The Founding of Endicott
Endicott College was founded in 1939 by Dr. Eleanor Tupper and her husband, the Reverend Dr. George O. Bierkoe, who 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, yet 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 just 20 students, in 1941. In 1944, it was officially approved by the Commonwealth for the granting of Associate in Arts and Associate in Science degrees. Eight years later in 1952, Endicott was accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. In 1988 the College earned four-year status and graduated its first baccalaureate class in 1990. The first coeducational class entered in the fall of 1994, the first graduate programs were introduced in 1996, and in 2012 Endicott became the first college on the North Shore to offer doctoral programs.
Today, more than 2,850 traditional undergraduate students pursue degrees on the Beverly campus, and 2,300 students enroll in doctoral, graduate, and accelerated undergraduate programs through the Van Loan School at Endicott College. On the Beverly campus, at our academic centers in Boston and Gloucester, and at sites across the region and around the world, students have come to embrace Endicott’s commitment to experiential learning, which combines theory with hands-on, career-related experience.
The campus, too, has grown. From the first purchase in 1939 of a handsome estate and Victorian mansion to accommodate both classrooms and living quarters to our current 235 acres and 56 buildings that include academic centers, residence halls, athletic facilities, an arts center, and state-of-the-art technology, today’s Endicott has continued to be a beautiful and supportive environment where students and faculty come together as a true community of learners.