Spicer Memorial College of Pune Will Commemorate 100th Anniversary in 2015


October 10, 2012

By Staff Reporter & Columnist, Sam Prasad Jillella – Special to MYDOSTI.COM

WASHINGTON DC — Spicer Memorial College (SMC), located in Pune, India, will turn one hundred in 2015, and will celebrate a century of  its history from January 28- February 1.

October 10, 2012

By Staff Reporter & Columnist, Sam Prasad Jillella – Special to MYDOSTI.COM

WASHINGTON DC — Spicer Memorial College (SMC), located in Pune, India, will turn one hundred in 2015, and will celebrate a century of  its history from January 28- February 1.

Spicer Memorial College is owned and operated by the Seventh-Day Adventist Church

A coeducational residential institution that offers baccalaureate and master’s–level programs, SMC is situated on a 78-acres property bordered by the Mula River, the government botanical garden, the village of Aundh, and the University of Poona. The city of Pune (formerly Poona) is about 110 miles southeast of Mumbai.

An institution owned by the Seventh-Day Adventist Church, known for operating meticulously organized educational, health, medical, and social work institutions, around the world — SMC has gained prominence by training ordinary men and women into extraordinary people.

A Christian institution of higher education, SMC assures it has the necessary programs to train the needed leaders of tomorrow.

SMC claims it is equipped not just to provide advanced knowledge and skills in sciences, but also to nurture and train its students in sound moral behavior and judgment so they can make this world a better place, to work and live.

Spicer College administration building

Spicer College graduates feature in various important positions throughout India, and many different countries of the world in both public and private sectors. Many hold significant government offices, including those as ambassadors of different nations.

Spicer College offers four-year curricula leading to bachelor’s degree in accountancy, agriculture, biology, botany, business administration, chemistry, computer science, economics, elementary education, English, geography, graphic arts technology, management, , mathematics, Occidental applied music, Occidental music, office administration, physics, psychology, religious history, religious philosophy, social work, and zoology.

The Schools of Business, Education, Religion, and Computer Science also offer two-year curricula leading to master’s degree in business administration, theology, elementary education, secondary education, and computer science.  

Sports Day

Spicer College, apart from academics, motivates and grooms its students in extra-curricular activities, such as, performing arts, speech-making, sports, games, community-service, etc.

SMC provides opportunities for student employment and industrial education in auto mechanics, bakery and confectionary production, carpentry, farming and vegetable production, metal construction, printing, and processed food production, and refrigeration.

Cultural Emphasis Day – October 2.

In 2012, enrollment at Spicer College at the undergraduate level is 1100 students with a faculty of 120; and 200 students at the graduate level with a faculty of 20. The enrollment from elementary to high school is 4000 students with a faculty of 140.  

Graduation exercise

This year, a total of 414 students have graduated from SMC earning bachelors and masters degrees. 

The history of SMC is as old as the history of the Seventh Day Adventist Church in Southern Asia.

In 1915 the South India Training School was established in Coimbatore. The school in Coimbatore was moved to Bangalore in 1918. And in 1922, it was again moved to Krishnarajapuram, just outside Bangalore.

By 1937 the South India Training School was upgraded to junior college status and renamed Spicer College in honor of pioneer William Ambrose Spicer (1865-1952), a leader of the Seventh-day Adventist work in India. A missionary, author, editor, and administrator, Spicer, after his tenure in India, became the president of the World Adventist Church in 1922, and held the office until 1930.

Spicer College church building

In 1942 the College was moved to its present location in Pune. In 1946 Spicer was elevated to senior college status and offered four-year curricula in Christian theology, education, history, business administration, and English.

From 1966 the University of Poona started accepting graduates of this college for master’s level studies. And then, this practice was followed by other Indian universities as well. In 1993 some of Spicer’s master’s degree holders were enrolled at the University of Poona for doctoral studies.

In 1980 Spicer College was approved an as examination center of Andrews University, Michigan, USA, and schools of Religion, Education, and Business Administration were organized to offer master’s degrees conferred by Andrews University.

The Association of Indian Universities in 1992 announced that college work done at Spicer College was to be considered equivalent to that of any Indian university.

The Presidents of Spicer College from its humble beginning till now are:

  • G.G. Lowry, 1915-1918;
  • E.M. Meleen, 1918-1924;
  • O.A. Skau, 1924-1930;
  • L. B. Losey, 1930-1938;
  • E.W. Pohlman, 1938-1944;
  • M.O. Manley, 1944-1946;
  • C.A. Schutt, 1946-1949;
  • I.D. Higgins, 1949-1955;
  • R.E. Rice, 1955- 1963;
  • M.E. Cherian, 1963- 1990;
  • D. R. Bankhead (acting), 1990;
  • N.O. Matthews, 1990-1994;
  • W. Gordon Jenson, 1994-1997;
  • Samuel Gaikwad, 1997-2003;
  • Justus Devadas has been president of Spicer College since 2003.

 Justus Devadas, PhD, President of Spicer Memorial College, Pune, India, on an official visit to Maryland, USA: "I invite every Spicerian to attend the centenary celebrations in Pune, in 2015, with your family and friends, and enjoy the excellent hospitality we will provide you all."

When asked, “What do you see as Spicer’s greatest strengths?” Justus Devadas, PhD, told MYDOSTI.COM: “It’s our diversity. We have students from various backgrounds — urban, rural, affluent, economically backward, from different faiths, different ethnic and racial backgrounds, from different states of India, and different countries of the world. No matter where they come from, by the time they graduate, they turn out to be dynamic products — nothing less!” 

Devadas added: “Also, an important strength of Spicer College is our work program, the ‘earn while you learn’ provision. Unlike other colleges, we never turn down a student because he has no money to pay his fees. If he is willing to work and study, we accept him, and by the time he graduates, he is a dynamic product with a good measure of self-dignity."

“The commitment of our faculty is a great asset. They are committed to the mission of Spicer College. These assets and strengths make us unique and will allow us to grow,” Devadas claimed.

The Indian federal government will release a commemorative postal stamp in honor of a century of contributions made by Spicer Memorial College. President Justus Devadas told MYDOSTI.COM that Spicer College plans to invite the President of India to be the guest of honor for the centenary celebrations.

Elder Ted N. C. Wilson, President of the Seventh-Day Adventist World Church, informed the Spicer College administration that he will be in Pune to participate in the centenary celebrations.

If you are a Spicerian, it won’t be a bad idea to be at Spicer Memorial College for the big bash in 2015.

Go Spicer!

Educational NEWS Special by MYDOSTI.COM


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