Selaiyur Hall

Selaiyur Hall is one of the three men’s Halls of residence in the Madras Christian College campus. The Hall came up in 1937, and thus, 2024 sees it having functioned for 86 years.

As per the recommendations of the Lindsay Commission on Christian Higher Education, the Missionaries who built the college decided to establish Halls rather than hostels, which would function as semi-autonomous units in a democratic manner, with residents being given the power to manage their own affairs with the help of a student cabinet. The Hall system was an innovation in India and was modelled on the hoary institutions of Oxford and Cambridge. It has been exceptionally valuable in promoting brotherhood and acquiring wonderful values and culture, besides giving the residents a sense of responsibility.

Selaiyur Hall buildings were the first to be completed in 1937.  Friday 29th January, 1937 heralded the beginning of the great journey at Selaiyur Hall when a group of students, faculty and old students slept overnight for the first time. Selaiyur Hall was built with 4 balcony rooms at the 4 corners, which today are given to the Chairman and General Secretary of the Hall, along with ex-cabinet members or Mighty Selaiyurians.

How the name came about:

There is an interesting story behind the naming of Selaiyur Hall. The first hall to be named was Bishop Heber Hall, as it was already functioning with that name as a hostel in Royapettah.  Therefore, Dr. A.G.Hogg, the Principal of the College invited suggestions from students and faculty for naming the other two Halls. Some of the names suggested were Vandalur Hall, Coromandel Hall, St.Anderson’s Hall, Thiagaraya Hall, Gurukul Hall, Shantiniketan Hall, New Town Hall, Cosmopolitan Hall, Centenary Hall, St.Thomas’s Hall and Selaiyur Hall among others.  The last name was chosen, and thus, Selaiyur Hall attained complete Hall status with its name being fixed. Since then, every MCCian, when told about Selaiyur, is reminded about the Hall, rather than the actual place that exists in Tambaram.

The Hall Song and Hall chant:

Like all the Halls on the MCC Campus, Selaiyur Hall has its own hall song and hall chant. The Hall song was written and composed by Rev. G.C. Martin, Selaiyur Hall’s second warden.


If you come to Tambaram and if you want to stay, sir (twice)
Come to good old Selaiyur Hall (thrice)
And be a gentleman, sir.
For we are the boys of Selaiyur Hall (twice)
And if you want the best of all
Come to Selaiyur, sir.

Selaiyur has a remedy for every kind of evil (twice)
Food, fun and friendship (thrice)
But study is the devil, sir
For we are the boys of Selaiyur Hall (twice)
And if you want the best of all
Come to Selaiyur, sir.

If you are looking everywhere for someone to injure, sir (twice)
Try a game of basketball (thrice)
Where broken bones are sure sir
For we are the boys of Selaiyur Hall (twice)
And if you want the best of all
Come to Selaiyur, sir.

If you meet a frightful bore whose talk you cannot endure, sir (twice)
Send him off to Heber hall !
Send him off to Thomas’ hall !
Send him anywhere at all
But not to Selaiyur sir

For we are the boys of Selaiyur Hall (twice)
And if you want the best of all
Come to Selaiyur, sir.

The person lives in Tambaram from youth till he is mellow (twice)
Lives as he ought to live (thrice)
And leaves a jolly good fellow
For we are the boys of Selaiyur Hall (twice)
And if you want the best of all
Come to Selaiyur, sir.

For we are the boys of Selaiyur Hall (twice)
And if you want the best of all
Come to Selaiyur, sir.

The significance of our Hall motto and emblem:

The Selaiyur hall motto, ‘Esse Quam Videri,’, comes from Latin and means ‘Sincerity, not sham’, i.e.’ To be, rather than to seem’. Year after year, the newly arrived residents are taught the underlying significance of this motto and its meaning, which teaches them the real essence of what being a gentleman is all about.

The Hall emblem, known as the ‘Coat of Arms’, consists of a shield incorporated with an anchor surrounded by a rope. Sculpted into it, above the anchor, are 3 images of a lotus, laurel leaves and a torch, which stands for purity, victory and truth, respectively. The Hall motto at the base completes the emblem.  The emblem is a perfect representation of all the values Selaiyur Hall stands for and what the residents essentially absorb during their time in the hall.

The Governing body:

Selaiyur Hall has a democratically elected Cabinet to take care of the various aspects of the functioning of the hall.  The cabinet each year consists of:

THE PRESIDENT is the Warden of the Hall.  He is also the nominal executive of the various Hall procedures including nomination of the conveners.  The maintenance of discipline, decorum and efficient conduct of the Hall system is also his responsibility. It is his duty to conduct the Hall elections smoothly with the help of the Election Commissioner. The first session of the General Body meeting each year is addressed by the President.

The hall cabinet is headed by:


The Chairman is not a part of the cabinet but plays the role of an appointed leader of the Hall and a mediator between the cabinet members and the residents. The Chairman presides over all the General Body meetings. His other duties include conducting all the traditional events in the Hall such as oath taking ceremony for the new residents, the terminal dinner etc. He is also responsible for upholding the traditions and discipline of the Hall and representing the Hall in all matters relating to the college.

The student representatives in the cabinet are (in order of power):








It is the responsibility of all the above members to successfully carry out their duties for which they have been elected to the best of their abilities, with the support of the hall residents.