The famous Deccan Education Society which is the parent body of several educational institutions spread over the landscape of Maharashtra founded the Fergusson College, a premier institution of liberal learning in India, in the year 1885. The Society itself was founded by the stalwarts of the Indian Freedom Movement – Lokmanya Tilak, Gopal Ganesh Agarkar, Vishnushastri Chiplunkar and Madhavrao Namjoshi. The first two were also its distinguished teachers and Prof. Agarkar was its Principal (1892-95). It has been named after Sir James Fergusson K.C., M.G., C.I.E. Governor of Bombay who took keen interest in the development of the New English School as well as the Fergusson College and was the first patron of the Deccan Education Society. It was inaugurated on 2nd January 1885 by William Wordsworth, the grandson of the great English poet. Hon. Gopal Krishna Gokhale and Maharshi Dhonde Keshav Karve- Bharat Ratna, have taught in this College, while Prof. V.S.Apte, Prof. Agarkar, Wrangler, R.P. Paranjype and Dr G. S. Mahajani have been its distinguished Principals. Gandhiji and Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru have paid visits to the College and admired its work. Gandhiji paid a handsome tribute to the College at the time of its Golden Jubilee. He wrote in 1935: "Who can fail to be enthused over the noble record of service rendered by the D. E. Society and the Fergusson College to the cause of education?"

The distinguished alumni of the College include Veer Savarkar, Acharya Kripalani, Ram Ganesh Gadkari, Shri Kakasaheb Kelelkar, Shri H. V. Pataskar, Shri N. V. Gadgil, Shri B. Ramkrishna Rao, Acharya Atre, Shri S. Mardhekar and, many others who have, been at the helm of affairs in various walks of life.

The Fergusson College has a beautiful scenic campus of 50 acres with numerous imposing buildings of gothic architecture. The composition of the community of students and teachers in Fergusson College reflects its truly national character. It has also attracted scores of students from overseas.

The Fergusson College imparts instruction to nearly 3500 undergraduate and postgraduate students in natural Sciences, humanities and social sciences. It has very well-equipped laboratories, a library having a collection of over 2,00,000 books; rare as well as modern, a unique botanical garden, spacious playgrounds, an ancient auditorium, the amphitheatre and a language laboratory for special training in Indian and European languages. The College provides residential accommodation to 390 students, 130 lady students and about 100 teachers and administrative staff.

Historically, the Fergusson College has stood for the development of integrated personality as the ultimate goal of educational experience, that it offers to its students. Hence the emphasis is on the formation of character and cultivation of right values and commitments. The College encourages students’ participation, in audiovisual arts, literary activities, workshop assignments, inter-collegiate, inter-university as well as the national and international sports, the N.C.C, the NSS etc.

(Text courtesy Dr V. M. Bachal)

Indian Posts and Telegraphs Department is happy to issue a Commemoration Postage. Stamp to commemorate the centenary of the Fergusson College.

Description of Designs: The stamp shows the main building of the Fergusson College with landscape and has been designed by India Security Press, Nasik based on a painting by the artist and National academician (Gopal Deuskar. The First Day Cover depicts portraits of Lokmanya Tilak, Agarkar, Chiplunkar and Madhavrao Namjoshi founders of the college, painted by Gopal Deuskar. The cancellation has been designed by Neenu Bagga.

Date of Issue: 2.1.1985