Tuesday, January 24, 2012


Professor Arthur J Harris
Former Professor and Head
Department of Physics
The American College
Madurai 2.Tamil Nadu.
(The above photograph was copied and worked from a College faculty group photo taken in 1972-73) 

The above picture was taken by  Prof. V. Srinivasan)

(Photos Courtesy - Prof. V. Srinivasan)

PROFESSOR ARTHUR J HARRIS passed-away on 18th January 2012 in his native place, Marthandam at the age of 80

All the faculty members under the leadership of Dr. P. R. Anbudauari, Principal-in-charge and Secretary, The American College assembled in front of the Flint House at 11. AM to pay their last respects to the departed soul.
The condolence meeting started with a prayer by the Chaplain Dr. Barnabas. All the faculty, non-teaching staff members and retired professors - Prof. V. Srinivasan and Prof. D.Samuel Lawerence attended the meeting.

Dr. P. R. Anbuduari in his condolence message recalled the long and affectionate relationship of Professor Harris with the College and his colleagues.During his tenure, DR. P.R.A added that Prof. Harris also served the college as Hostel Warden, as a Member of the Governing Council for two terms. Dr. P.R.A observed him to be an out spoken, straight forward man whose primary concern was the college. All his colleagues used to affectionately call him -‘annachi’ (elder brother), a well deserved relationship he had with them all. Students, staff and even the Principals used to consult Professor Harris when ever they had a crisis or problem, Dr. P.R.A added.

Professor V. Srinivasan, Former Professor and Head, Department of Physics, The American College shared his academic and emotional bondage with Professor Harris. He gave a historical account and highlighted the contributions of Prof. Arthur Harris to college.

Following are some of the reminiscence Professor V.S shared with his colleagues during the condolence meeting…

Prof. Arthur Harris was a student in the College in the early forties (42-44 I think) in the BA Physics classes. (The course was called BA at that time and became B.Sc in the fifties). Later he went to the Middle East as a news paper reporter to cover the events of the Second World War. After the war was over he returned to India did his M.Sc in Rajasthan (Birla College, the present BITS, Pilani). He was a demonstrator in Madras Government service and was serving in a GovernmentCollege in Ananthapur, which is now in Andhra Prasesh. He joined The American College in June/July 1955 as a lecturer in Physics. After the retirement of Prof. E. S. Moses in 1970 he was appointed the Head of the UG Physics Department. In 1974 for a few months before he left the College he was holding additional charge as the Head of the PG Physics Department since Dr. R P Riesz was on furlough at that time. During his student days he was a nationalist and a follower of Nesamani, a Congress leader from Nagercoil.

He was the first Oberlin-Shansi Faculty rep from American College. Chose to travel by ship to USA and he is probably the only Oberlin rep to travel by ship. He spent an extra year in another college in USA (sorry I don’t recall the name of the institute, I think it is Western Reserve University in ClevelandOhio not far from Oberlin) and did some graduate work in Physics. He was one of the wardens of our hostels (Washburn Hall) for many years.

Popularly known among the people of his age group and some youngsters as “annachi” he was a good friend and adviser for many of them. He was a good friend of Prof. K. Paramasivam (Former Professor and Head, Tamil Department, The American College). He played an important role in steering the students and faculty of the college in the right direction during the difficult times particularly at the time of the anti-Hindi agitation in 1964-65 and at times of student unrests for local reasons. He was considered a power centre in the College. The administration of the College used to ask a question what the Harris’s group think on any issue.

He was invited to be the Principal of Nesamani Christian College in his home town Marthandam and left the College in Nov 1974. He continued his association with the College serving as a member of the College Governing Council.

 Humble thanks to Professor V. Srinivasan for sharing the photographs.

Our deepest condolence.
csipass workers,

courtesy-save american college movement,madurai.TN.

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