History of Patna Women’s College
The college is conducted by the Sisters of the Apostolic Carmel, an indigenous educational body founded in 1870, and thus has a wide and long experience. Patna Women’s College was founded in 1940 by Bishop B.J. Sullivan, S.J., Bishop of Patna and Mother M. Josephine A.C. Superior General of the Apostolic Carmel. It has courses up to the degree level and two postgraduate departments – Home Science and MCA. It was the first women’s college in Bihar as the pioneer of women’s higher education in the state. The college is open to students of all castes and creeds. Though it became a constituent college of Patna University, in 1952, .
it still retains its ‘Special Character’. On 25.07.2007, The Government of Bihar officially declared Patna Women’s College as ‘Religious Minority College’ It was Bishop Sullivan’s firm belief that the upliftment of Bihar lay in liberating its womenfolk by providing them with opportunities for higher education, in other words, by empowering them. In the early years, the college and the hostel were housed in the Bishop’s own residence at Bankipore, which he vacated for this humble work.
The college was granted the status of a degree college in July 1941. The site for the college building was offered to the then Principal, Mother Theodosia by the Governor of Bihar Lord Rutherford in 1945. The Governor, however, was concerned if the college building would match in beauty to the High Court opposite which this site was located and he was not disappointed. Father Gaerhart and Father Loesch saw an ‘architect’s dream’ for the new building of Patna Women’s College, a unique synthesis of Hindu, Islamic, Norman and Gothic styles. The college then moved into the new building in July 1948.
Having completed 78 years of its existence on the soil of Bihar (2018), the college can look back over the years and name with justifiable pride many women it has. We educate different professions: medical, legal, educational, social, Indian and Foreign administrative, police, airways, and so on.
Thousands of motivated and empowered women have passed through the portals of this college and have entered various fields of life, many making a mark in our country and abroad. The college designed to train the women of India faces squarely the problems of present-day life and gives them the cultural advantages of a cosmopolitan outlook. The students are trained not only in academic subjects but also in creative arts, social service, critical thinking, leadership and adaptability to circumstances, so that, with a broad and purposeful philosophy of life and mental elasticity, they may become leaders in any circle and agents of social change.
The college has come a long way from the time the pioneers envisioned and undertook the difficult task of establishing a woman’s college at a time when only a few truly enlightened and far-sighted people were prepared to support this infant project in a place where higher education for women was frowned upon, if not rejected outrightly.