The Nawab of Bahawalpur lived up to the glorious traditions of his ancestors, the Abbasides by establishing this great institution. No tuition fee was charged in the beginning. Stipends were generously awarded to the students. In 1895 Bahawalpur State had, in addition to this seat of higher learning, three middle schools, two girl\'s schools, one school for the children of army personnel and thirty three primary schools.
S. E. College proved a milestone in imparting higher education to the people of the State in particular but its doors were also opened for people of other areas. The College stood as an Oasis in the desert between Lahore and Karachi. It catered to the educational needs of the people from far flung areas as far removed as Mianwali, Dera Ismail Khan and Quetta. It was on this firm foundation that an edifice of higher education was raised in this area which now can boast of 27 arts colleges, one medical college and an university.
The college was upgraded to degree classes (Arts in 1926 and Science in 1955). In 1922 the number of students was 22 which increased to 71 in 1923. Present strength of the students in Degree Classes is 1101 while in Inter Classes it is 1610, ninety six teachers are on the college staff.
Originally the college was started in the old building of the Upper Egerton School. Col. Dulles the Political Agent !aid the foundation stone of the new college building in 1907 (now Sadiq Dane High School). After the Independence there was influx of refugees and the number of students increased all of a sudden. The College building could not meet the new requirements.
Consequently, a new building was constructed; the foundation stone was laid by Col. A. J. Dring on 7th June, 1950.
The present building is spread over 261 360 square feet with 29 class rooms, and several laboratories. The college has a spacious library with a reading room for students and a reference room for the teachers. The library has about 20,000 books. There are two hostels, which provide accommodation to 250 students. The college also has two playgrounds, a gymnasium, an auditorium a dispensary, and a big hall.
The college brought Out in 1923 the first issue of the magazine (The Oasis) in English while the Urdu Section was called Nakhlistane Abed. Ahmed Nadim Qasmi, the renowned poet of Pakistan, Prof. M. D. Hasan a veteran educationist and Prof. Dilshad Kalanchivi, a well known Seraiki poet and winner of President\'s Award, have also been the editors of the college magazine. The Oasis had the privilege of publishing a letter of Dr. Sir Muhammad Iqbal and a message from the father of the nation, Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah.
Convocation addresses were delivered on different occasions by such eminent scholars as Mr. G. D. Sondhi, Rev. Dr. E. D. Lucas, Sir Abdul Qadir, Syed Suleiman Nadvi and Dr. Khalifa-Shujauddin. In addition to these people, Lord Dufferin & Lord Reading (Viceroys of India) also visited the college.
Sports were always encouraged in the college. The great hockey player Samiullah, is an old student of SE. College. 346 Rolls of Honour have so far been awarded to the talented students in sports, 93 on academic accomplishments and 88 in other activities since 1936-37. To carry this institution\'s traditions forward Old Boys Association was formed in 1923, which is now named as \'AL SADIQOQN\'.
To commemorate the Centenary of S.E. College Bahawalpur, Pakistan Post Office is issuing one postage stamp of Re. 11- value on April 25, 1986.