Govt. of West Bengal
Bethune College
Bethune College


Bethune College : Chemistry Department


About the Alumni

The Alumni Association of Bethune College called Sammilani, is a registered body under The West Bengal Societies Registration Act, 1961 from 10th of March 2015. It is an association where ex-students, present students and ex-teachers can become members. It started as an 'Old Students Guild' in 1921 with encouragement from the then Principal of the College, Miss G.M. Wright. Sammilani is the oldest Alumni Association (Established on 3rd September 1921) among the Government colleges in West Bengal. This association was set up mainly to serve the noble cause of bringing the ex-students into the premises of the College and to utilise their expertise knowledge and achievement in various fields of life for the welfare of the College.

Sammilani is an autonomous body and has always taken a keen interest in the activities of the College and extends its best efforts for the betterment of the Institution and its learners. The members, besides coming up with welfare ideas and upliftment notions, also come forward with financial assistance whenever needed and participate in the cultural activities of the College.

Bethune College Alumni website 

Achievements and Activities of the Alumni

Smt Chandramukhi Basu was not awarded her degree by the University of Calcutta when she graduated because she was an exception; women did not opt for higher education in the nineteenth century and the University norms did not allow awarding a degree to a female candidate. This was, however, amended by the University in 2013, when it decided to confer the honour, posthumously, to Smt Chandramukhi Basu years after she actually graduated. Dr. Sunanda Ghosh, an ex-student of Bethune College and also the former Head of the Department of Political Science of this College brought into light in 2012 that Smt. Chandramukhi Basu was the first female candidate who passed the F.A. Examination from Calcutta University in 1877. A team comprising of alumnae of Bethune College made it possible for the University to recognize Chandramukhi's rare achievement.

When Smt Chandramukhi Basu had cleared her F.A. Examination, she was gifted the Collected Works of Shakespeare by Pandit Ishwarchandra Vidyasagar. One of the volumes of the collection was traced in Dehradun, the ancestral home of Smt Chandramukhi Basu. It was retrieved by the same team of teachers and restored to Bethune College in 2015. Thus, we see that Bethune College has, from its inception, worked tirelessly towards women's empowerment.

Insert Link:

In 1988 the Sammilani introduced several memorial prizes, e.g. Rupa Chakraborty Memorial Prize, Ishita Dutta Memorial Prize and Dipti Tripathi Memorial Prize. Since then, every year Sammilani is felicitates the distinguished alumni. Some of the recipients of these prizes are Dr. Pushpa Misra, former Principal, Bethune College, Dr. Jyoti Das, Dr. Manimala Das, former Principal, Bethune College, Smt Bratati Bandyopadhyay renowned elocutionist and others.

Since 2010, on the day of Annual Reunion, the ex-students who have completed 50 years of their graduation and also the members of the Sammilani are felicitated and they are given, by way of gifts, the products of Self-help groups (SHGOS). This attempt on the part of Sammilani, not only encourages the entrepreneurship of SHGOS, but also helps the weaker sections of women of our society in a humble way.

Prizes & Fellowship :

There are a number of prizes donated by the Alumni Association to students of the College.

  1. Mrinalini Emmerson Memorial Prize
  2. Chameli Basu Memorial prize
  3. Aruna Mukhopadhyay memorial prize - given to an alumna for Social service

The Alumni has instituted Mrinalini Emerson Memorial Lecture since 2004. The first speaker on 27th February 2004 was Prof. Akhtar Imam, an eminent alumna of this College. The second speaker on 6th April 2005 was the famous Bengali litterateur Sirshendu Mukhopadhyay.

In 2005, while the Star Theatre, Kolkata was being renovated, the Association appealed to the Mayor of Kolkata for renaming the road adjacent to the Star Theatre after Binodini Devi, the famous actress of yester years, who was blessed by Ramakrishna Paramhansa. The Mayor heeded the appeal and the road has been named Binodini Sarani.

Sammilani organizes a Foundation Day programme on 3rd September, a Bijoya Sammelani after the Pujas, a picnic in winter and a Reunion in February every year.

The Association organizes an annual "Anandamela" in the Centenary Hall, which is a handicraft and food fair, for the present and past staff and students of the College. A small cultural show is held simultaneously.

The College maintains two Endowment Funds created by the financial donation from the families of two alumnae. These are:

  • Jyotsnamoyee Dey Endowment Fund supports one full time Professor, three part time Professors and two Fellows in Mathematics and one Fellow in Computer Science for full time teaching.
  • Tarak Sudha Endowment Fund supports three Fellows in Computer Science department for full time teaching.