St. Xavier's College was founded on 2 January 1869 in Bombay by German Jesuits with only two students in attendance. The two students came from a group of six, who appeared for the University matriculation examination in 1868 from St. Mary's Institution. German Jesuit Joseph Michael Willi [de] (or Willy), the first principal of the college from 1869 to 1873, and three other Jesuits began lecturing and teaching at the college on 7 January 1869. The college was granted formal recognition by Bombay University on 30 January 1869. One student joined later in 1870. The first three students graduated in 1871. From 1884 to 1910, under the patronage of Principal Frederick Dreckmann, the college began to develop rapidly. The Blatter Herbarium was established in 1906 by the Swiss Jesuit priest Ethelbert Blatter and his associates. The hostel was completed in 1909, while the East-West science wing, costing Rs. 200,000, was completed in 1912. The Government provided grants of Rs. 70,000 and Rs. 37,000 for the two additional buildings of the college. The college first admitted women in 1912
St. Xavier's College, Mumbai, (informally Xavier's) is a college affiliated with the University of Mumbai offering undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in Arts, Science, Commerce and Management. Xavier's was the first college to be granted autonomy by the University of Mumbai in 2010.In 2006, St. Xavier's was awarded 'A+' grade by National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC).
The college is named after Francis Xavier, the 16th-century Spanish Jesuit saint. Its campus in South Mumbai is built in the Indo-Gothic style of architecture, and recognized as a heritage structure.Founded by German Jesuits in 1869, Xavier's developed rapidly from 1884 to 1914. The imprisonment of German Jesuit priests during the First World War (1914–1918) led to a dislocation of the administration, which was mitigated by the appointment of other European Jesuits. While it began as an arts college, by the 1920s science departments were established. The college was greatly expanded in the 1930s.
The college is run by Indian Jesuits, with a distinct focus on affirmative action for minority students.It offers undergraduate and post-graduate courses in Arts, Science, Business, Commerce or Public Policy. It has spawned several research institutions within its campus including the Blatter Herbarium, and is known for its inter-collegiate youth festival 'Malhar'.
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