Nirmala Prasad, the former principal of M.O.P. Vaishnav College for Women, died on Thursday morning. She was 69. Her family members said that she had been admitted to a hospital in the city on Monday.
After working in Ethiraj College for 21 years, where she had helped set up the commerce department, Ms. Nirmala joined M.O.P. Vaishnav College in 1997.
She retired in 2013, after nearly 40 years of service as a teacher and administrator.
M.O.P. Vaishnav College, which was established in 1992, grew under her leadership and administration. Ms. Nirmala had been largely responsible for the growth of the college as well as initiating the entrepreneurship cell. It was also during her tenure that the college community radio station was set up. “I had two choices — to go for a high-paying job, or fulfil my dream of starting a model institution. I chose the latter,” she said in 2013.
M.O.P. Vaishnav College declared a holiday on Thursday. Ms. Nirmala is survived by her husband, and daughter.
“She was extremely passionate about entrepreneurship and used to encourage students to be confident about their aspirations. It was under her guidance that many of us pursued our higher studies and found success,” said Lalitha Balakrishnan, the current principal of the college.
“I have known Ms. Nirmala Prasad for over 25 years. In her passing, we have lost a legendary academician, an inspiration to many. Ms. Nirmala singularly built a new-age self-financing college which became a benchmark for others, including the well-established ones,” said Ramkumar Ramamoorthy, Chairman and MD, Cognizant India and president, MCCI.
‘Scripted many reforms’
“She had served as member of the Syndicate, University of Madras, for a record three terms. As Chairperson of the Board of Studies of Undergraduate Commerce, she scripted many reforms, and formulated many branches of B.Com specialisation,” recalled C. R. Ravi, a Commerce professor and former principal of A.M. Jain College.
‘Bold and astute’
Association of University Teachers president J. Ghandhiraj described her as a bold, forthright and astute person.
Murugan, general secretary, Madras University Teachers’ Association (MUTA), said Ms. Nirmala was one of the pioneers of the Principals Association and worked cohesively with MUTA. Former Pachaiayappa’s College principal P. Kandaswamy, said, “She was the fulcrum of the Tamil Nadu Principals’ Association for several years.”