The Scott Christian College enjoys continuity with the school founded in 1809 at Mylaudy by the Rev. William Tobias Ringeltaube, the pioneering missionary of the London Missionary Society in South Travancore. This Central School or Seminary was shifted to Nagercoil in 1818 by the Rev. Charles Mead. The Rev. Dr. James Duthie took charge of the Seminary in 1860, and played a vital role in raising it to a College.In 1893, the Seminary was elevated to a Second Grade College affiliated to the University of Madras with twelve students under the Rev. Dr. James Duthie as the first Principal.The Rev. Parker built the Science Block for the College in 1908-1910 with a legacy of £1000 from the family of Mr. Septimus Scott and a grant from the government of Travancore. The Library was equipped with up-to-date volumes which ran up to 4000 in 1924.
During the year 1924-25, in addition to the Literary Associations in English, Tamil and Malayalam, a Science Association was formed and students themselves presided over the meetings.On February 1, 1927, Mr. G. H. Marsden, M.A Tripos of the University of Cambridge took charge as Principal. He took special care in increasing the facilities for the Science Department. By selfless and untiring work, he built up the small Intermediate College of about 140 students. Women students were admitted in regular batches from 1927.Compulsory games were introduced for the men students in 1927. Scott Christian College became the first Mofussil College in the University of Madras to have compulsory Physical Education for men students under a qualified Physical Director with the status of a Lecturer.
When the University of Travancore was established in 1938, Scott Christian College was admitted to its privileges. By 1943, the number of students in the College had increased to nearly 300 including about 20 women. Since 1948, a period of expansion commenced. The Travancore University sent a Commission which suggested the strength of the Intermediate Classes to be doubled as a prelude to the introduction of degree classes. Mr. A. Nesamony, who had played a distinguished role in Church and public life, took up the responsibility of building the new Degree College block. His 2 History of Scott Christian College HandBook 2019-20 9 persistence, patience and hard work yielded spectacular results. The year 1950 saw the introduction of Degree courses at Scott Christian College. The first majors introduced were Mathematics and History, and this was followed by Chemistry (1952), Economics (1954), Physics (1954), Zoology (1956) and Botany (1966).
The College was affiliated to the Madurai University in 1966. In 1967, Scott Christian College celebrated its 75th Anniversary as the Platinum Jubilee. The Degree Classes were shifted to the New Campus during 1970 -1971.George Henry Chapel stands as a monument to the munificence of Mrs. Ida Marsden who after the demise of the legendary principal of the college Mr. Marsden in 1957, contributed their life’s savings to Scott Christian College. The Chapel, dedicated to the glory of God in 1986, is the centre for all spiritual and value-based programmes. Besides the daily morning worship, weekly Bible studies and prayer meetings are conducted here.
The College progressively introduced new courses for the undergraduates:-
B.A. English (1971), B. Com. (1978), B.A. Tamil (1979). The College was affiliated to the University of Madras in 1987. Self-financed B.Sc. Computer Science was introduced in 1997 followed by B.Sc. Physical Education (2002), B.Com. (2002), BBA (2003), BBM (2007), BCA (2007) and B.A. English (2011).
The commencing of post-graduate courses in 1971 is a significant landmark in the history of the College. Now there are twelve postgraduate courses in arts, science and commerce subjects. The courses offered at the postgraduate level include M.A. English Literature (1971), M.A. Economics (1971), M.Sc. Zoology (1980), M.Com. (1981), M.Sc. Chemistry (1982), M.Sc. Botany (1983), M.Sc. Physics (1987), M.Sc. Mathematics (1988) and self financed M.A. History (1992), M. A. Tamil (1994), M.Sc. Computer Science (2003), PGDCA (2006), M.Sc. Microbiology (2007) and PGDBM (2007). M.Phil. courses were gradually introduced for the following programmes: Zoology (1984), Botany (1986), Economics (1986), Commerce (1991), Tamil (1996), Physics (1996), English (2001), Chemistry (2006), History (2006) and Mathematics (2006). In 1990, the Madurai Kamaraj University recognized Scott Christian as a Research Centre for Economics. Subsequently, M.S. University recognised Zoology (1996), Tamil (1998), Botany (1999), Commerce (2000), English(2003), Chemistry (2004), History (2008), Physics (2010) Mathematics (2011), and Business Administration (2018) as research Centres.
The Ida Marsden Hostel was extended to accommodate 500 students in 2009.
The Status of Autonomy was conferred on Scott Christian College in April 2005, perhaps the most historic moment in the annals of this pioneering seat of higher learning in the South. The NAAC Peer team visited the campus in April 2009 and the college was awarded A grade.
The General Library which is part of campus life is designed with genuine understanding of the needs of the New Generation students and provides access to scholarly databases, online catalogs and ubiquitous use of the internet via the Scott Internet Hub. A separate examination block was opened in 2015 to provide the most up-to date and modern facilities in a much improved environment for the examination system. Installation of video surveillance system provides a comprehensive security solution. With an indoor stadium, the College is one of the few educational institutions in the south, fully furnished with a well equipped gymnasium with latest gadgets.
Based on the evaluation of its academic achievements and the overall performance, the Autonomous Status has been extended upto 2021 by the UGC. The Scott campus was declared as one of the greenest institutions of campuses higher-learning in India on July 8, 2016. The College has been ranked in 37th place nationally, 8th place in Tamil Nadu and the First in Madurai Kamaraj – Manonmaniam Sundaranar University areas in 2017 by NIRF (National Institutional Ranking Framework). The college has completed 126 years of educational service in the academic year 2018-19