Assumption College (Thai: โรงเรียนอัสสัมชัญ) (Sometimes called "Assumption Bang Rak", "Assumption Krung Tep", "อ ส ช" ) is a private Catholic boys school in Bangkok, Thailand. The school, founded by Rev. Father Emile August Colombet on 16 February 1885, is the first school founded by the Gabrielite Brothers in Thailand. Assumption College is the third-oldest boys school in Thailand.
The school provides education for students from grades 1 through 12. Matriculation, especially in the first grade, is highly competitive. Assumption College has a long list of distinguished former pupils including four Prime Ministers of Thailand, 15 privy counselors, and three pupils among Thailand's 10 Richest.
Assumption College is the one of four schools which participate in Jaturamitr Samakkee, a traditional football match by the four oldest boys' schools in Thailand: Suankularb Wittayalai School, Debsirin School, Bangkok Christian College, and Assumption.
Assumption College traces its history to 1885, when Father Emile August Colombet, a French missionary priest, opened his school in Bangkok. In those days before free public schools, Colombet realised many Thai children went without an education. Buddhist monks taught reading and writing in their temples, but attendance was not compulsory. Father Colombet opened his own primary school to help fill the need. The church school, named the Thai-French School, taught in French and Thai.
Father Colombet's school was in an ordinary wooden house. Classes at the beginning were small; his first student was a Chinese-Thai, Siew Meng Tek. The number of students steadily increased, and today more than 51,000 boys have been educated at Assumption College.
On 16 February 1885, the school was formally established under the name of Collège de l'Assomption. On the first day of school, there were 33 students. After that the school gradually became recognized and the demand for a new study hall was needed. Colombet sent a letter to King Chulalongkorn and the queen and solicited contributions and donations from noblemen, as well as Thai and foreign merchants in Bangkok. The school became well-endowed.
On 15 August 1887, Crown Prince Maha Vajirunhis represented King Chulalongkorn in laying the cornerstone for the construction of the first study hall, later named the "old building" (Thai, "tuek gao").
In 1900, Father Colombet returned to France. He asked the St. Gabriel Foundation to assume management of Assumption College. On 20 October 1901, the Superior General of the Brothers of St. Gabriel sent five reverend brothers to Thailand in order to continue the initiative of Father Colombet. They were Rev. Bro. Martin de Tours (the second director), Rev. Bro. Arbaire, Rev. Bro. Augustine, Bro. Gabriel Ferreti, and Rev. Bro. Hilaire, who pursued the objectives of Father Colombet. Assumption College was the first boys' school of the St. Gabriel Foundation in Thailand.
In 1910, the school changed its name from Collège de l'Assomption to Assumption College or AC.
When the number of students sharply increased, the existing study hall could not cater to the increasing numbers. At that time, the Brothers of Saint Gabriel established Assumption College Primary Section in 1965 in Sathon, Bangkok, on an area of six rai.
The primary section was approved and opened on 22 May 1966. The school was officially opened and blessed on 6 May 1967 by Bishop Joseph Khiamsun Nittayo and Mom Luang Pin Malakul. The minister of education presided at the ceremony.
In 2002, during Brother Surasit Sukchai's term of governance, the English program (EP) was introduced to serve students who wanted to prepare themselves for international study. The program started in Prathom Suksa 1 and in Mathayom Suksa 1 in the first year. Now the program offers complete primary and secondary levels or from Prathom Suksa 1 to Mathayom Suksa 6 (grades 1-12).
The symbol of Assumption College is a coat of arms. The blue English abbreviation AC is placed mid-center of the coat of arms. Underneath the school's abbreviation is "1885", the year of the college's formal establishment by Colombet. The red and white colors on the coat of arms remind us to honour the nation, religion, and the king. White represents purity and red represents bravery.Tuek Gao (ตึกเก่า) (1890 - 1970) the first building of Assumption College. King Rama V made a contribution of 50 chang and the queen 25 chang. On 15 August 1887, Crown Prince Maha Vajirunhis laid the foundation stone. On 17 December 1970, the "tuek gao" was demolished to make space for the F. Hilaire Memorial.
Suwan Somphoch Hall Building (หอประชุมสุวรรณสมโภช) (1951 - 2001) built for the 80th anniversary of Assumption College. The first hall of the school.
Assumption 100 years Building (ตึกอัสสัมชัญ 100 ปี ) (1985 - 2004) built for the 100th anniversary of Assumption College. It is a multipurpose building.
Colombet Building (ตึกกอลมเบต์ ) (1936 - present) is the oldest building of Assumption College, used for English program students
F. Hilaire Building (ตึกฟ.ฮีแลร์) (1972 - present) is the second oldest building. This building was opened by King Bhumibol Adulyadej. This building is used for lower secondary students (grades 7-9).
Assumption 2003 Building (อาคารอัสสัมชัญ 2003) (2003-present) is a 13-storey building and the tallest building at the school. It was designed by alumni architect Ajaphol Dusitanond. The building is mixed-use including the classrooms of upper secondary students (grades 10-12), seven lifts (six for students and one for teachers), labs, school's shop, museum, four auditorium rooms and the director's penthouse on the top of the building.
Saint Louis-Marie Memorial Building (อาคารนักบุญหลุยส์-มารีย์) (2007-present) is the newest building at the school. The building consists of a canteen, library, and grand hall.
The word "assumption" in Catholic theology means "assumed into heaven after her death" from the French word assomption. The name of the school is a reference to the assumption of Mary and in Thai means "the place for virtuous life and more knowledge". AC or A.C. is the abbreviation of Assumption College. The school motto is "Labor Omnia Vincit" ("work conquers all").
Assumption College has several branches in Thailand, including:Assumption College "Primary Section", Bangkok
Assumption College "Secondary Section", Bangkok
Assumption College "Rama II Campus", Samut Sakhon
Assumption Commercial College
Assumption College Thonburi
Assumption College Sri Racha
Assumption College Samut Prakan
Assumption College Rayong
Assumption College Ubon Ratchathani
Assumption College Nakhon Ratchasima
Assumption College Lampang