The origin of the college is traced back to Calavala Cunnan Chetty Garu. He was loved by the Arya Vysya community. The seer was so service minded that his will said, .... the bulk of my properties should be utilised for charities and that my name should be perpetuated not by descendants but by schemes of public benefactions which I am anxious to organise and provide for. He established a Hindu public charitable institution ‘Dharmamurthi Rao Bahadur Calavala Cunnan Chetty’s Charities’ and nominated prominent citizens from Arya Vysya community as its members.
He had established a Sanskrit college at Triplicane and an elementary school at Mambalam (T. Nagar). He financially supported a primary school for girls at Chintadripet, a girls’ school at Narayana Mudali Street, George Town and another school at Thambu Chetty Street, near Parrys’ Corner. He maintained a library for the use of the poor students.
He also ran Ayurvedic dispensaries and free choultries. He was a member of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA).
The Members of the Trust Board continue the founder’s academic services. The result is the three schools viz. Dharmamurthi Rao Bahadur Calavala Cunnan Chetty’s Higher Secondary School at Perambur, Dharmamurthi Rao Bahaddur Calavala Cunnan Chetty’s Hindu Higher Secondary School at Trivellore and Seetha Kingston Matriculation Higher Secondary School at Kilpauk and a College - Dharmamurthi Rao Bahadur Calavala Cunnan Chetty’s Hindu College at Pattabiram. The last two institutions were started to commemorate the birth centenary of the donor. None of the educational institutions under the Trust Board collects capitation fees.
The trust, in continuation of the founder’s social services, makes monthly contributions to needy institutions and individuals. Abhaya Nilayam at Mylapore and the Society for the Protection of Children - the Destitute Home at Washermenpet are among the institutions that enjoy the financial assistance of the Trust. A free choultry is being run at Egmore for those who come to Madras for medical treatment. The trust also donated a sum towards the cost of five class rooms to Sri Kanyaka Parameswari Devasthanam and Charities for their Women’s College at Kothwal Market.
Sri Swami Venkatachalam Chetty was the President and Correspondent of all the educational institutions under the Charities between 1921 and 1951. He thought of upgrading the high school into a college. In 1963 the idea was pursued by Sri. C. Ethiraj, the then Honorary Correspondent of all the educational institutions under the Charities. He successfully realised this vision in 1969. Thiru. D. Rajarathnam, the then M.L.A. of Poonamallee Constituency, helped the Charities acquire suitable land for the college. The Government of Tamil Nadu permitted the Management to enter upon 21.52 acres (87,100 m2) of land within the Avadi Township Area on the Madras - Tiruvellore State Highway at Pattabiram. Lecture halls were built within a month at the cost of Rs. 1.5 lakhs. A master plan was prepared for permanent buildings at an estimated cost of Rs. 25 lakhs.
The College began on 3 July 1969 with PUC classes in Humanities. In 1970 B.A. History, B.A. Economics and B.Sc. Mathematics courses were introduced. From 1971 - 1974 efforts were made to acquire more land and to obtain alienation orders from the government for the entire extent of 39.52 acres (159,900 m2). A building grant of Rs. 75,000 was received from the government of Tamil Naidu due to the initiative of Sri.G.Govindarajan, the then Principal.
Indian Bank helped the Management with financial assistance. Thanks to these financial aids the foundation stone for the new block was laid in September 1973. Sri C. Ethiraj was first Honorary Correspondent, his efforts and commitment are the real foundations on which the college is built up. He laid down his office as the Honorary Correspondent of the College in March 1973.
The Management Committee was then re-constituted and re-designed as the Educational Sub-Committee. Sri M. Nammalwar Chetty was the Chairman of the Committee. Sri C. Ethiraj, Sri C.Emberumanar Gupta, Dr. T. M. Srinivasan, Sri. P. Venkataswamy, Sri. C. Venkatachalam were the members and the Principal became the ex-officio member of the Committee.
Dr. T.M. Srinivasan was elected the Honorary Correspondent of the College. In 1975 the Sub-Committee secured affiliation to B.Com. Course.
At the World Telugu Conference held in Madras, Sri. J. Vengal Rao, the then Chief-Minister of Andhra Pradesh and Sri M.V. Krishna Rao, the then Minister for Education of Andhra Pradesh, expressed their desire to establish an institute of higher education in Madras to encourage the Telugu Minority group to pursue higher education. Sri C. Emberumanar Gupta, one of our Trustees suggested to Sri J.V. Somayajulu that opening a new institution would require land and more funds. Instead the Government of Andhra Pradesh might extend their assistance to ‘Dharmamurthi Rao Bahadur Calavala Cunnan Chetty’s Charities’ which was already running a College efficiently. Sri J. Vengal Rao promised that the Government of Andhra Pradesh would offer matching grants for the construction of buildings. The Indian bank offered a loan of Rs. 3,75,000 towards construction of lecture halls. Smt. Narasamma, a local resident, donated 1.17 acres (4,700 m2) of land to the college.
