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St. Anthony’s College, which celebrated the Platinum Jubilee in 2009 (1934-2009), has the unique distinction of being the first University College in the Salesian Congregation. During the British colonial days there was no Degree College in Shillong catering to the educational aspirations of the Indian students. The only college in town, St. Edmund’s College, was exclusively for the domiciled Europeans and the Anglo Indian lads. The Salesians of Don Bosco, who reached Shillong in 1922, embarked on a higher education programme for the local students. With the blessing of Mgr. Louis Mathias, Fr. Joseph Bacchiarello, who was the Headmaster of St. Anthony’s High School took the preliminary steps. He was also encouraged by the then D.P.I., Mr. G. A. Small, who was a member of the Senate of Calcutta University on which depended the approval of the new College. Thus in 1934, Fr. Bacchiarello started the First Year Intermediate Classes in the small class rooms of the wooden floored Assam type structure which housed the St. Anthony’s High School. Fr. Bacchiarello was transferred in 1935 and Fr. Igino Ricaldone took over as Principal (1935-52). He succeeded in getting University affiliation for the College. Fr. Ricaldone put up the ground floor of a concrete building and thus began the expansion of the College. Soon the Intermediate Science Classes and later the B.Sc course started. Few years later, the Commerce Section, both Intermediate and Bachelor level, was added. They were the difficult years of World War II.
Fr. DJ Wollaston (1952 - 1958) carried out further expansion and consolidation. Fr. Joseph Arokiaswamy (1958 - 1981) was at the helm for nearly 24 years during which the College was transformed into an elegant epic of excellence and himself into a legend of a man. Fr. N J Kenny, who was associated with the college from 1940, was looked upon as the constant symbol of St. Anthony’s College. He was Professor of English, Warden of the College Hostel, Vice-Principal and a permanent inspiring presence in the precincts of the college until his death in 1995. Fr. Paul Petta (1982 - 1986) began the modernization process of the college and shifted it to its present premises where in 1984-85, the Golden Jubilee of the College was celebrated. Other Principals who contributed much to the steady growth of the College are: Fr. Stephen Mavely (1987-2002) and Fr. Ioannis War Pakma (2002-2012). Br. Albert D. Longley is appointed Principal in July 2012.
Up-gradation and modernization of infrastructure and facilities in the recent years was done with the support of the UGC, DST, DBT, DONER, Govt. of Meghalaya and others. The use of ICT has strengthened the teaching-learning processes. The Broad Band internet connectivity with Wi-Fi communication in every part of the campus has revolutionized learning. The hi-tech labs, the bio-informatics centre, the computerized language lab, the Edu Sat centre, the computerized audio-video studios have dynamically strengthened learning and teaching. At present (2009), St. Anthony’s College has 28 Honours Departments both at the UG and PG levels. Other career and employment oriented courses are also being run side by side with the UG and PG programs. They are PGDCA, CCNA, OCA, DCA, DOEACC “O” level, RHCT, RHCE, 9 UGC approved courses and 11 certificate computer courses.
Further, in 2006, ‘Siloam’, the Centre for Psycho-spiritual experience, an extension centre of the College, was built in the sprawling 14-acre campus on the enchanting shores of the Umiam Lake.
In 2009, Mamma Margret Hostel for girls, a Platinum Jubilee Memorial of the College was constructed with the support from the UGC and DONER (Government of India). It is managed with the collaboration of the MSMHC Sisters.
In December 2015 foundation was blessed for the construction of Wollaston Memorial Annex to give more space and facility for the academic streams in Commerce and Business Administration.
St. Anthony’s College’s re-accreditation by NAAC with Grade A (3.60/4 CGP A = 90 % points) in 2009 came as a Platinum Jubilee gift. It puts the College at par with the top Colleges of India. The finale of the Platinum Jubilee of the College was held on 10 November 2009. Rev. Fr. Pascual V. Chavez (Rector Major of the Salesians), Rev. Fr. Maria Arokiam Kanaga (Salesian Regional for South Asia), Archbishop Dominic Jala (Archbishop of Shillong), Dr. DD Lapang (Chief Minister, Meghalaya), Dr. Pramod Tandon (Vice Chancellor NEHU) were among the host of dignitaries and well wishers who graced the occasion. The Jubilee Celebration rendered unparalleled tribute to the contribution of the College and paid rich homage to dedicated missionaries and teachers and other stalwarts who made their destinies the destiny of the college.
The evening college began in 2014 in order to make higher education possible for the marginalized youth and those with low marks in their higher secondary examinations. Poverty and poor performance were the priority criteria for admission. The programme is financed by the Alumni, and the principal sees to the academic matters. Teachers are separately employed for the Ev. College. The first batch of 28 students is passing out this year. There are about 120 students in two streams, i.e., B.A., and B.Com. Their fee comes to about one third of the college fee, payable in three installments. It is returned to them if they obtain 50% in their exams, which means that if they do well, they get free education!
In July 2014 initial discussion began on the plan to open a Degree College in Jaintia Hills. By August the land was marked out at Byndihati, measuring about 10acres in area, much of it belonged to the village itself and portion of it belonged Ma Kor Simpli. The land was donated as a gift to the Salesian Congregation for the purpose of beginning a college. With the discernment in the Provincial Council and in the meeting of the Rectors of the Province, with the support of St Anthony’s College, the plans went ahead and necessary permission for starting an Extension Campus of St. Anthony’s College was obtained from NEHU (04-06-2015). The classes got started in the premises of Holy Family Parish School, Khliehriat for the academic session of 2015. On 16th May 2015 foundation was blessed by Fr. George Maliekal, Provincial for the construction of the permanent campus of the College at Byndihati. On 23rd June 2015 the first Academic session was inaugurated in the premises of Khliehriat by Honble. M.P Smt Wansuk Syiem and Archbishop Thomas Menamparampil, Apostolic Administrator of Jowai. The academic session began with B.A. and B.Com classes. The planning, the support and the hard work of Br. Albert Longley, Principal and of the entire College (SAC) contributed towards the realization of the Byndihati Campus. Fr. Paul Passah was appointed the first principal of the College. After his departure in December 2015, Fr. Joby J. Manjakattil is appointed principal from January 2016.
In 2016-17-Session more streams of study in Arts are added. Total number of students in January 2017 is 220. The construction work is in good progress and it is planned that from May 2017 two confreres will be in residence at Byndihati and the classes also will be conducted in the new premises.