A Word from the President

Shirley A. Mullen '76

Athletic rivalry — first intramural and later intercollegiate — has been a valued aspect of community life for both men and women at Houghton since early in the 20th century. The various sports guaranteed year-round leisure time activities for both participants and spectators. Over the years, athletics has increasingly been recognized as an integral part of the Houghton educational experience. What better way to learn self-discipline, the capacity for deferred gratification, the life lessons of losing and winning, the importance of team work and collaboration, and the rewards of submitting one's own effort to a goal larger than oneself?

Athletics at Houghton has also become an intentional avenue for ministry and service both locally and globally. Whether through teaching fifth-grade Sunday School at the Houghton Wesleyan Church, hosting Saturday morning soccer for area school children, or traveling to play basketball or soccer in the Czech Republic, in Africa, or in Latin America, Houghton Highlanders know that being on an athletic team is more than an end in itself. It is a deliberate way of making oneself available to others — and to God Himself — for His sanctifying, redemptive, and joy-filled purposes in the world.

Houghton's move to the Empire Eight Athletic Conference of the NCAA Division III represents a new stage of intentionality in linking athletics to Houghton's larger vision of academic excellence and commitment to be visible to those students who are looking for the high-quality and integrated Christian educational experience that Houghton offers.

The $12 million gift from Terry and Kim (Kerr '91) Pegula toward a new athletic complex will provide expanded facilities for Houghton's teams and facilitate greater opportunities for service to the larger community.

In this issue of Houghton magazine, we invite you to read about how athletics has contributed to the Houghton mission over the decades and to anticipate with us the continued impact of athletics at Houghton in the years to come.

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