With the end of the East India Company's regime in India and the failure of the first armed uprising in 1857, for India's freedom, a new era dawned in our country. It was clear that the emancipation of our land and the transformation of the life of our people had to be brought about by peaceful and constitutional means. Indian renaissance had began and it heralded the role which education needed to play to achieve national aspirations. Wood's Education Despatch (1854), the Education Commission of 1882 and the Hunter Commission (1891), were all indicative of the concerted efforts, of both the Government and the Indian people, in the enterprise of education. The Founders of the Fergusson College had first started the New English School, Pune in 1880 and later established the Deccan Education Society (DES) in 1884.The college held these classes, for almost ten years, in the old Gadre Wada and other locations in Poona.
A plot of about 37 acres (a portion of the present extensive campus) was acquired on a 99 years' lease in 1891 by the DES. The foundation stone of the Main building of the Fergusson College, was laid in 1892 and the building was completed in 1895. The college started functioning on this campus in 1895. From then onwards, the college has grown from strength to strength and acquired a reputation as a nation-building institution.
While the founders have become legends, in the history of education and the freedom struggle in India, it is a matter of great significance, that the college received active and moral support from academicians and statesmen, such as Principal William Wordsworth, Principal F. G. Selby, Lord Rippon, Sir William Wedderburn and Sir James Fergusson.Fergusson College was intended to be, "the seminary of the Indian educational missionaries".
Sir James Fergusson (1832-1907) , sixth baronet of Kilkerran and the then Governor of Bombay , was the first patron of the Society . As Governor he was popular for his humance and generous policy regarding the famine laws and Agriculturists’ Relief Act as also for his interest in the spread of education. In recognition of his support and contribution the founders requested him for permission to name the proposed new college as Fergusson College , which he graciously granted.“In the common life of this COLLEGE, as venerable custom, no principle of religion or caste will be violated, but we may trust that jealousies which distract and weaken the community will by the harmonious working of intellectual life , be moderated and even extirpated “ Sir James Fergusson , Ex- Governor o f Bombay during his last visit to the college on 13th February 1895.
We aspire to carry forward the Vision of our founders of providing affordable quality education, while expanding our academic horizons to bring the institution on par with global leaders in the field of higher education.
Strive for excellence in education in keeping with the motto of the college, “Knowledge is Power” and prepare young minds for imbibing knowledge, skills and sensitivity.
1. Commitment to Scholarship and Learning
We honor scholarship in all of its aspects: artistic, cultural, scientific, and applied. We support professional development and training of our staff and administrators; and encourage and nurture intellectual curiosity in our students.
2. Commitment to Excellence
The quality of our academic programmes is central to our educational mission. We set high standards for ourselves in all of our actions and activities; assess our performance and acknowledge both individual and group contributions to the fulfillment of our mission.
3. Respect for All People
Our policies, programmes and actions affirm the worth and personal dignity of every member of the college community and contribute to a campus climate of civility, collegiality, trust, and reasoned debate. We take pride in the diversity of our community.
4. Alliances with the Community
We seek genuine partnerships with local academic institutes, industries, government, and social agencies in order to serve the intellectual, artistic, cultural, and economic needs of our surrounding communities.
5. Encouragement of Innovation, Experimentation and Creativity
We value idealism, innovation and creativity and regularly re-examine our programmes and practices so that every area of the college life will be continually improved and renewed.