Dr. Eleanor Tupper and Dr. George O. Bierkoe
receiving the first College Charter in 1939
from Leverett Saltonstall.
Endicott College was founded in 1939, by Dr. Eleanor Tupper and her husband, Dr. George O. Bierkoe. Together they shared the vision of creating a college to educate women for greater independence and an enhanced position in the workplace. This was a radical idea in the days near the end of the Depression and just before America's entry into World War II. Despite its unconventional nature, the dream took hold and flourished during the war and the years beyond.
The College was issued its first charter by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in 1939 and graduated its first class, a group of 20 students, in 1941. The Commonwealth approved the granting of Associate in Arts and Associate in Science degrees in 1944. Eight years later in 1952, Endicott was accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.
Endicott College was named for John Endicott, an early overseer of Harvard University and the first Colonial Governor of Naumkeag, an area founded in 1626 that today covers the area of Salem and Beverly Massachusetts. In 1649 he became Governor of the chartered colony of Massachusetts Bay.
Between 1939 and 1987, Endicott College's mission and purpose remained relatively unchanged. Endicott was a pioneer in offering comprehensive internship experiences in every program of study. The founders believed that students working in their intended career areas should gain practical experience, sharpen their insights and increase their skills.
The original College seal was designed by a faculty member, Ramona Blunt, in 1939. As the culture of the College changed so did its official seal.
Reynolds Hall, the former Kendall Hall School for Girls, was Endicott's first building followed by additional purchases to provide appropriate and attractive facilities for students. The founders purchased properties and estates in the area including an English style castle built by William Amory Gardner as a summer estate - the present day College Hall. The campus grew as more acreage was acquired, existing structures renovated and new buildings added.
In 1975, after approval by the appropriate agencies, the college changed its name from Endicott Junior College to Endicott College but continued to be an all women's institution until 1994 when the College admitted its first coeducational class.
In 1988 the College applied for and earned four-year status and the first baccalaureate students graduated in 1990.
During its 74 years of history, the College has had five Presidents, Dr. George Bierkoe 1939 - 1971, Dr. Eleanor Tupper 1971 - 1980, Dr. Carol Hawkes 1980-1986, Dr. Frank Gamelin, Interim President 1986-1987, and Dr. Richard Wylie assumed the presidency in June, 1987.