Alumni Award of Distinction 2016

Mrs. Susie Koshi and Mrs. Anna Zachariah were honoured with the Alumni Award at the Alumni Reunion on 13th August, 2016.


Born in Kerala, Mrs. Susie Koshi married Dr. K.G. Koshi, who came to CMC, Vellore to train in Cardiology. However, at the Institution?s request, Dr. Koshi opted to train in the specialty of Hygiene, as Community Health was then known. On Dr. Koshi?s return to India after his training in Liverpool, they joined the CMC community, where she was to play an indelible role. One of Mrs. Koshi?s outstanding achievements was initiating the development of the College Hill Nursery School in 1954, where she remained the Secretary from its inception to1974, when Dr. Koshi retired. For 14 years, Dr. Koshi was the Warden of the Men?s Hostel. Apart from Sunday fellowship lunches for these students, Mrs. Koshi would invite those among them who couldn?t travel back to their home towns every Christmas. This led to the Big Bungalow Christmas Pot-luck dinner, a tradition that lives on. Later, she and Dr. Koshi initiated the Senatus Farewell dinner for the Final Year students. When Dr. Koshi took up the responsibility of Principal and later Director, Mrs. Koshi took on the role of the Hostess of Big Bungalow, making it a ‘haven of hospitality for guests,’ in the words of Dorothy Clarke Wilson. She was also an excellent tennis player. Mrs. Koshi found her calling on Good Friday, 1959, when Dr. Paul Brand ended his sermon by challenging the congregation: ?Christ died for you, what are you doing for Him?? It led her to the New Life Centre, a home started by Dr. Paul Brand for young men afflicted with leprosy, where, they were taught to care for their anaesthetic hands and feet, and were given vocational training. She supervised their kitchen and helped them in their daily activities as Superintendent of the Centre. She continued her work with the differently abled as a Board Member and Honorary Managing Trustee of the Mary Verghese Trust. Mrs. Koshi oversaw the construction of the Home for the Disabled as well as the vocational training provided to rehabilitated patients. At the heart of all that Mrs. Koshi did was an abiding awareness of God, His love and grace. She is recognised for her faith with deeds and spirit of inclusiveness, qualities that embody the CMC community that Mrs. Koshi so selflessly helped evolve.


Mrs. Anna Zachariah, or Mrs. Zach, as she is fondly known, was born in 1939 into a Syrian Christian family, strongly rooted in entrepreneurship and devotion to their faith. She graduated in Home Science from the Women?s Christian College, Chennai, which had a strong bias towards Nutrition. This led Mrs. Zach to taking her Masters Degree in Food and Nutrition from the Baroda University, which had a pioneering department in the field. In 1962, she married Dr. P. Zachariah and they moved into the Warden?s quarters in the Men?s Hostel which was to be their first home in Vellore. Their two sons, Anand and Santosh were born during this five-year stint. Professionally, she worked with Dr. Mary Dumm of the Biochemistry Department in the early field work of CMC in rural nutrition. She later became associated with the Rehabilitation Institute under the leadership of Dr. Mary Verghese, establishing a food service in the Institute aimed at developing a high protein diet. She supervised the New Life Centre for cured leprosy patients and continues to be a trustee of the Mary Verghese Trust for Rehabilitation. She was the secretary of the Balavihar Committee and later member of the Vidyalayam Committee; the next step was the founding of Ida Scudder School, where she helped to start a lunch programme for less privileged pupils of the school. Mrs. Zach took a keen interest in the activities of the CMC Alumni Association, such as the Alumni Directory and the Annual Reunion. For five years she was the hostess of the Big Bungalow. She also embellished the role of the Big Bungalow as the centre of social life in CMC. She subsequently established the CHTC Dining Room and the mess for the Joske Hostel for men students of Allied Health Sciences. Mrs. Zach is a prime example of someone who gave her time, effort and energy to the diverse aspects of institutional and community development.

The Alumni Association joins the CMC community in thanking Mrs. Susie Koshi and Mrs. Anna Zachariah, for her immense contribution to the Christian Medical College, its staff and their children and to those in need of kindness through their commitment and compassion, and is proud to honour them with the Alumni Award for the year 2016.

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