This institution was established in July 1965 by the Vivekananda Educational Society, Agasteeswaram as a living memorial to Swami Vivekananda to commemorate the Birth Centenary of the great sage of the east. Nestling amidst sylvan surroundings, the campus lies in close proximity to the imposing Vivekananda Rock Memorial at Kanyakumari.
The principal objective of this Society is to hold the students belonging to different faiths to grasp the significance of our indigenous culture and ancient heritage through a study of the teaching of Vivekananda there by promoting the cause of national integration by focusing attention on the University of appeal develop the College into a residential unitary University bearing the great Swamiji’s name which will in course of time, turn out countless Vivekanandas who will work ceaselessly for international understanding and universal peace.
The history of the beginning of the College is a saga of daring pluck and self confidence displayed by the sponsors, notably its chief architect and promoter, Thiru.S.D.PANDIANADAR, B.A., a retired senior officer of the erstwhile Travancore-Cochin Government. It was to Thiru.S.D. Pandianadar that the idea of starting a college in the name of the great patriotic saint of India first occurred and when he mooted it among his friends and relations, they hailed it enthusiastically. He then issued appeals to his friends for donation of lands and he himself offered 1.5 acres of his valuable land, for the purpose. Thiru.G.A.Marthandan, honoured as a patron member of the society came forward to help in a grand way by donating 5.5 acres in that area. Others followed suit and the sponsors were finally able to get a compact area of 30 acres of land for starting the College. The area has now increased to 60 acres.
Encouraged by this healthy response, the chief promoter pushed ahead and convened a meeting on 18-1-1964 in the Govt. High School, Agasteeswaram to organise a governing body for the College. They resolved to constitute an organisation known as the Vivekananda College Association and to name the proposed College as Vivekananda College, Agasteeswaram. Steps were immediately taken to apply to the University of Madras for permission to start the College in June 1965. The application was submitted on 27-10-1964 and it was followed by a deputation consisting of Thiru.S.D.Pandianadar B.A., Dr.M. Natarajan B.A., M.B.B.S., M.Ch., (Ortho) F.R.C.S., (Eng) of Madras and Dr.C. Kumaraswamy M.B.B.S., D.A., which met the Vice-Chancellor and discussed the matter on 30-11-1964. The Vice-Chancellor was pleased to grant informal permission to proceed with the arrangements for starting the College. Written permission was received on 18-2-1965. The name of the Society till then known as the Vivekananda College Association, Agasteeswaram was altered into Vivekananda Educational Society, Agasteeswaram and it was registered on 29-12-1965 under the Travancore Cochin Literary Scientific and Charitable Societies Registration Act XII of 1955. The Foundation for the College building was laid by Thiru. S.D. Pandianadar B.A, on the morning of Wednesday, the 17th March 1965.
The construction work was then taken in hand and by God’s grace, things moved swiftly without a hitch. Through the sincere co-operation and strenuous efforts of the members of the executive Committee, the Board of Directors of the Society and other well-wishers, the college got its buildings and equipments well within time to satisfy the University Commission which visited the College on 20th June 1965. Finally, affiliation was granted in July 1965 (Proceedings of the Director of Higher Edn., Madras-6. D.Dis.No.28583/D/66 Dt.14-6-1966) and the College started functioning from 11th August as a Pre-University College offering courses in Sciences and Humanities with a modest strength of 167. In June 1966, Madurai University granted further affiliation to B.A. Economics and to B.Sc. Maths. The Vice-Chancellor of theMadurai University. Thiru.T.P.Meenakshisundaram,M.A.,B.L.,B.O.L., was good enough to visit the college and inaugurate the degree classes on 8th July 1966.
Thangamaligai Thiru.Subramonia Pillai boys Hostel(south) was constructed by Thiru.Subramonia Pillai and opened on 29-11-1966. Alathankarai Thiru.S.Retnaswami Nadar Boys Hostel (North) was constructed by Sri.S.Retnaswami Nadar and opened on 01-9-1981. The University was pleased to grant further affiliation to B.A., English Language and Literature in July 1967, B.Sc., Chemistry in June 1968 and B.Sc., Zoology in June 1969. The society is thankful to the munificent donation of the laboratory block by late Thiru.S.K. Pandian B.A., B.L., the past president of the Managing Committee and his brother Thiru. S.Kannappan, the former President of the Managing Committee.
The College became co-educational institution in June 1973, thereby fulfilling the long cherished aspirations and hopes of the promoters to provide higher education to women in Kanyakumari. This came as a great boon to the women students of the neighbouring villages.
Affiliation was also granted to Physics Major in July 1979, B.Com in July 1981, B.A - Tamil Literature in 1982 and Botany Major in July 1983.
The University granted affiliation to M.A. Economics in July 1984, M.Sc. Mathematics in July 1985. M.Sc. Zoology (Self-Finance) in July 1992. M.A. Tamil (Self-Finance) and M.Com. (Self-Finance) in June 2006, M.A. English (Self-Finance) and M.Phil. Economics (Self-Finance) in the year 2007. The University also granted permission to start M.Phil. Tamil (Self-Finance) and B.Com with Computer Application (Self-Finance) in 2008. The University granted permission for B.C.A (Self Finance) from the academic year 2010 – 2011. The University also granted permission for Research centres (Ph.D) in Tamil and Economics.
The Management has drawn up a phased programme of expansion for the college. In this connection, the college has been certified with B+ grade by NAAC during the month of May, 2006. The Management is currently engaged in collecting funds for putting up impressive buildings in the elevated eastern part of the campus wherefrom one could command a full and alluring view of the three seas that wash the feet of Bharathamatha.