayawada and the surrounding towns and villages set out for Tamil Nadu in search of quality education. Grieved by their plight, the Catholic Bishops of Andhra Pradesh, in particular, Bishop Ignatius Mummadi of Guntur Diocese, requested the Jesuits, members of the Society of Jesus, who had already made outstanding contributions to education in India, to establish a college in Vijayawada. In response, a committed band of Jesuits, headed by Fr Karnam Deviah, SJ, came to Vijayawada from the then Madurai Jesuit Province in Tamil Nadu. Thanks to the generous financial support of local philanthropists, Andhra Loyola College was established on a 110-acre land in the year 1953 (classes commenced on July 22, 1954) with Rev Fr Theo Mathias, SJ, (who later became a professor at Xavier Labour Relations Institute, Jamshedpur) as its first Principal. The college was affiliated to Andhra University till December 1976 and to Nagarjuna University thereafter. It is now affiliated to Krishna University.
Throughout these 58 years, Andhra Loyola College has unfailingly occupied a premier position in higher education, producing men and women of “competence, conscience, and compassionate commitment”, which is the goal of Jesuit education. The alumni of the college occupy high positions in different fields in India and abroad, and they hold fast to this vision.
In 1988, the college won the autonomous status by virtue of its excellent contribution to education, and it has used this freedom, throughout the quarter century of its autonomy, to experiment and innovate, introducing more practical combination of courses as well as job-oriented ones to meet the needs of the immediate society. The college offers intermediate, degree, and post-graduate programmes, and its undergraduate curriculum is so broad-based and holistic that it has, in addition to the mainstream academic programmes, six other dimensions:
- Streaming for the purpose of General English instruction with accent on communication skills on the first two years;
- Development of computer literacy in all the first year students;
- Value education and personality development in the first two years;
- Community service through participation for forty hours in an extension programme;
- Skills-based and employment-oriented certificate courses in the second year; and
- Project work in the third year.
The various committees which have reviewed the autonomous functioning of the college, including the UGC Review Committee, have recorded their appreciation of the achievements the college has made and the high standards it has consistently maintained.
In 2002, the college was accredited by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC), which re-accredited the college in 2008 with Grade A (3.65/4).
In 2003-2004, the college celebrated its golden jubilee.
In 2004, the college was recognized by the UGC as a ‘College with Potential for Excellence' (CPE). It is one of the 47 colleges in India which, in the first phase of the CPE scheme of the UGC, gained this status.
Apart from achieving academic excellence, the college promotes arts and culture both by means of a variety of extra-curricular activities organized in the college (the most noteworthy among them being the three literary and cultural festivals, Spandana, Sphoorthi, and Bhavana ) and through its cultural wing, Kaladarshini, an institute of fine arts, affiliated to Gandharva University, Pune. The college has made its mark in sports and games also.
The college has four hostels in which about fifty per cent of its students stay: Gogineni Hostel, Raghavendra Rao Hostel (more familiarly known as ‘New Hostel'), Xavier Hostel, and Sanjeevan Niwas. Xavier Hostel is meant exclusively for the girl students of ALC, and Sanjeevan Niwas is the home of Jesuit scholastics from different parts of the country who are pursuing their secular education as students of BA, BSc or BCom at ALC.
The college has been administered by renowned Jesuit educationists like Fr TA Mathias, Fr D Gordon, Fr J Kuriakose, and Fr G Francis. The following Jesuit fathers are at the helm now: