1886 – 1890 – C. W. Leadbeater
He was the first Headmaster of the Buddhist High School at 54, Maliban Street. Col. Henry Steel Olcott who was instrumental in founding the Buddhist Theosophical Society, found in him the ideal personality to be the first Headmaster. Mr. Leadbeater was a Theosophist. Under him the school expanded. The numbers increased and results achieved. He was highly successful as a principal.
1890 – 1898 – A. E. Bultjens
He was a man of astounding character who became the Principal against the wishes of his own people. It was during his period that the school shifted to Maradana in 1895 and the name was changed to be Ananda College.
1898 – 1908 – Sir D. B. Jayathilake
He brought Ananda to par level with other reputed schools at that time. He was a doughty warrior and worked with devotion and played a vital role in the struggle for independence. He was succeeded by Mr. Tyrell Davies for two years but he returned to Ananda in 1909 and served the school with dedication.
1908 – 1909 – J. T. Devies
He succeeded Sir D. B. Jayathilaka until he returned in 1909.His stay at Ananda was very brief as two years but contribute his share for the betterment of the institution.
1909 – 1910 – Sir D. B. Jayathilake
He resumed his duties as the Principal of Ananda and continued his services to uplift the values of the institution.
1910 – 1913 – M. U. Moore
He was an Irishman interested in theosophy. He had his own individuality and this quality of his influenced his pupils greatly.
1914 -1917 – Fritz Kunz
During his term of office the school was uplifted from an Elementary School to a Secondary School. Being a strict disciplinarian he believed in marking the Dhamma a living religion.
1917 – 1918 – C. V. Ranawaka (Actg.)
He was acting Principal, during this period and succeeded in carrying out the administration till he succeeded by.
1918 – 1923 – P. de. S. Kularathne
His, was the most fruitful period when the school expanded physically, and won fame educationally and socially. Mr. Kularatne was a great stalwart who labored for Ananda dedicatedly for twenty five years.
During his time Ananda came to be registered as a Collegiate School with a separate Primary School. Students were prepared to sit the London Intermediate, Pre. Medical and University Entrance examinations.
He introduced the teaching in the mother tongue in the Kindergarten was introduced by him long before it was introduced by the department. Pali and Sanakrit came to be recognized as subjects for public examinations.
He instilled a national consciousness and patriotism among the students and laid emphasis on a Buddhist education Buddhism was given a predominant place.
While being Principal at Ananda he founded many Buddhist schools of repute.
Mr. Kularatne,s period of office is significant as there was amity and religious tolerance among the various communities.
1923 – Dr. G. P. Malalasekara (Actg.)
Dr. Mallasekara acted as Principal between January – August during Mr. Kularathne’s absence. He was an erudite scholar an asset and played a vital role in the national re-awakening, and completed the main building of the school hostel, by raising funds with the help of Mr. Arthur V. Dias.
1923 – 1932 – P. de S. Kularathne
1932 – 1936 L. H. Mettananda (Actg.)
1936 – S. de S. Jayarathne (Actg.)
1936 – 1943 – P. de S. Kularathne
1943 – 1945 – A. B. Perera
A Women’s College came to be founded for post Senior Girls during his short term of office. When the military took over the premises during the time of war, the College came to be broken up and set up in four towns. Unfortunate incidents led to the destruction of the library, class –rooms, and office records.
1945 – 1954 – L. H. Mettananda
He guided Ananda for ten years. He was courageous and a born fighter, who abhorred the alien culture at the time and valued the teaching of the Dhamma the doctrine.
He re-habilitated Ananda, completed the building of class-rooms, in the two main buildings, The Buddha Jayanti Building, and the Lead Beater Memorial Building. The foundation for the Ananda Viharaya was laid by him, and he started the Parent Teacher Association to maintain high standards.
1955 – 1961 – S. A. Wijethilake
Ananda was declared a State institution during his time. Olcott And Leadbeater, and Buddha Jayanthi Buildings were completed under his leadership.
1962 – 1964 – M. W. Karunanada
The science department came to be of a high degree during his time. He organized and improved the school and showed that teaching of science in Sinhala was practicable and took initiative for that venture.
1964 – 1969 – Col. E. A. Perusinghe
Ananda Viharaya was completed and it was during his period and the College had her best results in Engineering and Medicine.
He gave all encouragement to Cadeting, Scouting , sports and extra curricular activities.
