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(ANS – Guwahati) – Last Friday, 15 June, in an impressive ceremony, the Don Bosco University of Assam, the first Catholic University in India, inaugurated its permanent campus at Tapesia Gardens some 16 kms away from state capital Dispur. The 500 acres site will be able to house 6000 students and staff.
The ceremony coincided with the graduation of the first group of engineering students of the Salesian University. Lasting an hour and a half the ceremony was introduced by a short address by the Vice-Chancellor, Fr Stephen Mavely SDB. Then Fr Joseph Almeida, former Provincial of Guwahati, gave a brief reflection: “There is a time and a place …for everything under then sun.”
He was followed by various academic authorities, including Kashi Nath Hazarika, a Member of the Governing Body, Professor Ramesh Das the President of Kamarkuchi Gaon Panchayat; Fr Cyriac Vettickathadam SDB Controller of Examinations; and the new Provincial Fr Thomas Vattathara with his predecessor Fr Almeida.
The Vice-Chancellor then described the new site: “Tapesia Gardens - 500 acres of a myriad shades of green, undulating hills and babbling streams, … shady jungle trails and cosy arbours, manicured tea bushes and leafy nooks that beckon... and swathes of wild flowers... an unmatchable home for a University.”
Having recalled the origin of the first Salesian campus for university students in northern India, in 1934, just 12 years after the arrival of the Salesians in that region, Fr Mavely added: “``venturing upon starting a University, 78 years later, is no less a daunting task... however, in view of the commitment of the Salesian world towards this project, and the enthusiastic welcome it has received from the government, civil and ecclesial leaders, and especially the youth of the region, this venture holds promise of blossoming into one of the most significant works of the Church and Don Bosco Society in India.``
On 2 May at another solemn and colourful ceremony the conclusion of the work on another university campus of the Don Bosco University, at Azara was celebrated.