Work has begun to renovate Houghton College’s Walldorf House, located on Route 19, into Houghton’s first alumni house. This structure will serve as a place for alumni to meet and to stay when visiting campus.
“The alumni of Houghton College are an integral part of the Houghton community,” explains Karen Lettsome (’79), alumni board president. A number of alumni families have invested in the project, sponsoring various rooms which will be named in their honor. Lettsome adds, “This project has the potential to be a beautiful showcase of Houghton's heritage as well as provide a highly visible gathering/lodging place that will acknowledge the value of Houghton's alumni.”
The alumni house will offer some common areas, including two meeting rooms (Mills Meeting Room and Alderman Meeting Room), the Larder Lobby, which will be appropriate for small gatherings and receptions, and the Mullen Hospitality Room. There will also be six bedroom suites, each with a private bath: James S. Luckey Society Suite, Essepian-Tysinger Suite, Larder Suite, Ries Suite, White Suite and Stevenson Suite. The bedroom suites will each accommodate two guests.
Walldorf Temperance Hotel was constructed in the 1890s when Houghton was in its infancy. A guest in Houghton could rent a room, stable horses, and meet with residents and other visitors. Walldorf became student housing after Esther Woodhead donated it to the college in 1923, and now Walldorf will serve as a home away from home for Houghton alumni, bringing it back to its historical roots.
“Our alumni are a key to Houghton’s rich past and are absolutely crucial to Houghton’s successful future,” said Executive Director of Alumni Relations Dan Noyes. “The alumni house will help us connect with Houghton’s history and help encourage our alumni to return and take an active role in the ongoing mission of their alma mater.”
Construction is scheduled to begin in July and is expected to be completed before Homecoming in October of this year.