In 1953, even before the Highway Act of 1956 pumped $25 billion into road projects that began to transform how Americans travelled, Route 128 had been extended as a modern highway from Danvers all the way to Gloucester, and towns previously off the beaten path became easier to reach. One of them was Wenham, and just beside Route 128 in that wooded equestrian enclave sat the estate of the Prince family. A Gordon student and part-time pastor at Wenham Neck Baptist Church, James Higginbotham, drove by the estate each Sunday as he traveled to and from the church. Gradually, he said, “the thought came to me that this would be a tremendous location for a college.” He approached the owner, Frederick Prince; impressed, Prince sold the 1,000-acre estate to Gordon for $150,000.