As the 140th year celebrations of St Xavier’s College, Mumbai, drew to an end, the college marked the occasion with the release of St Xavier’s College: Celebrating Diversity since 1869, a coffee-table book. The book was released on the college’s alumni night on 3 January. Xavier’s alumni Soli Sorabjee, the former attorney general of India, television journalist Rajdeep Sardesai, actress Vidya Balan and Anu Aga, who is the former chairperson of engineering firm Thermax, were honoured on the occasion.
Xavier’s, which was founded in 1869 by a group of German Jesuit priests, has progressed from being an educational institution to a cultural landmark. With an A+ accreditation from the National Assessment and Accreditation Council and the Best College of Mumbai award from Mumbai University, its excellence as an academic institution is well known. The coffee-table book, compiled by Shabnam Minwalla and David de Souza, celebrates Xavier’s cultural diversity. Diversity that arises from its students who hail from different economic classes, and their passion for offbeat topics ranging from Brazilian cinema to extinct plants.
Current principal Frazer Mascarenhas, known for his open-door policy. David de Souza
Click here to view slideshow
St Xavier’s College: Celebrating Diversity since 1869 captures the spirit of the college, which is not limited to its much-advertised intercollegiate cultural festival, Malhar. The festival, which takes place in the second week of August, has more than 60 dance, music, fine art and literary events. Malhar is one of the most expensive and well-known college festivals of Mumbai.
The book instead attempts to recapture memories of life in Xavier’s for its alumni with snapshots of the college’s architecture and student life. The images include the first quadrangle where concerts are held and whose stone walls have soaked in 100 years of music, the library with its imposing book racks, the postage stamp that was released on the college’s 125th anniversary and students walking down the Gothic corridors.
Priced at Rs3,000 (shipping charges extra), the book makes a good souvenir or gift for an ex-Xavierite.
St Xavier’s College: Celebrating Diversity since 1869 is available at St Xavier’s College, XDP, 1st Floor, 5, Mahapalika Marg, Mumbai, 400001. For details, call 022-22617677.