Fr. Nicolau Pereira, Ph.D. (1926-2003) was a prominent educationist and was the principal of St. Xavier's College, Mapusa, Goa. Affectionately known as "Pop", Fr. Nicolau was the paternal figure of St. Xavier's College, Mapusa, Goa for virtually a generation. He also started the St. Xavier's Higher Secondary School in 1989 when the pre-university course was separated from colleges by the Goa Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education.
He was also the Founder Principal of Fr. Agnelo's College of Arts & Commerce, Pilar, in Goa in 1991.
His family hailed from Calata in Goa's Majorda village. After his primary education in Portuguese, he chose to become a Catholic priest, and joined the Rachol Seminary, where he completed the Course of Philosophy with distinction and the Course of Theology. Fr Pereira was ordained priest by D. Jose da Costa Nunes on April 16, 1950 at the Pilar Seminary chapel in Goa. He chose education as his vocation and mission.
He was awarded the degree of doctorate in inorganic chemistry from St Louis University, USA, in 1964. He then worked as a Graduate Assistant at St. Louis University in the United States, and later worked as a research associate at the Institute of Molecular Physics, University of Maryland, College Park, in 1964, before returning to Goa.
He was a member of the American Chemical Society, Sigma Xi, American Crystallographical Association, Institute Menezes Braganca (Goa), Senate of the University of Bombay, various educational committees of the Government of Goa, the chairman of the Goa College Principals' Forum, the academic and executive councils of the Goa University, among other institutions.
In his inaugural speech as principal of the St. Xavier's College, Mapusa, Goa in June 1965, he commented: "A college is not the work of patrons or sponsors. It is above all the work of students and teachers. For a suitable college, there is need of the right type of building, and good modern equipment -- that is all true. But above all these things, the efforts of students and teachers are the most important factors in the life and results of the college."