A commencement ceremony celebrating 44 Houghton College adult education undergraduates took place Saturday, May 18, 2013, in John and Charles Wesley Chapel at the Houghton, New York, campus. Each of the students earned a Bachelor of Science degree in management. Graduates came from six cohorts: three from West Seneca (Cohorts P7, R7 and W7), Cohort N7 of Jamestown, Cohort Q7 from Dansville and Cohort S7 from Olean.
As one of the six speakers representing each cohort, Thomas Dake of West Seneca’s Cohort R7 spoke about how Houghton has instilled in him the need to gain proper perspective in life. “Houghton has taught us to keep an open mind, listen intently, and gain as much information from others as possible. By doing this, we are able to reshape our perspective to determine the best conclusions and answers to difficult and often controversial topics,” Dake shared. “Houghton has also taught us to evaluate and analyze situations to effectively determine the most positive perspective.”
Dake also spoke of how Professor Bruce Brenneman lived out this example of proper perspective. He addressed Brenneman, saying, “Thank you for providing us not only a practical example for defining perspective, but also examples of courage, tenacity, and perseverance while battling cancer. You are not only an exceptional teacher; you are also an inspiration to all of us. Thank you for all you have done for us.”
Following Dake’s speech, Academic Dean Linda MillsWoolsey announced the establishment of the Bruce Brenneman Perseverance Award, based on a suggestion by Dake. “This award will be presented annually, starting next year, by Houghton College Adult Education to honor and recognize a student, staff, or faculty member of the program who has overcome incredible odds or persisted through seemingly insurmountable challenges, such as Bruce Brenneman has, to make an extraordinary and influential difference in their classroom, workplace, or community.” Brenneman was then honored with an award of appreciation. Dake was also recognized for demonstrating initiative and servant leadership through the expression of his idea for the award.
Houghton College Adult Education cohorts continue to meet across Western New York, with locations in West Seneca, Jamestown and Olean, as well as new locations in Lockport and Niagara Falls, N.Y. The program is designed specifically for individuals who are 23 years of age or older and who have about two years of transferable college credits. In approximately 17 months, students can finish a Bachelor of Science degree in management while attending class just one evening per week and taking one course at a time. New cohorts begin throughout the year. Visit http://www.houghton.edu/adult-education/ for details on cohorts forming now.