The Eastern Nazarene College Board of Trustees voted unanimously today to elect Dr. Dan Boone as the college’s 14th president and approve a Memorandum of Understanding that begins a formal three-year exploration of merger with Nashville’s Trevecca Nazarene University.
The vote by ENC’s board of trustees follows a similar vote last week by the Trevecca Nazarene University board, which also gave unanimous approval to the agreement.
Under the terms of the agreement, Trevecca President Dan Boone will serve as president-elect of Eastern Nazarene College effective immediately and until Sept. 1, when he will be formally installed as ENC’s 14th president. Boone succeeds Dr. Corlis McGee, who is stepping down in May at the end of this academic year after 12 years as president.
Boone will continue to serve as the president of Trevecca.
“We’re delighted to welcome Dr. Boone to the ENC community,” said Russell Long, chairman of the ENC Board of Trustees. “We are confident that this new partnership with Trevecca will strengthen both institutions’ shared mission of providing a Christian liberal arts education centered on service and leadership.”
Boone will work with a group of ENC and TNU administrators and trustees to fully engage this exploration. He was on ENC’s Quincy campus today to meet with faculty, staff and students following the board’s vote.
A graduate of Trevecca, Boone holds a master’s degree from Nazarene Theological Seminary and a doctorate from McCormick Theological Seminary. He is author of 16 books, past chair of the Tennessee Independent Colleges and Universities Association, and present chair of the NCAA Division II GMAC President’s Council. In addition to serving in pastoral ministry for more than 30 years, he has taught at the university and seminary level, becoming Trevecca’s 11th president in 2005.
“Today is a historic day that marks a new partnership between two great Christian educational institutions. I am humbled by the challenge of serving as the president of both,” said Boone. “In a changing world, it is our duty to find ways to meet the needs of students seeking the formative influence of Christian higher education. This collaboration will allow both Trevecca and ENC to do that for years to come. As an institution experiencing historic growth and financial stability, we are delighted to explore a new model of Christian higher education in partnership with ENC.”
College officials believe that this process, when fully implemented, will result in significant learning and co-curricular opportunities for students on both campuses, as well as increased operational cost efficiencies, shared program resources and expanded impact. Both institutions expect to use technology to expand course offerings, with students and faculty participating in classes and academic exchanges.
It is the intent of the exploration process to maintain the name and identity of Eastern Nazarene College. During the three-year process, the two institutions will continue to operate as independent institutions under their respective accrediting bodies and boards of governance.
This exploration of merger comes at a time when Trevecca is experiencing dramatic growth. Founded in 1901, the 116-year-old university is the fastest growing university in Middle Tennessee, adding 581 students to total enrollment in the last year for a total enrollment of 3,221. Trevecca’s School of Graduate and Continuing Studies achieved a 47 percent year-over-year increase in adult studies and graduate students from Fall 2015 to Fall 2016. With students from 43 states and 16 countries, Trevecca offers 15 associate degrees, 84 undergraduate majors, 19 master’s programs, and two doctoral programs, as well as specialist and certificate programs.
With students from 34 states and 12 countries, ENC is widely recognized as one of the most diverse and multicultural Christian colleges in the country. Its highly respected faculty, low student-to-faculty ratio, strong community partnerships and close proximity to Boston afford ENC students with unparalleled opportunities for academic and cultural enrichment, valuable fellowships and internships, and opportunities to live out their faith through meaningful service and mission work.