Giving Societies

The 1883 Society

The 1883 Society was commissioned during the 125th anniversary year of Houghton College to honor donors who give $1,000 or more annually.  Their gifts reflect a commitment to Christian higher education and the transformation of Houghton students into people of character, competence and conviction.

Hundreds of alumni and friends express their commitment to the Houghton College mission and became charter members of the 1883 Society.  In doing so, they became ambassadors of the “1883 Possibility” – that dream of Willard J. Houghton focused on high quality education dedicated to God’s glory.

The 1883 Society welcomes as a member any Houghton College alumni or friend who gives a total of $1,000 or more within the current academic year (June 1 – May 31).  You may give a gift at one time or over the course of the year.  The gift may go to the Houghton College Student Scholarship Fund or to an existing project or designation of your choice. 

To put it simply, a cumulative gift of $1,000 or more, given sometime during the current academic year to any area of the college, entitles you to become an 1883 Society member.  Additional cumulative gifts of $1,000 or more on an annual basis will renew 1883 Society membership in subsequent years.

As a symbol of our appreciation for this commitment, members of the 1883 Society will receive special news and updates directly from President Shirley Mullen, invitations to special events and activities, and recognition on a commemorative plaque.

We invite you to join us a member of the 1883 Society today.  Your gifts will equip the next generation of Houghton graduates to lead and labor as scholar servants in an ever-changing world.  Make your gift now, or call the Advancement Office at 585-567-9340.

The James S. Luckey Society

Download the James S. Luckey Society Newsletter

The James S. Luckey Society was established in 2010 to honor those donors whose gift plans set a firm foundation for the long-term financial health of Houghton College and its continued ability to support Houghton students as they pursue God’s call on their lives.

Like these legacy donors, James S. Luckey - aptly remembered as “The Builder” - demonstrated such qualities as faithfulness, hard work, and deep concern for students. As Houghton’s first official president, Dr. Luckey set his nearly inexhaustible energy to the task of raising a relatively unknown seminary to a fully accredited college with a reputation for academic excellence and faith.

Even as he pursued his vision, Dr. Luckey attended to the young people God put in his care- often quietly paying their tuition or finding them jobs that would provide room and board to assure their stay.

Members of the James S. Luckey Society share a similar vision. They give wisely for the long term. They have the big picture in mind, and yet their gifts attend to the details. Their support has a major impact on the future of Houghton, but it also touches the lives of individual students who will become the future Christian leaders of our world.

The Soaring Eagles Society

The Soaring Eagles Society was created to honor young alumni who choose to support their alma mater financially during their first 10 years as alumni. Their gifts reflect their support of Christian higher education and the transformation of Houghton students into people of character, competence and conviction.

The Significance of the Eagles

Beginning in 2009, first year students at Houghton have participated in a tradition.  They are invited to gather around the statue of the eagles in front of the campus center for a candle lit ceremony.  The students are told the story of the six members of the class of 1982 who lost their lives in a tragic car accident in October of 1981.  They hear about how the members of the Houghton community came together to support one another in that time of incredible grief and how they, as new students, are now becoming members of this supportive community.  Each new student is presented with a Houghton scarf as a symbol of their membership in the Houghton family.  We ask them, as they journey through their time at Houghton, to wear this scarf as a reminder of those walking beside them and, as they approach graduation, to present the scarf to someone who helped them succeed at Houghton.   The Soaring Eagles Society reflects this spirit of support and encouragement as recent graduates support those now journeying through their education at Houghton. 

Any of our alumni whose class graduated in the past 10 years and give an annual gift of any size to Houghton are eligible for membership in the Soaring Eagles Society. The gift may go to the Houghton College Student Scholarship Fund or to an existing project or designation of your choice. 

As a symbol of our appreciation for this commitment, members of the Soaring Eagles Society will receive special news and updates on a quarterly basis from President Mullen, faculty, staff, students, or other alumni. Members will also be honored by having their name added to the Soaring Eagles Society display in the Reinhold Campus Center. 

We invite you to become a member of the Soaring Eagles Society today.  Your gifts will both symbolically and tangibly make a difference in the lives of Houghton students and will help ensure the continuing success of your alma mater.

Visit the Eagles page »

Investing in Houghton College:

In the book of Ezra, God’s people began the daunting twenty-year task of rebuilding the temple. The job was not easy. It required dedication and sacrifice by all involved. The people faced fierce opposition. Their enemies discouraged them and threatened financial ruin. Although at times work came to a standstill, the people persevered.

By answering God’s call, they accomplished two very significant tasks. First they reestablished their covenant with the Lord. Second, they resurrected a building and with it, the ministries and activities of daily life for the faithful.

Like the temple builders – and like Dr. Luckey, The Builder – donors of planned gifts to Houghton College stretch themselves to accomplish meaningful tasks. Their generous gifts or gift plans ensure that Houghton will be vibrant and accessible for future generations. They uplift the core mission of the college, equipping faculty, staff and students with the resources necessary to fulfill that mission with excellence.

There are many ways to make a difference through gift planning. You can read about these opportunities on our gift planning web pages. Each plan suits a unique set of personal financial goals and individual means. The benefits to the donor and the college abound – both tangible and intangible.

For more information or for a gift planning illustration, contact our Office of Gift Planning at 585-567-9545 or email

To officially enroll in the James S. Luckey Society at Houghton College, contact us to request a gift planning confirmation form. Membership requires initiation of a new gift plan or confirmation of an existing one.

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