Founder’s day is special. Every year on the 7th of December Stephanians observe the death anniversary of Canon Samuel Scott Allnutt as Founder’s Day. St Stephen’s has a reputation and that is legendary. How did that happen? Only because of the hard work and service of those who have gone before; and that includes faculty and non-teaching staff. On this day we have a Chapel ceremony followed by a formal function where we read out the names of those who have served College beginning with Rev Samuel Scott Allnutt. Why do we undertake such an exercise?
Personally I think there are several reasons why we should make every effort to maintain this solemn occasion and would like to mention a couple. First of all, gratitude. Increasingly gratitude is becoming a rare and precious trait. If we are what we are, as an institution today, it is only because of the many sacrifices and the hard work that our forbears have put in. Like the song says, we are strong because we are standing on their shoulders. Let us remain grateful and remember their sacrifices.
It’s a time when we can come together as a family. In an ordinary sense when the family gets together it is just the family members meeting and spending time together. At a time like this, I think it is a wonderful opportunity for us to come together, listen and see how we can move forward as an institution. And whom do we listen to? Ourselves and to those who can give us direction. We know that we can all benefit from experience and wisdom and this year we are really privileged and honoured to have the Visitor of all Central Universities address us.
Let us be humble enough to listen and learn.
Prof. John Varghese