Dr.George Uglow Pope, popularly known as Rev. G.U. Pope was a revered Christian Missionary from England who spent many years of his life in Sawyerpuram. Pope’s College has been founded in his name.
Dr. G. U. Pope was a venerated messenger of divinity, who often delighted in calling himself a ‘Student of Tamil’. He was a savant of Tamil Literature and he himself had translated the ancient classical works in Tamil language and literature, including Thirukkural, and Thiruvasagam into English and made the glory of Tamil language known to the world. He excelled in all that he did and obviously, had excellence as his goal. Pope was also a scholar of Sanskrit and Telugu. He started the College as a tool to change the society that was enslaved in communal discrimination, traditional customs, and superstitious practices. His efforts were recognized by the Royal Asiatic Society and the much coveted gold medal was awarded to him in the year 1906. This is reflected in the motto of the Institution: “Be First, be with the First”.
Dr. G. U. Pope was born on 24th April 1820 at Prince Edward Island in Nova Scotia. His family migrated to England when he was an infant. He left for South India in 1839 and arrived at Sawyerpuram. He set up several schools at various places and taught Latin, English, Hebrew, Mathematics, and Philosophy. He completed his translation of Thirukkural on 1 September 1886. His ‘Sacred Kural’ contains introduction, grammar, translation, notes, Lexicon, and concordance. It also includes the English translation of F.W. Ellis and the Latin Translation of Constanzo Beschi(also known as Veeramaa Munivar), with 436 pages in total. He had, by February 1893, translated Naaladiyaar.
His magnum opus(Latin: great work), the translation of Thiruvasagam, a literary masterpiece in Tamil language appeared in 1900. Of this, he said, “I date this on my eightieth birthday. I find, by reference, that my first Tamil lesson was in 1837. This ends, as I suppose a long life of devotion of Tamil studies. It is not without deep emotion that I thus bring to a close to my life’s literary work”. It is evidenced in record. He delivered his last sermon on 26May, 1907. Dr. G. U. Pope died on 12 February 1908. His tomb lies at St. Sepulchre Cemetery at Walton Street in Oxford.The College
Pope’s College was started initially as a seminary by Dr. George Uglow Pope. It was later integrated with Madras Christian College, Chennai. The College was invigorated as a regular Institution at Sawyerpuram in 1962 by the old students of Pope Memorial High School and a team of dedicated pioneer staff members headed by Prof. D.S. George Muller, the Founder Principal of the College. It is an aided co-educational Institution, affiliated to the Manonmaniam Sundaranar University, Tirunelveli. The noble vision of the College is to create a centre of excellence in higher education for shaping rural students, irrespective of caste, faith, and religion through dissemination of knowledge, skills, and Christian values.
The College rightly believes to inculcate in every one of its students the fear of God, which is the beginning of wisdom. The resourceful College has been accredited with ‘A’ grade by NAAC and the UGC has conferred Autonomous status from the academic year 2017-18.
The College is located in about 40 acres of area with thoughtfully built multi-storeyed buildings to provide accommodation for spacious and well- equipped classrooms and well-furnished laboratories. One of the unique educational experiences of the College is teaching through education tools made available in all the departments. All the departments are provided with computers with internet connectivity. This graceful Institution is being managed by the CSI Thoothukudi-Nazareth Diocese.
The College has been steadily growing over the years, according to the needs of the society, by starting new courses of study relevant to the technological development in the modern world. The teachers of the Institution serve loyally imbuing with the love of Christ and engender values in students quite systematically and by example. They understand that when students routinely assume the role of teachers and teachers demonstrate that they are still learners, a genuine learning community is nearby. The instructional expectations are clear, learner-centered, and achievable in our Institution and our students are well prepared to achieve a head start in their higher education and future career.