Eastern Nazarene College To Close

The Board of Trustees of Eastern Nazarene College on Tuesday announced it unanimously voted to begin the process of closing the Wollaston school and transitioning it into a new educational enterprise that will carry on ENC’s legacy of providing a transformational education that equips diverse students to lead and serve our world as agent of Christ’s love and truth.

Like all small, private, liberal arts colleges, Eastern Nazarene has faced significant financial headwinds in recent years, the board said in its announcement. During that time, the Board and multiple presidents have pursued numerous alternatives to closure. While these efforts produced fruit that enabled ENC to continue operating until now, the underlying challenges have intensified. It has become clear that transitioning to a new educational enterprise is the only viable path for continuing ENC’s mission of providing transformational education.

“As we enter this season of transition, the Board and President Derr are focused on three priorities: caring for the present, honoring the past, and ensuring a vibrant future,” said Dr. David W. Bowser, Chair of the Board of Trustees of ENC. “Our top priority in the coming weeks is caring for those most directly affected by this decision: our students, faculty and staff.”

ENC’s goal, pending the commitment of a critical mass of students and faculty, is to continue serving undergraduate and graduate students who are on track to graduate by the end of the year. Administrators have arranged teach-out agreements with three institutions – Gordon College, Mount Vernon Nazarene University and Trevecca Nazarene University – to provide streamlined transfer options for all other students. ENC will also provide job-placement support and access to counseling resources for faculty and staff affected by the closure.

“We know many in our community will have questions about immediate next steps and long-term term plans for ENC’s programs and assets,” said ENC President Rev. Dr. Colleen R. Derr. “While the outcome of this process is known, the process to get there remains fluid. We are committed to communicating with our stakeholders in a timely and transparent way to ensure those most affected by this transition have the information and support they need. We are also committed to close collaboration with state and federal officials, our accreditor and our partners in the Church of the Nazarene to ensure we are serving our community and our neighbors well during this process.”

ENC has communicated directly with students, faculty, staff and other stakeholders to make them aware of this decision, and ENC staff will also be reaching out to these stakeholders to provide direct support based on their unique situations. More information for students, families, faculty, staff, alumni, partners and the community will be made available on ENC’s website (www.enc.edu/closure) in the coming days.

“We know this news will come as a shock and disappointment to many, especially those whose lives have been transformed by their affiliation with Eastern Nazarene College through its rich history,” Bowser said. “We look forward to creating opportunities to celebrate this rich history and preserve ENC’s legacy moving forward. Taking this step now will ensure the continuation of ENC’s mission to provide a transformational education through annual scholarships that empower students living in our region to attend other Nazarene schools.”

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