Celebrations are in order for Northern Oklahoma College Enid’s campus marking two decades of success.

Dozens gathered Thursday afternoon to celebrate the institution’s major milestone.

Dignitaries such as Enid Mayor George Pankonin and state Rep. Chad Caldwell were joined by NOC faculty, staff and administrators, vintage and new, to commemorate 20 years of serving the community.

When Phillips University went away, then-state regent Bert Mackie got a call from then-NOC President Ed Vineyard Sr.

Mackie, a retired Security National Bank executive, shared Vineyard’s “vision” of starting a branch campus.

Wanting to grow the number of high school graduates in Northwest Oklahoma going on to college, another NOC campus was the answer.

“We were over 60 miles from a public institution,” Mackie said, and the tuition Phillips University, a private school, asked was too high for too many.

“We needed accessible, reasonable, higher education and Northern came to our rescue.”

Ed Vineyard Jr., who has been with the campus all 20 years, delivered closing remarks in his final public address as NOC Enid’s vice president before he enters retirement.

“Fifteen-thousand students have come through here since we opened our doors, that’s a lot of lives we’ve touched,” Vineyard said. “Looking ahead, I know the college will continue to grow and prosper.”

As the current rate of Enid High School kids attending post-secondary education continues to grow, NOC Enid is making a huge impact.

We join NOC President Cheryl Evans in thanking all the visionaries that contributed to having affordable higher education available for our community.

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