Madras Christian College was founded by the Scottish missionaries on 3 April, 1837 as a school in George Town, Chennai. Through its glorious history, it has contributed effectively to the making of India as a modern nation. Even though it was an institution run by the Scottish missionaries, there was no uncordial and inharmonious relationship between the predominant Indian students and the predominant non-Indian staff of the College. There was peace and sensible understanding between the both that created a conducive atmosphere for the students to participate in the freedom movement.
Some of the alumni of the College who participated in the freedom movement are: Konda Venkatappaiah, Raghupati Venkataratnam Naidu, B Pattabhi Sitaramayya, S Satyamurti, Nyapathi Subba Rao, K P Kesava Menon, K Kelappan, M C Rajah, Kumarappa brothers, S K George and others. Alladi Krishnaswami Aiyer, AV Ramanathan, the two Arcot brothers and P Subbaroyan and Satyamurthi were all contemporaries in college.
S Satyamurti stated that, “Bipin Chandra Pal once visited Madras and we, students got thoroughly excited. We attended all his lectures. Lala Lajpat Rai was deported and we boycotted classes. They had to enforce discipline and they did it in a humane manner that very soon the excitement passed over, and we were once more members of a happy family”.
In one of the articles written in memory of AJ Boyd, BPR Vithal, a retired IAS officer, says that Madras Christian College was the only reputed institution in 1942 that gave admissions to students, who were expelled from other colleges for their political affiliations without insisting on a transfer certificate. Thus the College had a large group of politically active students. The students used to have orations in support of the freedom movement and BPR Vithal mentions that he used to wear the waist coat, like the one of Jawaharlal Nehru, whenever he presided over a meeting. There was an understanding between the administration and the students that the former would not call the police inside the campus and the latter agreed to observe standards of discipline in the political activities.