Issue: Fall/Winter 2012

A Word from the President

Shirley A. Mullen '76

If you are a Houghton graduate, you are more than likely living a more interesting and adventurous life than you ever expected. The culture tells us that education is about getting a job. At Houghton, education is about getting a life.

The power of a Houghton education rests in three fundamental assumptions. First, our education is not about us. It’s not about getting ahead. Education prepares us to make an impact on our world—at home, in our communities, in our churches, as well as around the world. Houghton students know that they are stewards of their education. They’ve been given gifts, the opportunity to develop those gifts, and the privilege of sharing those gifts with others.

Second, at Houghton, true learning is linked to doing. It is lived learning. The founding of Houghton was a key element in Willard J. Houghton’s passionate drive to “fix up the world.” While his particular turn of phrase strikes some today as too “post-millennial” or even “imperialistic,” it is the same commitment to make their learning available to God’s redemptive purposes in the world that sends Houghton students to be a part of community development projects in Latin America and Africa, to tutor refugee children, repair homes in Buffalo’s west side, to do cancer research in the Bay Area, or to participate in legislative lobbying on Capitol Hill.

Third, at Houghton, learning is integrated into all of life. It is inseparable from our relationships. It is inseparable from our Christian faith. It is inseparable from leisure and recreation. The classroom, the laboratory, the Forsyth Learning Commons, chapel, the library, the athletic field, the residences, the coffee shop, internships, off campus programs, choir rehearsal, the Equestrian Center—all are contexts where Houghton students are invited to learn and grow. More accurately, they are pushed to learn and grow by fellow students, faculty, coaches, and staff mentors.  Every moment is fertile space for the Holy Spirit to provoke new connections, new curiosity, and new commitments.

A Houghton education sets us on a trajectory of lifelong learning and engagement with the world. It invites us to discover and to prepare for a life as large as God’s calling.


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