Kinnaird College

Qasim Khan Lahore

Kinnaird College For Women - Lahore: Kinnaird College, the premier women's college in Pakistan, was founded in 1913 by the Zenana and Bible Medical Mission, now called Interserve. The first Intermediate class (FA) started with Miss Joan McDonald as Principal. BA classes commenced in 1917. The American Presbyterian Mission and the Church Missionary Society joined in 1919 to make Kinnaird a union institution. Others followed. From 1913 to 1922 the college was the only women's liberal arts college in the Punjab. 

The science department was not founded until 1950 - two world wars, lack of finance and partition of the subcontinent were the main hindrances. The student body grew from 6 to 170 by 1951. (By 2010 it was over 4,000). The early students were mainly Christians joined by more and more Hindus. Kinnaird College moved from its first site in and around Kinnaird High School in 1926 to Lake Road, and in 1938 to its present site. In 1932 the Principal, Miss McNair, agonized about moving to Agra where the College had been offered the campus of St. John's College. This offer was declined, and Kinnaird with its campus was preserved for what was to become Pakistan.

Kinnaird College for Women, Lahore c. 1960s

Isabella T. McNair, born in Kilmarnock, gained an MA in English from the University of Edinburgh before moving to British India in 1917 to teach at Women’s Christian College in Madras. In 1928 she was appointed Principal of Kinnaird College for Women in Lahore

A gentle woman, she was noted for her deliberate manner and soft voice, even when disciplining her students. She promoted religious tolerance, allowing Muslim girls who transferred to Kinnaird in the 1930s to fast during Ramadan