The History of the Nautilus

“We have undertaken the publication of the first Nautilus of Eastern Nazarene College not to test our strength and ability and perhaps finally cause embarrassment to all concerned, but to fulfill our obligation to the people, to the college, and to ourselves, thereby hoping to gain greater satisfaction for ourselves, and wider recognition for our Alma Mater,” stated the first ever Nautilus, Eastern Nazarene College’s annual publication in 1922.

Established in 1922, the Nautilus became the college’s annual yearbook and a historical publication in the third year of Eastern Nazarene College, after its move to Wollaston.

“As school opened for the third year in Wollaston, the students felt that the areas of their activities had been greatly curtailed,” writes James R. Cameron in The First Fifty Years.  “In spite of greater opposing forces, activities of the students’ organization were considerably increased.”

The Nautilus quickly became the most significant new activity to students to participate in that was offered.  The first publication of the Nautilus was edited by Howard Herrschaft, a prominent member of ENC’s first graduating class, and dedicated to the college president, Fred J. Shields.

“Although on occasion the students had differences with the president,” stated Cameron.  “They genuinely appreciated his educational and administrative ability, his patience, and “his faith in his divine commission,” the dedicatory statement concluded with a hearty, “God Bless President Shields.”

Throughout the Nautilus’ history, it has been able to accomplish some amazing things and represent the type of students who have attended Eastern Nazarene College.

One mind blowing feat the student body of only 140 achieved was selling more than eleven hundred copies of the 1925 Nautilus.  Even the publisher was amazed at the accomplishment.

“This was not an isolated incident but a typical performance, which was repeated the following year,” according to Cameron.

The 1927 Nautilus was the staff’s biggest accomplishment yet; Editor Wesley Angell and Business Manager Chester Smith received a first-class rating from the National Yearbook Association.

For two consecutive years the 1957, edited by Charles Gailey, and the 1958, edited by William Webb, editions of the Nautilus received great honors.  The Columbia Scholastic Press Association of Columbia University awarded the yearbook a first place certificate.

The students of ENC always seemed to be excited and enthusiastic when it came to the Nautilus.  They displayed that enthusiasm when ENC incorporated a new seal, which used the college motto symbolically: VIA, VERITAS, VITA, meaning the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Students used the seal in the running-head on each page of the 1932 Nautilus.

Then the Great Depression hit and forced the hardworking ENC students to take a break from the Nautilus during both the 1932-1933 and 1933-1934 school years.  They were able to publish an abridged version called the Portico in 1934, which was only 54 pages.

Since the return of the Nautilus in 1935 there hasn’t been a missed issue.  When the publication was able to return the Student Council, and the College faculty voted to institute a student publication fee in the fall of 1936.  Each student would pay three dollars at registration each semester.

“During the course of the year four dollars would go to the Nautilus, the annual, and two dollars to the Campus Camera, the student newspaper,” established Cameron.  “This policy would guarantee the solvency of the student publications and each student would receive these with no extra charge.

One of the biggest events during the year was picture day every fall, near the end of September.  Classes were set aside for one day to take pictures of societies, clubs, and groups for the Nautilus by a professional photographer.

“The members of the student body were requested to assemble in the college auditorium immediately after breakfast at 8:00 am to receive instructions and a schedule from the editor,” said Cameron.  “Men were to wear suits or sports jackets.  Pictures…were taken on the Mansion lawn.

There was a donation request of twenty-five cents from students to help with the expense of the Nautilus.  After all the pictures were taken the yearbook staff would provide entertainment for the entire student body.

There is nothing like this today.  Picture day has become more of a scavenger hunt for students, faculty, and clubs.

Up until 1943, students involved with the Nautilus were not paid for their efforts.  “The Student Council requested the college trustees to approve a schedule of compensation for the editor and the business manager of the publication because of the responsibility and work which these positions entailed,” wrote Cameron.

During World War II the Nautilus was sent to all former students in the armed forces who had attended ENC for more than one year within the past three years.  The attention to soldiers created a unity between those fighting the war and those still enrolled at ENC.

After all of these years, the Nautilus has changed dramatically in style.  However, the essential values of the publication have not faltered.  The yearbook remains of core importance for ENC students.  It may not be created entirely the same, but by looking to the past for guidance, we can continue the legacy that has become the Nautilus.

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