NOC Library. (Staff Photo by BILLY HEFTON)

Northern Oklahoma College Enid came to life on a hot August day in 1999, when the Enid campus officially opened with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and open house.

A decade has gone by, and NOC Enid has been celebrating its 10th anniversary throughout the current school year.

Although NOC has long had a presence in Enid, the purchase of the former Phillips University campus gave the college its own facility here. Before the purchase, NOC conducted night classes at various locations around Enid.

“We’ve been in Enid since the mid-’80s. We had night classes here on the campus when it was still Phillips,” said Edwin Vineyard, vice president for Northern Oklahoma College Enid campus. “We outgrew the space, so in the early ’90s, we partnered with Chisholm and we moved our classes out there. We were still only doing night classes. When the city of Enid built the building Northwestern is now in, we moved our classes out there. In 1996, the city donated the building to Northwestern and we shared the building. We hired 10 full-time faculty and offered freshmen and sophomore classes, with Northwestern offering the junior and senior classes. We outgrew that facility quickly.”

In 1997, Phillips University officials declared bankruptcy, closing the school’s doors. The opportunity to purchase the campus came in 1999.

“The city and NOC partnered 50/50 to purchase it,” Vinyard said. “We obtained it in August 1999, and had about four weeks to bring this campus up from being unoccupied for two years.”

Work had to continue almost around the clock for the campus to be ready for the fall semester. The campus had to have plumbing work done, as well as Internet access and new ITV studios added.

Classes began that fall with an enrollment of 919 students in three programs: arts and sciences, business and nursing. In the spring, 140 graduates received their associate degrees.

Since the first year, enrollment has increased to 1,150 students and more degree programs have been added.

“We have tons now: criminal justice, English, math, pre-med, science, astronomy, education. The newest degrees are engineering and mass communications. We also have about a dozen cooperative degrees with Autry Technology,” Vineyard said.

Other college programs offered include arts and sciences, athletic training, business, child development, pre-pharmacy, physical education, science and social science.

The faculty numbers have increased, as well.

“We had 10 faculty members in 1996. We now have 28 faculty, around 35 adjunct faculty plus all our staff,” Vineyard said.

The number of graduates has increased 62 percent to 227 in 2009. In addition to the increase in graduates, NOC Enid has seen a shift in types of students.

“We are seeing more young students, more linear students, straight out of high school. Back then, it was mostly older students,” Vineyard said.

In 2007, the Bridge Program was created to allow students to enroll concurrently at NOC and at Northwestern Oklahoma State University-Enid and to help them transition from NOC to NWOSU. Currently, 264 students are enrolled in the program. A foot-traffic bridge recently was added between the campuses to symbolize the Bridge Program, as well as to enable students to move physically between the two campuses.

“One thing that has exploded is the Bridge Program. For $15, you can apply and get scholarships based on your GPA. Northwestern has been very generous,” Vineyard said.

When the campus opened in 1999, there were three student organizations. There are now 10 clubs. There also are several sport teams from the campus, including volleyball, baseball, cheerleading and basketball.

With the increase of students, programs and activities, renovations and new buildings were required on campus.

“We’ve gradually renovated buildings over the last 10 years,” Vineyard said. “We have built several new buildings, including the new planetarium, the new observatory, the new maintenance building and the indoor baseball facility.”

Facilities renovated included Marshall Building, Zollars Library, Briggs Auditorium, EB Hall, Lankard, Elliott-Goulter, Failing Ballpark and the Astronomy Research Building. Other renovation projects are ongoing on the campus.

“This year, we have had a series of events to do with our 10-year anniversary. We’ve done a picnic,” Vineyard said. “We had choirs out here, a baseball tailgate, a winter and spring concert. We will have an open house when all the construction is done to show everything we’ve done.

“Our future is bright.”

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