Published: 06th October 2017
Mangaluru's University College sees 50 year reunion that took two decades to organise — and the memories are priceless
The scholarship is the first of its kind as it includes contributions by all classmates and will be distributed among toppers in Mathematics of first, second and third year, with a Rs 5K cash price
Reunions of college batches from 50 years ago are not uncommon. What makes this one unique is the fact that the reunion was twenty years in the making. Twenty one of the 26 students from the 1964-67 BSc batch of University College at Hampankatta in Mangaluru returned, many armed with walking sticks, to create a record of sorts by establishing a merit scholarship – for Maths students of the century-old college.
The story behind this special reunion is quite interesting. Tilaknath Shetkalyanpur, who retired as Lieutenant in the Indian Army met his classmate Leslie Roberts in 1995. The plan for this unconventional reunion popped up then and finally materialised more than two decades later. The senior citizens got nostalgic as this was the first time many of them were reuniting with friends after leaving college in 1967. The fact that they were meeting in their college, which boasts of an imposing red building that stands tall on the city's busiest road, where they spent their golden years added to the joyous mood.
“We had never dreamt that this will happen one day,” said Tilaknath, as he explained how they managed to succeed in making it possible. He said finding his male classmates was easy but not the female peers who have married and settled across the world. However, technology came to the rescue, he stated, his face beaming.
Come together: Members of the batch of '64, back at University College Hampankatta
To mark their reunion, the septuagenarians signed a MoU with the college for the scholarship and have to deposit a corpus fund of Rs 2.5 lakh of which the interest will be distributed as scholarships to Mathematics toppers. They will each get a Rs 5,000 cash prize.
Joyce Sequera who bagged the first place in BSc in the University of Mysore way back in 1967 had come all the way for the big event from Australia. "It's nostalgic to come back to the college after 50 years, she said. She remembered her mathematics teachers – Karanth, Krishnamurthy and Vishwanath. Shivarama Alva, who runs a free school and orphanage in Chennai, said that it is heartening to know that all his classmates contributed towards the scholarship despite many of them having retired from their jobs.