Stella Maris College, a Catholic minority institution of higher education for women was founded on August 15, 1947. Beginning in a small one-storey building in Santhome, Mylapore with 32 students, the College moved to its present campus “The Cloisters” on Cathedral Road in 1960. Today the college has an enrollment of 3,800 students from diverse backgrounds, communities and nations.
The College is an autonomous institution and is affiliated to the University of Madras. It is run by the Society of the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary, a religious congregation founded by Blessed Mary of the Passion (Helene de Chappotin) in Ootacamund, Tamil Nadu in 1877. Guided by her charism, the initiatives of the college arise from a sound philosophy of life based on faith in God and the contemporary reality of a pluralistic Indian society that is challenged by global ideologies and cultures.
The college is committed to serving the economically and socially marginalized sections of society and provides university education in a Christian atmosphere for students, especially those belonging to the Catholic community. Admission is open to all, irrespective of caste and creed, and their rights of conscience are respected. The College motto, “Truth and Charity”, has been the foundational philosophy of the quest for a value-based education. In keeping with its mission, the College promotes inclusive practices in the implementation of its academic programmes, taking into account learning differences and the special needs of the differently-abled.
In seeking to mould women of character who will be self-reliant and work towards social transformation, the College has established an educational road map that provides a framework for quality education and stimuli for lifetime learning. A student-centric, participatory teaching-learning-evaluation system assures the students of optimal educational benefits. In encouraging multiple teaching-learning methodologies that take learning beyond the classroom, the College gives students cutting edge skills and capabilities that augment their self worth.
The College is at the forefront of higher education in India by virtue of its commitment to academic excellence through periodic revision and updating of its curriculum based on stakeholder feedback. The curriculum promotes national development, fosters global competencies and facilitates skills training to meet the challenges of a competitive workplace. It offers students flexibility and a wide range of programmes which includes both traditional Arts and Science courses and more contemporary ones, in emerging areas such as International Studies, Information Technology, Bioinformatics and Biotechnology. The infrastructure and facilities on campus have supported these efficient and effective academic transactions and placed the College on par with some of the best institutions of higher education in the country.
Running parallel with the nation’s trajectory towards selfhood and development, Stella Maris College has evolved into an Institution of repute, serving national, regional and local needs. The vision of the College is to build on these achievements and work towards a new world order in which equity, access and justice for all will be a reality.