One hundred years have gone by since ENC’s opening in Quincy, Massachusetts, and this year’s homecoming festivities celebrated that.
Much has changed since ENC moved to Quincy and changed even more since the college was first founded in Saratoga, New York. Initially, ENC was more of a seminary school than the liberal arts college it is today. Its original goal as an institution was to prepare students for a career in ministry. ENC’s time in Saratoga was short-lived. One year after its founding the college moved to Scituate, R.I., where it remained a seminary school primarily until its move to Quincy in 1919.
The change of location happened for two reasons. One was the lack of jobs available to students at the College’s location in Scituate, the result of being in the rural area the school had placed itself in. Students had no way to earn money to pay for their tuition, which became a real problem for the college. The other reason was Quincy’s proximity to Boston. “They wanted to, ‘establish a Christian college under the eaves of Harvard,’” says Jeff Kirksey, the Vice President for Student Development and Campus Services. “They wanted to be in the fray of the best of higher education in the country.” This was when ENC was making the transition from being a seminary school to a four-year liberal arts college. ENC sought to integrate the academic aspects of larger colleges with the Christian philosophy it valued, making good on the college’s mission statement to combine “The best in education and the best in Christian Faith.”
The homecoming events this year celebrated the 100th anniversary of ENC. The Legacy Chapels on September 20, October 16, and November 20 are meant to celebrate staff and students who have played a major role in defining ENC. The Honorable Thomas Koch, mayor of Quincy Massachusetts, was present at Dr. Connell’s inauguration on Friday, October 18, cementing the importance of Quincy to ENC’s history.
Over the years, ENC has faced trials and tribulations of all kinds. When the merger with Trevecca fell through in 2017, ENC was faced with the possibility of being dissolved. “It caused us to take a deep, hard look at ourselves and decide, is this something really worth it, worth everything?” Said Chaplain Lynne Bollinger. “What did we have to add that would be lost if ENC didn’t exist?” Ultimately, it was determined that ENC had something unique to offer students. Now the college remains separate from Trevecca, connected in faith in Christ but different in what it has to offer geographically and educationally.
ENC has been in Quincy for 100 years and will likely be here for hundreds more. “I think we’re unique in a lot of ways that make us particularly relevant,” says Kirksey. In terms of cultural diversity and education, ENC has a lot to offer future generations. The fact that we have a new president offers hope for longevity in Quincy.