Ananda was built on a tradition of simplicity and sacrifice and Mr. Perusinghe gave the lead by adhering to these principles.
1969 – 1981 - Col. G. W. Rajapaksha
He served Ananda in many ways as a student, head prefect, teacher,warden, Vice Principal and finally as Principal.
During his term of office the school expanded physically to accommodate the increasing school population. Science, Commerce and Arts departments were established. Kularatne Hall is a legendary monument to honour him and he fulfilled the inadequacy of a play- ground by providing one to enhance sports skills of young Anandians.
1981- S. K. Nettananda
He is an eminent scholar and educationist whose period of office was eventful with an immense success. During his short term of office he tried to bring about reforms while re-organizing the management of the institution.
1982 – 1986 – Col. V. S. Kudaligama
Col. V. S. Kudaligama is at the helm of office when Ananda completes hundred years of success.
He is an eminent scholar, a fine administrator, and a disciplinarian. Being a balanced personality, he had emphasis on both academic studies as well as sports. He has fulfilled the task of setting up a Primary which was once withdrawn. The construction of the Centenary Building by the Old Boys Association was at his request. The playground was given a face- lift, and due to the encouragement given to sports, Ananda outclassed in many ways in many arenas.
Honesty, integrity, and diligence are the hallmarks of his success. He was straightforward, and wanted the younger generation to be wide awake, unselfish and national minded to be useful to the future world.
1987 – 1995 – A. P. Gunarathne
Mr.A. P. Gunarathne was the successor of the Principal Col.Kudaligama. Being a past pupil, a Deputy Principal and the Principal of Darmaraja College, Kandy, Mr.A.P.Gunarathne was a versatile administrator and a perfect leader and he led the College to success from 1987 until his retirement in 1995.
As the Principal of Ananda College, he had several challenges to address and he paid his attention on them methodically and found solutions. He took initiative to renovate ‘Buddha Jayanthi’ Building and Leadbeater Building in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, The Old Boys’ Association and the School Development Society.Among the other renovation projects handled by hi m were the Olcott Building, the library,the hostel ,several other academic buildings, and Ananda Museum. He was pioneered to construct the Principal’s Bungalow also. It is noteworthy that the Swimming Pool a long awaited dream of Anandians was completed during his period.
Mr.A.P.Gunarathne took measures to increase the number of parallel classes in the Primary Gradesfrom 3 to 5 so that many scholars would be accommodated. One of the most remarkable events was teaching English for students in Primary Grades.
The College achieved several victories during this era and students brought much glory to the institution in both academic and co-curricular activities.
Mr. T.B. Damunupola (1995 – 2001)
Mr. T B Damunupola was privileged to be the 17th Principal of Ananda College as the successor of Principal Mr. A P Gunerathne who retired on 15th June 1995 and performed his duties until his retirement from the state service on 3rd January 2011. He was the 17th Principal who came from Dharmaraja College, Kandy.
During his period of Office, there was a dramatic progress in co-curricular and extra curricular activities apart from the significant academic advancements. Ananda College showcased higher results in both General Certificate of Education Ordinary Level and Advanced Level Examinations.
During his period as the pioneering figure of Ananda, several victories in the field of Sports and Games were secured. The Athletics of Ananda were able to bag the John Tarbet Shield, National Championship for Track and Field Events and many others.
Cricket at Ananada also flourished during this period by securing both “Lemonade Trophy” and “Coca-Cola Trophy” showing their magnitude.
It was a great honour for Ananda College that the Cadet Platoon secured the “Herman Loose” Trophy for four times during Mr. T B Damunupola’s period of office.
It is worthwhile mentioning that Mr. T B Damunupola, as the Principal initiated constructing and renovations of buildings to meet the dire needs of the time. Among them, constructions of new staff room the canteen, Junior Swimming Pool, Computer Unit and Aesthetic Unit of the primary Section, new three tiered building of the Grade Six section and “Singithi Uyana” of the Primary Section are prominent. Apart from that he took measures to renovate, Bio-Science Laboratory, Centenary Museum. Mr. T B Damunupola took steps to construct the monument for war heroes, a new tennis Court and a Rest Room for Venerable Maha Sangha of the Tutorial Staff.
Mr. T B Damunupola made an immense rendition towards the well-being of Ananda College.
2001 – 2008 – B. A. Abeyrathne
2008 – 2009 – L. Dissanayake (Actg.)
2009 – 2013 – L. M. D. Dharmasena