Earlier this month, on January 12, the first phase of construction of Holy Cross College, Agartala, was blessed and inaugurated. This new building gives the thriving and growing institution, the only Catholic college and the only English-medium college in the state of Tripura, its first permanent home since its foundation on August 10, 2009.
Welcoming the guests, Fr. Emmanuel Kallarackal, C.S.C., the Principal of Holy Cross College, said, “I am delighted and honored by the presence of so many esteemed personalities for this program who have come from far and near. My heart is filled with gratitude to each of you for your presence. Thank you for accepting our invitation and finding time to be with us to share in this historic event. Your presence here is a silent testimony of your appreciation and support to this young and fledgling Holy Cross College.”
Headlining the invited guests for the celebration were Fr. Richard V. Warner, C.S.C., the Superior General of the Congregation of Holy Cross, the Most Rev. Lumen Monteiro, C.S.C., Bishop of Agartala, Fr. K. J. Abraham, C.S.C., Superior of the Province of North East India, and Br. Sesuraj, C.S.C., Superior of the Vicariate of Holy Cross Brothers in India.
They were joined by many dignitaries from Tripura University (with which Holy Cross College is affiliated), the state government of Tripura, and other educational institutions.
The teaching and non-teaching faculty and students of Holy Cross College warmly welcomed the crowd of visitors, which totaled over 600 people, including most of the membership of the Province of North East India and other friends of the college. They had decorated the campus with badges, flowers, college scarfs and mementos.
The students added color and flavor to the celebration through their enchanting performances on the stage.
Bishop Monteiro blessed the new building, which provides the College with almost 21,000 square feet of space for nine classrooms as well as a laboratory, library, reading room, administrative office, staff room, seminar hall, and restrooms.
Prior to the completion of this first phase of construction, which began in late 2012, Holy Cross College was borrowing space from Holy Cross School in Durjoynahar, a primary and secondary school run by the Congregation.
The complete vision of Holy Cross College calls for a 65,000 square foot, three-story building that will be completed in future phases.
“I have seen the growth of this College right from its inception, and I am happy to see that the infrastructures are slowly being developed,” said Bishop Lumen. “The state of Tripura is fast-growing with a lot of infrastructures, and Holy Cross is very much in tune with that growth in the state.
"Today I am very happy and privileged to bless this new infrastructure of the College, and I invoke God’s blessings on the students, faculty and administration and all who will benefit by this institution.”
Dedicating the first phase construction of Holy Cross College to the people of North East India, Fr. Warner said, “Holy Cross confreres are doing a lot of good work in North East India, not only in the field of education but also in pastoral and social apostolate. Holy Cross College is the result of a big dream, which began many years ago. That dream has come true today because many worked hard keeping that dream alive, right from the inception of this college about five years ago.
“I am grateful to the membership and administration of the Province of North East India for carrying on the legacy of Holy Cross in the field of higher education.”
Fr. Abraham also spoke at the celebration. In his remarks, he said, “Today Holy Cross is a brand name for quality education in Tripura and in North East India – an education that ensures ethical conduct and tolerance and respect for all cultures and languages of the people of the region. Today’s ceremony of dedication and blessing of the first phase construction of Holy Cross College is a proud moment of honoring and saluting all Holy Cross personnel who envisioned and crafted quality education in Tripura since 1952 when Holy Cross started the first primary school at Mariamnagar.”
Holy Cross College was founded in 2009 to provide the Congregation’s holistic and rigorous education to post-secondary students, especially from among the tribal peoples, in North East India. It celebrated its first graduation class on August 9, 2012, when 42 students received their bachelor’s degrees.
Currently, Holy Cross College offers three-year bachelor’s degrees in Business Administration, Computer Applications, English, Political Science, Hindi, Computer Science, and Zoology. It also offers a Certificate Course in Spoken English. The College envisions adding degree programs in Philosophy, Geography, Journalism and Mass Communications, Commerce, Psychology, Nursing, Engineering, and Computer Applications.