A small school established in 1841 was raised to the status of a college with Intermediate classes, affiliated to Calcutta University. In 1875, largely through the efforts of Mr. T.E. Ravenshaw, the then Commissioner of Orissa, it became a full fledged first grade college. The Ravenshaw College building is highly impressive and shows the influence Colonial architecture.
To make a long story short, Ravenshaw College is a mother institution – the alma mater of alma maters. Its history is, in deed, the story of modern Orissa. Its Assembly hall was the venue of the Legislative Assembly of the newly carved state of Orissa. It witnessed the debates of the legislators framing laws to govern the state. It remained so till the capital was shifted to Bhubaneswar. All the significant cultural, intellectual and political movements of the state have sprung from its portals. It has nourished such great and kindered souls as Utkal Gourab Madhusudan Das, Utkalmani Gopabandhu Das, Acharya Harihar Das, Pandit Nilakanth Das, Pandit Godabarish Mishra, Bhubaneswar Behera and Sri Bhubanananda Das.