Construction began in 1975. In March the same year the Chief Minister and the Education Minister of Andhra Pradesh visited the college and announced a grant of 4 lakhs - 2 lakhs from the Government of Andhra Pradesh and 2 lakhs from Tirumala-Thirupathi Devasthanams. Sri J. Vengal Rao laid the foundations stone for the Seethamma Science Block, presided over by Sri Justice Ram Prasad Rao. The grant of the government of Andhra Pradesh and the T.T. Devasthanams gave twelve lecture halls.
In 1976 co-education began in the college. In 1978 the University of Madras granted affiliation to B.A. English Literature. Affiliation to certificate course in Telugu and Hindi under part I for B.A., B.Sc., and B.Com., was obtained in the same year. In 1979 affiliation to B.A., Telugu Literature was obtained. Dr. T.M. Srinivasan laid down his office as Honorary Correspondent on 31 March 1981.Sri C.N. Alwar Chetty became the next Honorary Correspondent of the college on 1 April 1981. He secured affiliation to B.A. Corporate Secretaryship. He retired on health grounds in 1990.
Sri M.V. Cunniah Chetty became the Secretary of the college on 6 June 1990. He began the Evening College in the same campus in 1995 to bring in new courses. The Evening College is under a self-financing scheme. In the evening college B.Sc., Computer Science was introduced in 1995, B.Com., and B.B.A. were introduced in 1996. The University of Madras granted affiliation to B.Sc. Mathematics in 1997 and to B.C.A. in 1999. B.A. Corporate Secretaryship and B.Sc. Electronics Science courses were introduced in 2000. M.Sc. Computer Science, the first Post-Graduate course of the College, was also introduced in the same year. Having served the cause of education for more than a decade he took retirement on 31 March 2001.
The Seethamma Block was constructed at a cost of Rs. 60,00,000/-. It was declared open by Chief Justice Sri K.G. Balakrishnan, Chennai High Court on 25 March 2000 during Tri-Decennial Celebrations of the college. It houses the computer lab, electronics lab and Evening College classes.
Sri M. Venkatesaperumal took charge as the Secretary of the College with effect in 2001. His immediate achievement was to secure affiliation to B.Sc. Information Systems Management course in 2001. Introduction of M.Sc. Mathematics from 2003 and M.Com. in 2004 are his achievements. B.Com. 3rd section and Diploma in Computerised Accounting have been introduced in 2005.
The ‘Dharmamurthi Calavala Cunnan Chetty Block’ was constructed at a cost of Rs. 78.30 Lakhs. It was declared open by Sri V.R. Bakthavatsalam, the then president of the Board of Trustees on 8 September 2003. It houses library, computer lab and Evening College classes.
The Cunnan Auditorium was constructed at a cost of Rs.19,32,000/-. It was declared open by Sri Vummudi Sreehari Trustee on 10 April 2005, which accommodates about 1000 persons.
The Cunnan Block Reception Hall additional class rooms and staff rooms were constructed at a cost of Rs.30,83,000/-. It was declared open by Sri M.V. Cunnaiah Chetty, Office Trustee on 10 April 2005.
The Dharmamurthi Cunnan Chetty Decennial Block was constructed at a cost of Rs.24,11,000/-. It was declared open by Sri C. Venkatachalam, Trustee on 10 April 2005. It houses Evening College classes.
The tenure of Sri M.Venjatesaperumal, the Secretary, ended on 31 March 2006. Sri M.V. Cunniah Chetty took over as the secretary of the college for the second term with effect from March 2006.
The NAAC Peer Team visited in April 2006 and accredited the college with B+ Grade. M.Sc. Information Technology was introduced in the Evening College during 2006.
B.Sc. Visual Communication, B.Com. Accounting and Finance and Master of Social Work (MSW) were introduced during 2007.
I B.Com Acc.Fin. and I B.C.A. additional sections were introduced in 2009.
A new building has Studios, Multi Media Lab, Preview theatre, Drawing Room, Editing Suit, Class Rooms, Staff Rooms, NCC, NSS, YRC and Rotatact Club.