Ladies’ College was founded in 1900 by the Church Missionary Society in Sri Lanka as a private school for girls aged 3+ to 18. As a Christian Private National Girls’ School, Ladies’ College aims to maximize the potential of every individual. This is achieved through providing a community of students, staff, governors and parents which seeks to promote the academic, cultural, moral, physical and spiritual development of its members.
Though it is a Christian school belonging to the Anglican Diocese of Colombo, a multi-religious, multi-racial and multi-cultural community was fostered at Ladies’ College from its very beginning by our founders. Quoting Ms. Simon, “We have in our school a great variety of girls differing in race, religion, age, tastes, abilities and character – indeed a variety not unlike that in Ceylon. Here we have the opportunity to learn to live together to realize that fruitful relationships are based on differences, and not on identities. There is unity in our diversity”.
“At Ladies’ College, we are committed to nurturing students who are recognizable not only by their achievements both in academic and extra-curricular areas, but also by their strength of character, spiritual awareness and commitment to their religion, sense of social responsibility and their independence of thought. The College struggles to keep within the policy requirements of the government and at the same time maintain the high quality of a rounded humanistic education which was its founding principle.”
Throughout the last century, the past pupils of this Institution have broken ground as they led the way and paved the path for other women. The first Sri Lankan Bishop of the Church of Ceylon, the first ordained female Anglican, the first woman surgeon, the first woman barrister, the first woman to be admitted as an advocate to the supreme court, the first woman to win a scholarship to Oxford University in open competition, the first woman engineer to graduate from the University of Ceylon, the first woman to obtain a doctorate in Science, the first woman Vice Chancellor of a Sri Lankan University and the first Sri Lankan Vice Chancellor of a Canadian University are all products of Ladies’ College. As the list expands, the school is proud of her many old girls who have served their day and generation with distinction and integrity in all walks of life and in many countries of the world.
These results also highlight the multi – ethnic composition of the school Ms Nixon founded, which has been a significant feature of Ladies’ College that has remained unchanged throughout. From its very beginnings the school was open to any girls who chose to study, irrespective of their ethnic or religious background which was not so in many missionary schools established in Ceylon at the time. Though herself a devout Christian, Lilian Nixon still established a tradition of openness and religious and ethnic tolerance that has remained through the years
We have a very supportive Old Girls Association which was established as far back as 1909 and has been for over a hundred years, in Ms Opie’s words, “the bulwark of our defences”
“We can begin to practice understanding and tolerance while at school”. Students who have schooled here rarely find it difficult to adjust to a different cultural background in any part of the world. – [Excerpts from Ladies’ College a centennial narrative 1900-2000]