St. Peter’s College, Agra, founded in 1846, is an unaided Christian Minority Institution owned by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Agra Education Society, Wazirpura Road, Agra a Registered Charitable and Educational Society and is affiliated to the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examination, New Delhi.
St. Peter’s College is one of the oldest institutions of its kind in the country. It began as a Boarding School in 1841 and was transferred to its present building in 1846 which has been accepted as the founding year of the school.
Since the First war of Independence in 1857, St. Peter’s College has stood as a witness to the freedom struggle and to the changes that have taken place since then. The college had achieved such prominence by 1870 that the then visiting Inspector wrote in his report that it would “bear no unfavorable comparison with the best institutions of a similar kind in England and Europe”.
In the same year the school was affiliated to Calcutta University for its first entrance examination, and was henceforth called a ‘College’. Education in St. Peter’s was regarded as a sure passport to the Roorkee College of Engineering, various government departments and to the Secretariat.
As a result of the high reputation of the College, dignitaries like the Prince of Wales, the Duke and the Duchess of Connaught, the Duke of Edinburg; Viceroys like Lord Northbrook and Lord Ripon; Governors of Uttar Pradesh; Ambassadors of the Holy See; leading sportsman like Vijay Hazare, actor-singer Kishore Kumar, leading statesmen, scholars and poets paid visits to this Institution. Of late Ajit Wadekar, Milka Singh, Kapil Dev, P. T. Usha, Manjit Dua, Madanlal, Rajyavardhan Rathore and Late Sunil Dutt were also added to this list.
After Independence, the college re-oriented its studies and co-curricular activities to suit the requirements of a free country and a developing society. It has met successfully the new challenge of nation-building and of training the young generation to be better citizens.
Till 1966, the college had a Rector who was a priest and Fr. Lawrence Colaco was last Rector. Mr. E. S. Merriman, a layman, was the best known headmaster. It was during his time that the Centenary of the College was celebrated. In 1966 Rev. Fr. Columban, OFM, Cap., became the first Principal. During his period, the College excelled in different activities like academics, sports, games, cultural and literary fields, social and charitable initiatives, leadership and character formation and tours and excursions. Fr. Columban was elected as the Vice-President of the International Conference, bringing the name of St. Peter’s College on the world map.
To meet the need of growth a new block was built in 1963 on the initiatives and under the overall supervision of Fr. Lawrence Colaco. In 1966 the space in front of the old building was given a better look: the statue of St. Peter, one of the twelve disciples of Jesus Christ and the heavenly patron of the College was installed, trees planted and flowerbeds laid. Since then the College has made the planting of trees and environment protection activities its regular feature. In 1984, the Boarding facility was discontinued, thus facilitating the admission of a large number of day scholars from the city.
In 1962, the last batch of students appeared for the Senior Cambridge Examination, conducted by Cambridge University, and from 1963 the Indian school Certificate Examination was introduced. In 1977 the 10+2 system began. During the past quarter century, our students have been getting top positions in ISC and ICSC Examinations. The Prime Minister’s Award and the Governor’s Gold Medal have been awarded to our students a number of times. Our students have been winning various National Talent Search Scholarships regularly.
In ISC-2006, Master Satyam Saxena topped the nation with 98.25% in the aggregate and 97.75% in science. He got automatically selected to BITS, Pilani.
Apart from the academic side, emphasis is laid on various other activities like sports and games, debates, dramatics, elocution, music, yoga, gymnastics, swimming, science activities, etc. Our students have been representing the district, region and State in different disciplines. The great Hindi Poet Shri Satya Narain was a student of this college.
The college takes keen interest in social, charitable, humanitarian and nation-building projects. Mother Teresa praised the efforts of the College during her visit. Help Age India appreciated our monetary contributions for the elderly and the destitute. Help was sent to the earthquake and flood victims in different parts of the country. Regular help is being given to lepers, the aged, the destitute, the cancer patients, street children and the blind. Over Rs.7 lakhs was contributed towards the Tsunami victims in 2005.
The College actively participates and imbibes the ideals of Dharma Bharati now known as “Universal Solidarity Movement“; a national movement for value education for peace, based in Indore. This movement aims at safeguarding the secular credentials of our country and in promoting an inter-religious spirituality. Students of today are to be the teachers and leaders of tomorrow, and hence it is just right they are groomed in the right frame of mind.
The years 2003-04 witnessed major developments in the infrastructure and growth of the college. The old “Infirmary cum Music Room” underwent a through renovation and face-lift accommodating an open stage for the Primary School. A full-fledged building with 33 rooms, administrative block and a Multipurpose Hall was constructed exclusively for the Primary School inclusive of a library, two computer labs and activity rooms. Space is also earmarked for further developments. This new venture was blessed and inaugurated by Most Rev. Dr. Pedro Lopez Quintana, Apostolic Nuncio to India and Nepal, on Saturday, 3rd December 2005. On the same day the new open stage facing the football field came alive with the magnificent performance of “The Heart of Darkness" – a play based on the life of St. Maxmillian Kolbe in the concentration camp at Auzhwitz. With the ‘A’ field widened, St. Peter’s can now have a 400 mtr. Track.
With the generous support of the Ex-students Air Marshal A. K. Singh AOC, Western Command and Mr. Ranjit Issar, Principal Secretary, Ministry of Defence, the college is blessed with two Post centennial Diamond Jubilee gifts: a Hunter Air Frame and a Vijayanta Tank. We are grateful to all, particularly the Ministry of Defence for granting us these precious gifts.
The academic year 2006-07 was the Post centennial Diamond Jubilee (160 Years) of the college. It was a special occasion of gratitude and prayer for the marvels the Lord occasion of gratitude and prayer for the marvels the Lord has done to St. Peter’s. Among the various celebrations were Jubilate-2006, an Inter School Cultural Fest and the Sports Meet, presided over by His Excellency Mr. Shiv Shanker Mukherjee, Indian ambassador in Nepal an Ex-Peterian of 1964 batch. The Akash Ganga Team of the IAF enthralled the gathering with its Sky Diving performance on the occasion.
In the academic year 2007-08 the former Olympian and captain of Indian Hockey team Mr. Ashok Kumar Dhyanchand visited the college. He was the chief guest for the 161st Annual Sports Day. In order to make the life of our students tension-free and disease-free and to make them healthy, wealthy and happy, a yoga session of 45 minutes, during the assembly has been introduced.
The Father Columban Memorial Stadium was inaugurated on 15 March 2009 by Mr. Aditya Sachdeva, Director, Coaching Mahesh Bhupathi Team Tennis Academy. There are two Lawn Tennis Courts which are constructed as per international measurement and standard.
The Multi-purpose Block was inaugurated on 5th September 2009 by His Eminence Oswald Cardinal Gracias. This block houses the Archbishop Albert D’Souza Yoga and Meditation Centre in the basement ; chemistry, biology labs and computer lab for middle section in the ground floor; two badminton courts and a computer lab for seniors in the 1st floor and the library in the second floor.
The history of St. Peter’s would be incomplete without a word of gratitude and appreciation to all those great souls who have contributed their mite to the well-being of the College. We are indebted to all the staff and students of the past who have left their mark on this great Institution. The Management, the well-wishers, the previous administrative heads- all command our indebtedness. The present staff, students and the Ministerial Commune leave no stone unturned to keep the flag of St. Peter’s fluttering high.
May St. Peter’s College rise to greater heights.