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The seed of a University has been embedded in St. Xavier's College since its inception in 1860. History reveals that the College was in a mode of expansion in many ways. The hallmark of the College, as stated in the almanacs of 1880 and onwards, observes that 'the course of study embraces all subjects and transcends the standards of post-graduation.'
Again the Rector's Report of 1906 refers to an inspection by a body of members appointed by the Senate of the Calcutta University - the observations made by the members regard St. Xavier's with the ability of expansion into further spheres of education, appreciating the prospect and proposal of upgradation into the status of a University.
In January 2012, when the Hon'ble Chief Minister of West Bengal, Mamata Banerjee was the Chief Guest for the occasion of Convocation, she invited Fr. Felix Raj, the principal, to upgrade St. Xavier's College to the status of a University. And we heard the ancient voice of history beckoning us.
Subsequently, as the Principal of the College, Fr. Felix Raj appointed a committee to prepare a DPR (Detailed Project Report). The committee had many meetings and prepared a draft of the St. Xavier's University, Kolkata Bill 2016. It also had a number of meetings with the Higher Education Department of the State Government to take this proposal forward.
With the support of the Alumni Association, 'Vision 2020' project was begun. The Alumni Association and some individual alumni participated whole-heartedly and actively in this 'Vision 2020.' It has been a hard work and the perseverance has today, by the blessings of the Almighty, borne fruit.
Our dream of establishing a Jesuit University came true. The Hon'ble Chief Minister of West Bengal, MsMamata Banerjee laid the foundation stone for St. Xavier's University, Kolkata on December 27, 2013. The St. Xavier's University Act 2016 was unanimously passed in the West Bengal Assembly on December 15, 2016. The Hon'ble Governor, Mr. KeshariNathTripathi gave his consent to the Act on January 16, 2017 and the official notification by the Government of West Bengal was done on February 8, 2017.
The Hon'ble Chancellor of St. Xavier's University, Kolkata, Rev. Fr. JeyarajVeluswamy S.J., appointed Rev. Dr. John Felix Raj S.J. as the first Vice Chancellor of the University. The first Vice Chancellor took immediate steps and formed the Governing Board and also appointed committees for the formulation of the statutes, rules and regulations.
The inauguration of the First Academic Session 2017- 2018 and the University campus in New Town, Rajarhat was held on July 7, 2017. The Hon'ble Chief Minister of West Bengal, Mamata Banerjee, the Hon'ble Education Minister, Dr. Partho Chatterjee, Mr. L.N. Mittal and Mrs. Usha Mittal, Rev. Fr. JeyarajVeluswamy and several other dignitaries, Alumni, Alumnae, the first historical batch of Students and their parents graced this momentous occasion.
The Hon'ble Chief Minister, Mamata Banerjee congratulated the Jesuits for setting up yet another seat of higher learning of strong spiritual and human values; she highlighted the contributions of St. Xavier's towards the academic, cultural and social endorsements of West Bengal. "St. Xavier's played an exemplary role in spreading excellence in education and spreading Peace and harmony. St. Xavier's University, Kolkata will soon be of global significance, thriving on the principles of faith and wisdom”.
Mr. L.N. Mittal flew down from London to witness St. Xavier's spread its wings. He acknowledged the contribution of his Alma Mater at the inauguration ceremony. "I have always seen opportunity in challenge and that taught me to take bold decisions," said Mr. Mittal,“Today is a great day for St. Xavier's. Fr. Felix Raj and I have been dreaming of this day for some years now. When we met in London we discussed about it and now it has become a reality."
Rooted in the Gospel values and inspired by the Ignatian charism of forming men and women for others, St. Xavier's University, Kolkata began its journey in the historically tested tradition of excellence. It is an educational endeavor that accommodates more scope offered to greater number of students in the spirit of Magis.
The SXUK website: www.sxuk.edu.in