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Another Mountain East Conference college to close this year

BUCKHANNON — Just six months after Alderson Broaddus University announced it would close last August, a second Mountain East Conference member school said Thursday it will cease operations at the end of the academic year.

“Notre Dame College will end in-person instruction at the end of Spring Semester 2024,” according to a notice on the college’s website. “Current NDC students can continue their education at nine partner colleges and universities beginning with the 2024-25 academic year.”

The loss will drop the MEC to 10 schools: Concord University, Davis & Elkins College, Fairmont State University, Frostburg State University, Glenville State University, University of Charleston, West Liberty University, West Virginia State University, Wheeling University and West Virginia Wesleyan College.

“On behalf of the Mountain East Conference, we are deeply saddened by today’s announcement that Notre Dame College will conclude in-person instruction at the end of the 2024 spring semester, bringing a more than century-old tradition of higher education to a close,” Mountain East Conference Commissioner Reid Amos said Thursday. “As a charter member of the league, we thank Notre Dame College for its steadfast membership and its numerous contributions that have enhanced the MEC over our first 11 years.”

NDC celebrated its Centennial in 2022.
 
“Notre Dame College’s student-athletes, coaches, and administrators have enjoyed significant success within the conference, region, and nationally, including numerous NCAA postseason appearances,” Amos noted. “We thank NDC’s student-athletes for their commitment to their respective sport in our league. We also express our gratitude for the dedication and support of the coaches, institutional administrators, and staff in the athletic department. While we acknowledge the effects of membership change, our focus will be on extending both our support and sympathy to those who will face a loss of employment and students who will need to transition to a different academic opportunity.”

In announcing the closure, the NDC Board of Trustees cited declining enrollment and other challenges.

“Like many small higher education institutions across the country, NDC has faced long-standing challenges related to declining enrollment, a shrinking pool of college-aged students, rising costs and significant debt,” according to a press release from the school. “The Board of Trustees has worked tirelessly for years on multiple fronts to address long-standing issues. This includes refinancing debt, navigating a down market, strategically using Federal and State COVID-19 relief funds to maintain our mission during the pandemic, launching a Centennial fundraising campaign, pursuing two potential higher education partners for a possible merger or acquisition; and working closely with major donors and other stakeholders to raise additional revenue. These heroic efforts were not enough to close the financial gap in time to satisfy debt obligations and allow the school to continue to operate independently.”

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