Campus News and Notes


by Annie Valkema ’88

The Walldorf Temperance Hotel, built circa 1890 by George Walldorf, first served as a central boarding house for visitors and guests to the area. Donated by Eleanor Woodhead to Houghton College in 1923, Walldorf was immediately put into service housing students; at times college students and at times Houghton Academy students. Through each decade, there are scores of alumni who fondly remember Walldorf as their home away from home.

In the ’70s, female students stayed in Walldorf due to overcrowding in the dormitories. In the ’80s, male students lived in Walldorf, a popular hangout spot on weekends. In the ’90s, female students remember Walldorf as a place to live and share in community.

During the 2013 Homecoming festivities this October, the college dedicated the recently renovated Walldorf House as Houghton’s new Alumni House. The alumni board had long shared a vision with the administration of returning Walldorf to a functioning, desirable showcase of Houghton’s heritage. The dedication represented the culmination of a long-held vision to return this well-loved, but neglected, structure to the same luster given to it by so many positive memories.

Walldorf renovations were funded 100% by gifts from alumni, many with strong legacies at Houghton. A walk through the Alumni House will reveal to guests each family’s chapter in the Houghton story. The first floor includes two guest suites, a parlor, conference room and reading room. The second floor includes four guest suites and a hospitality center.

Dan Noyes ’93, executive director of alumni relations, comments, “The completion of the alumni house project illustrates the generosity and support of Houghton alumni toward their alma mater. We are excited that this house will serve as both a symbolic and very tangible home-away-from-home for our alumni, and that it will tell the stories of alumni families and the parts they have played and continue to play in the Houghton story.”

The Alumni House will serve as a place for alumni to meet and to stay when visiting campus. Its primary purpose will be to host mini-reunions and affinity groups of Houghton alumni and to provide an additional housing option when housing is in high demand.

“We trust that the Alumni House will provide a tangible place of hospitality and connection,” said Shirley Mullen ’76, “that it will serve as a symbol of the worldwide network of invitation and empowerment that is the Houghton alumni connection.”


The third annual faith and justice symposium, entitled “Global Poverty and Hunger: Unveiling the Connections, Seeking Solutions,” was held on campus in September 2013. The symposium, a partnership between Houghton’s Center for Faith, Justice and Global Engagement and Bread for the World, featured 17 speakers from around the world, including renowned activist, Eugene Cho. The speakers shared from diverse perspectives, emphasizing the interdisciplinary approach necessary for addressing hunger and poverty issues on local, national and global levels.


The Kerr-Pegula Athletic Complex continues to take shape. The baseball and softball teams were able to practice at their newly completed stadiums during the fall, while the field house excavation work was completed in October. The structural components of the facility were erected in November with a scheduled completion date set for late May 2014.


Tennis returned to Houghton this fall with the women’s team playing a full schedule and the men’s team playing two matches in preparation for a full slate of competition this spring. Men’s soccer had one of its strongest seasons in recent years, going 15-4-1. Women’s soccer was 13-5-1, volleyball 20-11 and field hockey 6-12 as of press time. Men’s and women’s cross country participated in the NCCAA National Championships in November. A highlight of the fall was volleyball head coach Nancy Cole registering her 300th career victory in early October.


Ndunge Kiiti ’88 attended the Calvin College Nagel Institute’s seminar on “Evangelical Christianity and Social Change in Brazil.” (Manaus, Rio de Janeiro, and Brasilia, Brazil)

Ted Murphy was a selected participant in the Council for Independent Colleges’ faculty seminar, “Dutch Art, Patrons, and Markets,” focused on consideration of teaching European art in context. (Atlanta, Ga.)

Mark Yuly travelled to Japan as an invited participant in the CCCU faculty seminar, “Nuclear Weapons and Our Globalizing Century: A Multidisciplinary Challenge for the Christian Academy.” (Osaka, Kyoto, Nagasaki, and Hiroshima, Japan) Dr. Yuly also attended the 20th International Conference on Cyclotrons and their Applications in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, as an invited speaker.

David Davies ’01 attended the College Music Society International Conference in Argentina, at which one of his compositions was performed by his wife, Carrie (Blythe ’01) Davies. (Buenos Aires, Argentina)

Jillian Sokso was awarded a residency at Virginia Center for the Creative Arts October 16-31, 2013. (Amherst, Va.)


Dr. Scott E. McClelland began as the new dean of extension studies in October 2013. McClelland’s role in this position is to strategically manage Houghton’s non-residential Buffalo Associate of Arts program, Houghton Adult Education and Houghton Online Education. He comes to Houghton from Delray Beach, Fla., where he served as executive director and associate dean of Trinity International University’s Florida campus. McClelland states, “As dean of extension studies, I hope to participate in expanding the mission of Houghton College, and the quality education provided here, to a broader number of students beyond the scope of our residential campus. I'll be learning from many here who have created the rich legacy of the Houghton College community, to develop ways we can capture the core of what makes Houghton such a special place, and carefully try to replicate those principles in adult education, online programs and our new Houghton College Buffalo initiative.”

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