It was a rollercoaster ride at the Madras Christian College (MCC) in East Tambaram on Saturday, day one of the Global Alumni Reunion.

The two-day event, to be wrapped up by Sunday afternoon, is the culmination of months of planning, networking and communication, an initiative taken by the alumni with support from the college management and assistance of current students.

The global reunion is the first of its kind in the history of the 176-year-old college. “Not much has changed. New buildings have been built, but the college is terrific as usual,” said George Koshy (82) of Kerala, who pursued M.A. in English literature there, between 1954 and 1956.

The reunion received overwhelming response from alumni based in different parts of the world.

There was no sponsorship from the corporate sector and the event was organised with the help of funds raised through registration of more than 1,300 former students, an alumnus said.

An hour-long engaging chat with Prakash Karat, general secretary of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) was among the highlights of the day.

Mr. Karat, who studied P.U.C. (one year pre university course) and pursued B.A. Economics at MCC from 1964 to 68, was interviewed by yet another alumnus, Sashi Kumar, chairman of Media Development Foundation.

During the interaction with the audience, Mr. Karat answered questions on topics ranging from the forthcoming Lok Sabha polls to insurgency and the economy. Mr. Karat said his MCC education had stood him in good stead throughout his life and he owed a lot to the institution.

A commemorative postal cover and stamp were released on the occasion.

Mervin Alexander, postmaster general, mails and marketing, Chennai circle, released the postal cover and it was received by K.M. Mammen, president of MCC alumni association.

Three illustrious former students — Leela Ponnappa, former deputy national security adviser, Jacob Mathew, executive director, Malayala Manorama, and Prathap Pothen, actor and director — were also honoured on Saturday at the function.