The person after whom the College is named is Massasoit, who was the Great Sachem (Great Chief ) of the Wampanoag tribe at the time of the Pilgrims' arrival.
Massasoit's story has been enhanced by legend, but the help he afforded the first settlers is beyond dispute. One version of the story of Massasoit begins in March of 1621 when an English speaking Indian named Samoset entered the town of Plymouth and greeted the settlers with the words, "Welcome, Englishmen!'' Samoset, Massasoit's representative, prepared the way for the arrival of Massasoit, who proceeded to negotiate an agreement of non-aggression and mutual assistance with the English.This treaty has been called the first formal act of diplomacy in the history of New England.
Massasoit is a symbol of mediation between different cultures. He also signifies commitment to dialogue rather than war as a way of settling differences among people.
America is unique in its commitment to a wide range of postsecondary education, and nowhere is this better demonstrated than in the idea and development of the state-supported community college system. Its two overriding goals are to offer students higher education at a minimal cost and to meet the educational needs of the region each community college serves.
Massasoit Community College was founded in 1966, but its origin can be traced to a 1947 study by the State Board of Education which determined the need for a low tuition, state supported system. The study proposed that twelve community colleges be established, one of which would serve the Greater Brockton, South Shore area. In 1961, a proposal was brought before the Brockton School Committee, and after a feasibility study, announcement of such a college was made in 1965.
In September, 1966, the College, consisting of 358 students and 22 faculty, held its first classes in the Charles M. Frolio School in North Abington, and in June, 1968, the first graduation was held for 137 students. Additional campuses were later established at the former Howard School in West Bridgewater and the Miramar School in Duxbury.
Groundbreaking for the first five buildings of the permanent Brockton campus occurred in 1969, and by 1972 the campus was officially opened. During this time, the College received its first accreditation from the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. By 1978, the five remaining buildings of the campus were completed.
Governance of higher education in Massachusetts underwent reorganization in 1980, replacing the Board of Regional Community Colleges and other state coordinating boards with the Board of Regents of Higher Education (now called "The Board of Higher Education). As part of the change, in 1981, the Massasoit Board of Trustees assumed local control of the College.
In 1985, the Blue Hills Technical Institute, itself in existence since 1966, formally merged with Massasoit Community College, and is now the Canton campus.
The Conference Center at Massasoit opened in 1997 offering 7200 square feet of meeting space for local businesses and other community organizations.