A Bishop’s dream and a Maharaja’s munificence culminated in the establishment of St. Philomena’s College on October 9, 1946. His Excellency, Rt. Rev. Dr. Rene Feuga, the first Bishop of Mysore, vacated his mansion to make room for classes. The Wodeyars, of the Mysore Royal family, encouraged the Diocese in its maiden venture into higher education.
The College was declared open by His Highness Sri Jayachamarajendra Wodeyar, the Maharaja of Mysore, a rare honour and privilege for any institution.
It was history in the making in more ways than one and the first group of 380 Philomenites was aware of it. They knew that they were stepping into the very first Private First Grade College in the Royal City, affiliated to the University of Mysore. Even more importantly, St. Philomena’s was the first private Degree Science College in the erstwhile Mysore Region.
Before its foundation, the college received its motto from His Holiness, the Pope. The Holy Father chose the maxim “Caritas vestra magis ac magis abundet in scientia” May your love grow richer in knowledge. Caritas in Scientia the first and last words of the quotation became the motto of the college.
All through her fledgling years, the college’s future was shaped by teachers of outstanding calibre, among them the doyen of the Modern Movement in Kannada poetry, Prof. Gopalakrishna Adiga and the renowned space scientist and former Chairman of ISRO, Prof. U.R. Rao and a host of other great pioneering Principals and teachers.
Now, 72 years later, the student strength has multiplied manifold, new buildings have been constructed and courses and infrastructure has proliferated. Each year, St. Philomena’s college re-invents itself to adjust to the needs of a fast changing world, harmonizing the new with the old. Old blocks, new blocks, the process continues, adding to the diversity of the campus. Traditional courses co-exist with the newer, more challenging and contemporary courses such as Biotechnology, Biochemistry, Microbiology, Electronics, Computer Science, Social Work, Communication and Journalism, UGC sponsored vocational course in Functional English. Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA), Bachelor of Computer Application (BCA), Bachelor of Tourism and Hospitality Management(BTHM) and UGC Add-On courses in Biotechnology, Industrial Chemistry, Electric and Electronic Equipment Maintenance and Computer Networking.
The college offers at the undergraduate level B.A., B.Sc., B.Com., BBA, BSW, BCA, BTHM as well as B.Voc. courses in Health Care Technology and Media & Entertainment. Besides, there are 14 Postgraduate courses in Chemistry, Physics, Computer Science, Social Work, Commerce, English, Communication & Journalism, Economics, Sociology, Mathematics, Christianity and Holistic Spirituality. The college has excellent infrastructure with digital library, almost all class rooms are equipped with LCD projectors, entire campus is networked with OFC, spacious play grounds and newly built Indoor Stadium.
St. Philomena’s is verily a global village with students from 19 different states of India and 32 countries of the world. In spite of a very varied cultural, religious and racial composition on the college campus, the students and the members of the staff feel at home.
The college became autonomous in 2011. It has been declared by the UGC as a College of Excellence with effect from April 1, 2015, a rare privilege for any college, with only 14 colleges in India and only three in Karnataka. The NAAC has assessed and accredited St. Philomena’s with A+ in the first cycle and A with 3.58 CGPA on a four point scale in the second cycle.
As the college races past all these milestones in history with many signposts standing out along the way, it is gearing itself to become a University in the near future.