Mrs. AVN College in Visakhapatnam: The 159-year-old educational institution in AP

AVN College, visakhapatnam

What do premier personalities like the Nobel Laureate Sir C.V. Raman, Sonthi Ramamurthy, ICS, Sri B.S. Sarma, Member of Viceroy’s Executive Council in the twenties, Sri Vepa Ramesam, High Court judge, Madras, Padma Bhushan Dwaram Venkata Swami Naidu, Sri Tenneti Viswanadham, Prof. B.
Rama Chandra Rao, Ex-Vice Chairman, UGC, Sri S.V. Rangarow, Alluri Seetharama Raju, Dr. M. Gopala Krishna Reddy, Former Vice-Chancellor, Andhra University, Padma Vibhushan Prof. C.R. Rao and many more such stalwarts have in common? It’s their association with the Mrs. AVN College and school in Visakhapatnam.

Once a school, this institute began as ‘The Anglo Vernacular School’ in the 1860s. It was founded by eminent likeminded persons like Sir Alexander Grant, Inspector of Schools, Mr. E. Fane, Collector of Vizagapatam, Maharaja Sri G.N.Gajapati Rao and Sri Chendiga Venkata Swamy
Naidu mainly for uplifting the poor and downtrodden through education.

Standing strong for the past 159 years and still counting, AVN College, in Visakhapatnam, is one of the oldest vernacular schools in the whole of Andhra Pradesh. The school was initially housed in a huge building known as Kasimkotavari Haveli situated to the south of G.N.Gajapati Rao Reading room. It was actively supported and sponsored by the leading Zamindars of the district, chiefly, the Maharaja of Bobbilli who extended his patronage for about 36 years. In 1886, under the headmastership of E.Winckler, the school was elevated to a High School. The year 1878 marks the beginning of a new episode in AVN’s history. Back then, though with the strength of only 30 students, it had tremendous support and consequently the status of the High school was raised to that of a second-grade college. It was then renamed as ‘Hindu College’, affiliated to The Madras University.

The present High School Building was erected in the eve of the institution celebrating its Diamond Jubilee in the year 1938 and by then, the strength of the college was 227 and of the High School 732. Due to the efforts of the Old Boys Association July 1944, the college was raised to First Grade when the B.A. Course was started. But for the intervention of the then Deputy Collector of Visakhapatnam, Sri Ankitam Vekata Narsinga Row, this institution, the only school in town back then would have seen a premature demise. The college slipped into a financial crisis, only to be disentangled by his munificence. In his will dated 8th may, 1892, Sri AVN Row donated 11 acres of land with a palatial building, a lakh of rupees and a building grant of Rs. 15,000/-, hence the name, ‘Mrs. AVN College’, after his wife.

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