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“A History of Northern Essex Community College, 1960-1985,” written by the late NECC professor John Spurk in the late 1980s, and edited by his former student Robert Eddy in the early 1990s after Spurk’s 1991 death, was published in 2017.

The cover art for the book A History of Northern Essex Community College 1960 thru 1985

Spurk (for whom the Spurk Building is named) was a professor of history & government at Northern Essex for 24 years until his retirement in 1991. He was a respected and well-loved member of the college community who played a key role in the development of the college. Each year the Dr. John Spurk Memorial Scholarship is presented to a Liberal Arts major who resides in the Merrimack Valley region and is involved in Community Leadership/Service.

Retired NECC President John Dimitry, who as the second president of Northern Essex served from 1975 to 1996, asked Spurk to write the history in 1986. Spurk completed it in the late 1980s and it has been part of the college’s archives since then. Mike Hearn, the college’s director of libraries, can be credited with providing the leadership to get this history published, along with an update covering 1986 to the present written by Mary Wilson, dean emeritus of the college, with contributions from Wendy Shaffer, dean of development.

Where Can I Get a Copy?

The NECC Library has copies of “A History of Northern Essex Community College, 1960-1985” available for loan, in addition to an archived eBook version (PDF).

The Lumen, The Observer, and More

NECC Library staff have archived college history, including past copies of The Lumen yearbook, the entire back catalog of The Observer, issues of Parnassus, and more.

NECC Archive


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