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Haverhill Campus in the Fall

Eagle Tribune: Six Decades of Learning: NECC Remembers Its Roots While Keeping Focus on the Future

Six decades have passed since Northern Essex Community College opened its doors in a tiny Bradford schoolhouse to a class of just 181 students, including 142 men and 39 women, most of whom were 18 or 19 years old.

Students had just six associate degree programs to choose from. There are now around 60 associate degrees and certificates offered, as well as community educational programs for adults and children.

After opening in 1961, Northern Essex continued to operate at Greenleaf School for 10 years and also operated out of several satellite locations, including the old Haverhill High School, which was in the current City Hall.

In 1963, the city built a new high school on Monument Street in Haverhill, and in 1971, NECC opened its new, sprawling campus on Elliott Street at the opposite side of town. At that time, many of the college’s parking areas were still unpaved and on rainy days became a muddy mess.

The Haverhill campus is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.Mike LaBella

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