The First Women's College of Thrissur District, St. Mary's College, was established in the heart of the flourishing business town of Thrissur in 1946. The Congregation of Mother of Carmel (CMC) had pioneered into the field of Higher Education inspired by the educational vision of its founder, St. Kuriakose Elias Chavra. India was fast approaching the much awaited freedom from British rule and there was great enthusiasm for a new and reformed society. Though many women had taken part in the freedom struggle, majority of women in India were still uneducated and illiterate. Women had very little opportunity for higher education as there were very few colleges for women at the time. It is in this hour of need that the CMC congregation had established St. Mary’s College, with the aim of uplifting the women of Kerala by empowering them through education.
The CMC congregation had applied for sanction to start a college to the University of Madras in 1944. In 1945 His Excellency Rt. Rev. Dr. George Alappat, Bishop of Thrissur laid the foundation stone for the college building. The University Inspectors Committee headed by Sri. Lakashmanaswamy Mudaliar, the Vice Chancellor of University of Madras, visited the college site and gave sanction to start the college with Degree Courses in Mathematics and Economics and Intermediate for Science and History. His Excellency Rt. Rev. Dr. George Alappat, Bishop of Thrissur blessed the college building. Thus the long cherished dream of a College for women bore fruit and history was made with the birth of the First Women’s of Thrissur district, St. Mary’s College. The distinctive coat of arms and the motto Scientia et Disciplina was adopted. The College was formally inaugurated by Sri. George Boag, the Diwan of Cochin on February 9th, 1947. Sr. Mary Patience took charge as the Founder Principal of the College. Her missionary zeal helped the college to attain pride of place among the women's colleges in Kerala. The College was able to fulfil its cherished dream of imparting education to the young women of Kerala and scores of successful graduates passed out of the college portal every year. From its inception the College has given importance to academic excellence and the university results of the first batch of students bears testimony to this. A.G Teresa came out first in the Madras Presidency and was awarded the Pitti Muniswami Chetti Guru Gold Medal and the Marsh Prize. L. S. Sarojini won the Godathi Etharajan Memorial Medal of the University for Economics and Radha Devi won the T. Rama Rao Gold Medal of the University for English.