By SCOTT JACKSON
Eastern Nazarene College’s Board of Trustees has tabbed an administrator from a Christian liberal arts school in New York as the next president of the Quincy-based college.
The Rev. Dr. Jack Connell, currently the provost and dean of the faculty at Houghton College in Houghton, N.Y., has been named the 14th president of ENC. Dr. Russell Long, chairman of ENC’s Board of Trustees, announced the hiring of Connell on Monday.
“We have made prayer a priority during the search for our next president, and frequently we have been reminded that God has been working behind the scenes,” Long said in a statement. “While we were searching, God was preparing Dr. Connell for this assignment. A former president of Roberts Wesleyan made the comment that he believed God had saved Jack for this assignment. We feel that confirmation as well in that he is uniquely prepared for the multiple challenges we face.”
Long said the selection of Connell followed an exhaustive, national search led by a committee of trustees, faculty and staff from the college that featured a talented and competitive pool of candidates. Long said Connell’s career in both higher education and ministry, and his vision for ENC’s future, resonated with the search committee.
Connell will begin his tenure at ENC immediately as president elect and transition more fully into his role in the coming months as he transfers his current duties to new leadership at Houghton College. He currently resides in Houghton, N.Y., with his wife, Wendy. They have four adult children: David, Rebekah, Jonathan and Michael.
“My heart has been captured by the mission of ENC, and I am deeply honored to be selected by the Board of Trustees as ENC’s next president,” Connell said. I believe there are amazing opportunities in front of us, and I look forward to engaging with the entire community as we move boldly and hopefully into a bright future.
“Wendy and I look forward to moving to the Quincy area next summer and ask for your prayers in this time of transition for us all.”
ENC, a Christian liberal arts college, was founded 118 years ago in Saratoga Springs, N.Y, and moved to Quincy in 1919. The school has an enrollment of more than 1,000 students and offers 41 majors.
The school’s trustees, Long said, believe ENC will be well positioned for future growth as it celebrates 100 years of academic excellence and a rich legacy of leadership and service at its current Quincy campus under Connell’s leadership,
Connell had served as the provost and dean of the faculty at Houghton College since 2016. Leading over 100 faculty and staff members, Connell he served as the chief academic officer and chief enrollment officer on the president’s leadership team. He was instrumental in the development of new academic programs, the growth of Houghton Online, and the launch of new extension site programs, Long said.
From 2008 to 2016, Connell spearheaded major initiatives in enrollment, advancement, and strategic planning at Roberts Wesleyan College & Northeastern Seminary in Rochester, N.Y., as an executive vice president. Among his many accomplishments there, Long said, Connell led the largest comprehensive fundraising campaign in the college’s history, a campaign that raised more than $40 million dollars for scholarships, endowment, and capital projects.
Connell served as a senior pastor of the Crosswinds Wesleyan Church in Canandaigua, N.Y., from 1995 to 2006 and the Lyncourt Wesleyan Church in Syracuse, N.Y., from 1989 to 1994. Under his spiritual guidance, the Crosswinds congregation became one of the largest churches in the denomination with average weekend attendance growing from 200 to 1400,” Long said.
Connell holds a Doctor of Education in higher education leadership from the University of Rochester Warner School of Education; a Doctor of Ministry in leadership and Biblical preaching and a Master of Divinity from the Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Ky.; and a Bachelor of Science in business administration from Houghton College.
He also served on numerous boards, Long said, including 13 years on the Houghton College Board of Trustees.