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Sophia at 75: Its legacy? How it always brought our dreams to life, say alumni

Hindustan Times | By, Mumbai
Jun 20, 2017 10:20 AM IST

Mumbai city news: On June 19, Sophia College for Women celebrated 75 years.

“There’s something about this college that makes you feel welcomed,” said Sophia principal Sister Ananda Amritmahal, addressing students, ex-students and faculty who had gathered at the institute on Monday, as the palace-turned-women’s college on Peddar Road celebrated the finale of its year-long platinum jubilee celebration.

The college received affiliation from Bombay University in 1941. Expressing his gratitude for its contribution, vice-chancellor Sanjay Deshmukh spoke. “We are honoured with our association with Sophia College and recognise their role in contributing selflessly in the field of academics and culture.” After his address, Amritmahal said: “Though this is a palace, it welcomes even those battered by life. We are happy this place became a refuge for those who sought it and will continue to do so.”

Former principal Sister Anila Verghese described how life had come full circle for her here. “I joined as a student and served the college in my many roles as a teacher, principal, researcher and sometimes as a gardener too,” she laughed.

READ: A history lesson at Sophia College: Snapshots through 75 years

Among the former students in attendance were classical dance exponents Leela Samson, a Padmashri and Bharatanatyam exponent, and Kathak exponent Gauri Sharma Tripathi. “I had made up my mind to pursue medicine. It was the sisters here who persuaded me to follow my dream to become a dancer,” Samson said.

Tripathi performed with her daughter, Tarini. “It’s an honour to dance in front of my gurus, to thank them for their role in making me and to thank them for what they will impart to my daughter who studies here.”

In the audience, there were more tales of dreams that had first taken shape on campus.

“This college and its faculty shaped me,” said fashion designer Marissa Fernandes, 28.

“They don’t look down on any vocation and I owe my success to them.”

Added writer and photographer Zahra Amiruddin, 25: “Sophia gave me friends and ignited a passion in me for theatre. I’ve always loved acting but it gave me a chance to perform. I couldn’t have asked for more.”

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