Kalam had special fondness for alma mater

Updated - April 01, 2016 04:09 pm IST

Published - July 28, 2015 12:00 am IST - TIRUCHI:

Former President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam speaking at St. Joseph's College in Tiruchi. -File photo

Former President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam speaking at St. Joseph's College in Tiruchi. -File photo

Former President A.P.J.Abdul Kalam, who passed away on Monday, had close association with Tiruchi.

 It was here, at the famous St.Joseph’s College that he spent four years of his formative education from 1950 to complete his intermediate and graduation in Physics.

 In July 2002, Mr.Kalam visited the college when he had been announced as the NDA’s presidential candidate. As his wont during visits to the institution, he took a trip down memory lane at his alma mater.

Scores of excited students, anticipating his visit ever since his nomination was announced, had turned up on the campus hours before the normal college hours to catch a glimpse of the fellow Josephite who has made them proud.

And the man, though hard pressed for time, did not disappoint them as he sought to mingle freely with them putting pointed queries such as “What are you going to do for the nation?”

Overwhelmed by nostalgic memories, he scampered past the Jesuit Residence, the college Church, the classroom (where he learnt the rudiments of physics) and the age-old New Hostel, his home away from home during his stay at the college.

Mr. Kalam also met Fr. Chinnadurai, one of his teachers, who visited the college to be part of the occasion.

He had visited his alma mater and several other educational institutions in Tiruchi region often, during his tenure as President and after stepping down from office too. He was always eager to meet and interact with students, academicians recall.

He visited St.Joseph’s College, where he studied, and institutions in Tiruchi often

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