The history of Isabella Thoburn College is one of growth in service as well as scholarship. The College is the outcome of the dedication, struggles and initiatives of Isabella Thoburn, an American Missionary who was among the first missionaries sponsored by the Women’s Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church to India.
The hazardous long journey to a mysterious land, the challenges of facing social taboos and conservative parental attitude or the epidemic diseases did not deter her unflinching mission. Her dream was to bring education to the women of India, and thereby empower them.
The demand for higher education grew and Lucknow Women's College as it was then called, began functioning on12 July' 1886 with the Fine Arts (F.A.) classes affiliated to Calcutta University. In 1894, the affiliation shifted to Allahabad University.
After 31 challenging years, Ms. Thoburn died in 1901, after an attack of cholera. The College is named in her memory.
The demand for higher education grew further. In Feb.1921, Ms Florence Nichols arrived in Lucknow to take on the administration of the College. In 1923, the College moved from Lal Bagh to Chand Bagh, its present site of nearly 32 acres of land. Since then, large modern buildings have been erected for classrooms, laboratories, hostels, Chapel, Auditorium and Library.
Over the years, the College has made its steady contribution to the field of education and the upliftment and education of women in India. In our quest for excellence, we continue to re-examine and re-assess our role and contribution to the field of women's education in India. We endeavour to strengthen our programmes, review the methodologies, build networks for knowledge exchange and continuously strive to keep ourselves relevant in the context of the present times.