Author: Michelle [Shelly] Hillman
Date: October 17, 2018
Categories: Alumni

Houghton College recently honored five outstanding alumni, as well as four students, as part of the college’s Homecoming and Family Weekend 2018 festivities.

Dr. Gustave Prinsell, a 1946 graduate, was named Alumnus of the Year. This award honors an alum who has made significant contributions through his or her service, employment field, civic, cultural, and church participation. Prinsell was instrumental in medical missions in Sierra Leone and in forming the Wesleyan Medical Fellowship. He served as a physician in the Houghton area and Allegany County for more than 50 years, and shared his memoirs in his book The Papa Bear.  

Dr. Kirby Runyon, a 2008 graduate and current postdoctoral fellow at Johns Hopkins University’s Applied Physics Laboratory, was named the 2017 Young Alumnus of the Year. Runyon earned a master’s degree in planetary geology from Temple University before beginning doctoral studies at Johns Hopkins in 2012. He has also taught at Temple and was part of a team of scientists monitoring the 2015 New Horizons spacecraft flight around Pluto.

Dr. Ndunge Kiiti, who graduated in 1988, was given a Distinguished Achievement award, which honors individuals who have achieved excellence in the areas of career, service, and volunteerism. Kiiti’s career – steeped in the areas of international development, relief work, and intercultural studies – has led her to roles with Medical Assistant Programs International, as an associate professor at Houghton for 10 years, and in teaching capacities at Emory University and Cornell University.

2008 graduate Heather Hill was honored with the Alumni Appreciation Award, which is given to an individual who has demonstrated a strong, active commitment to the support and growth of Houghton. Hill is active with the United Nations Association of the National Capitol Area in Washington, DC. She regularly welcomes alumni and student visitors to the city and has hosted the DC area young alumni event for the past three years.

Wayne Macbeth, a 1975 graduate, was presented with the Christian Service Award, which honors alumni who hold to the ideals of the Christian faith and have a significant impact in service on the church, community, profession, or Houghton College. He served in multiple administrative roles during his more than 30 years at Houghton, as well as director of church relations for Wesleyan World Missions, Pacific area director for The Wesleyan Church and later as general secretary, director of church relations/engagement for World Hope International, and executive pastor at Eastern Hills Church in Clarence, NY.

In addition to the alumni awards, four current Houghton students were presented with Barnabas Servant Leadership Awards, which recognize juniors and seniors who have demonstrated leadership in community and ministry service.

All four recipients this year were current seniors exhibiting the highest commitment to serving others: 

  • Miranda Hayes of Millinocket, Maine, has served as a Transitions leader and in leadership roles with Journey’s End Tutoring and Jumpstart.
  • Darcy Mitchell, who hails from Rochester, NY, has served as a camp counselor, chaplain of the men’s soccer team, and as a member of Houghton’s Student Support Network.
  • Amanda Satre of Marion, NY, has served with MercySeat and chapel music ministry, and consistently empowers people to use their musical gifts.
  • Mason Sebian of Clarence, NY, has spent each of his summers serving in ministry in both church and camp settings, and was team leader of Houghton’s Long Point Camp ministry this past summer.

To read the full award citations, visit the Alumni Awards page


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