Inaugural Address by Sir Ganga Ram At the Opening Ceremony March 4, 1927

Your Excellency, Loard Linllthgow, Lady Hailey, Ladies & Gentlemen

It is with no small pleasure that I welcome Your Excellency on the present occasion to perform the Opening Ceremony of this important edition to the educational Institutions of this province.

I have lately traveled over the greater part of India and I am in a position to say and I say it with equal pleasure and pride that in many ways, the Punjab is ahead of other provinces, as far as arrangements for the higher education of the people in their different spheres of life are concerned.

But wherever I went I was forcibly reminded of one serious deficiency in our own educational equipment, I mean the absence of an institution for higher teaching in commerce. This short coming I am glad to say, will now be removed by the opening of the College of Commerce, in the establishment of which Your Excellency and Your Excellency’s advisers have taken so much personal interest.

No problem is disturbing the peace of mind of the parents of the students in this province so much as the question of unemployment. It is hoped that this college may be the means of alleviating the hardships of the educational classes to a certain extent besides promoting the commercial and industrial advancement and prosperity of the province at large.

The thanks of the whole province are due to the Legislative Council who have, through the unstained efforts of Sir John Maynard, Sir Geolfrey de Montmorency and Sir George Anderson, promised recurring as well as non-recurring grant for the maintenance of the College. Our thanks are also due to Dr. M. L. Tannan, Principal of the Sydenham College of Commerce, Bombay, who was kind enough, at great personal inconvenience, to pay two visits to Lahore at the invitation of Government and gave valuable advice in working out the whole scheme for the College in association with the local educationists and representatives of Commerce. The authorities of the Punjab University have also been pleased to agree to take charge of the institution and manage it as the University College of Commerce, like the existing Law College and the Oriental College. The professional course will be based on the intermediate standard of the University. It will extend over three years and will terminate in the degree of B. Com. I am glad to learn that the University Authorities have already taken necessary action to sanction the institution of the new degree in Commerce.

Since this College is intended to train young men for the responsible duties of managers and senior assistants in commercial concerns and otherwise to meet the growing needs of the trade and commerce of the province, the best course to secure this object would, in my opinion, be to lay down definitely from the beginning, that merit alone would be the sole condition of admission to it.

However, in difference to Your Excellency’s desire, I wish to attach no such hard and fast condition to my offer. I hope that Your Excellency will realize that without some safeguards of the kind suggested by me, it would be almost impossible to attract the brightest students to the institution and at the same time to avoid the rush of those of mediocre abilities………………….. …………. Before Your Excellency proceeds formally to open the college, I ask for one favour from Your Excellency — in making this request, I am sure I am voicing the heart felt wish of every one present here — that Your Excellency will be so pleased as to consent that the new College may henceforth be associated with your illustrious name and be known as the “Hailey College of Commerce.”

I, now, request Your Excellency to open the College with your blessing for the success of the institution.