The year-long centenary celebrations of James Hall, which houses the Physics and Chemistry Departments at The American College here, began on Monday with the inauguration of a science exhibition by students of the two departments.
The exhibition was inaugurated by Rev Dr.M Joseph, Bishop, CSI Madurai-Ramnad Diocese, in the presence of American Missionary Paul Love.
The James Hall, named after Ellen S James, housed the Physical Sciences department, making it the first college in South India to have a Physical Sciences department. The department was split into Physics and Chemistry departments in 1930.
“For the famous candle lighting ceremony of the college, I remember how we first made 700 candles with a mould that could make only eight candles at a time,” said former professor David Jayaraj, who joined the college as a student in 1948 and went on to become a professor and retired from service in 1991.
The centenary celebrations will conclude on February 21. Principal M.Davamani Christober said there were plans to carry out restoration works at James Hall after the celebrations. “In this 132-year-old college, every building has its own unique style of architecture and we plan to maintain the style with the original materials used,” Dr.Christober said.
The science exhibition had models demonstrating important concepts of Physics and Chemistry.
As many as 7,000 students from city schools are expected to attend the exhibition which will go on till September 4.
Mohammadi Zohra, a III year student of Physics, while explaining the ‘555 timer’ that she and her classmates had made, said: “We were given nearly a month to prepare, and despite a packed schedule, it was interesting to use concepts learnt in the classroom and come up with practical and working models that would interest school students.”
Stephen Inbanathan, Physics professor, said this exercise would greatly benefit the students of the college. “By coming up with working models, the students are exposed to innovative and experimental teaching methods,” he said.
A signature campaign against smoking, drinking, drug abuse and junk food consumption was initiated on the occasion.