Author: Marshall Green
Date: May 11, 2013
Categories: Academics

The Houghton College Class of 2013 celebrated its college Commencement in the midst of family, friends, faculty, staff, administrators, board of trustees, and members from the Class of 1963. On the morning of Saturday, May 11, 2013, 261 undergraduates and ten master’s students walked across the stage of the John and Charles Wesley Chapel to receive their diplomas and join a group of more than 20,000 individuals around the world who call themselves Houghton alumni.

President Shirley Mullen ’76 greeted the graduates: “We welcome the Houghton College graduates of 2013 to this, their day! There are 271 of you graduating today, including our graduate students.  The class of 2013 includes graduates from over 13 countries of the world.”

The Commencement Address was given by Dr. Nathan O. Hatch, president of Wake Forest University.  Dr. Hatch began his comments by complimenting Houghton College’s rich history and promising future.  Dr. Hatch continued by talking about “grit,” which he defined as the combination of determination, positive attitude and overall staying power.  He commented on the idea that success is not solely determined by intelligence but rather the amount of “grit” an individual has.  “Focus on what is set before you…my advice is it is better to master something than dabble in ten different things,” said Dr. Hatch.  “When you have a challenge, learn to master it… no matter how difficult.  True strength and character is forged by encountering and dealing with difficulty.”

The class of 2013 includes Lydia Strand, daughter of Steve ’81 and Ruth (Woolsey) ‘81 Strand and grandparents Ella (Phelps) ’43 and Warren Woolsey ’43 ;  Micah Parlett, son of Ray ’85 and Lisa (Parizek) ’85; Kendra Brown, daughter of Kurt ’89 and Brenda (Hartman) ‘89 Brown;  Mitch Matson, son of Tammy (Marshall) ’83 and Robert ’81; Andrew Roorbach, son of Doug ’81, step-son of Krista (Alderfer) ‘98.

The senior class gift was presented by Sydnie Cunningham ’13. The gift is an interpretive nature trail on the Houghton greenway. “On behalf of the Houghton College community, I gratefully accept this gift,” said President Mullen. “The tradition of leaving a visible sign of one’s presence as a class on this campus goes back a very long way. This will ensure that we will not forget you.”

In closing the ceremony, President Mullen said, “… When you first wake up to the world as a college graduate, commit yourself—in the face of any fears you might feel—to the twin calls of patience and boldness as you find the next place of challenge and grace that God has prepared for you, knowing that He who brought you to this place has every intention of completing His work until the day of Jesus Christ.”

 Snapshot of the Class of 2013

  • 268 Undergraduates
  • 10 Music Master’s Graduates
  • 57 undergraduates achieved double majors
  • 125 graduated with honors
  • 2 graduates were commissioned as Second Lieutenants, U.S. Army
  • Co-Valedictorians – Laura K. White, Jenna R. Engelhart, & Sarah Nickolina Jacoby
  • Co-Salutatorians – Lydia J. Strand & William L. Deitrick
  • Graduates came from 13 countries, including Canada, Ecuador, Honduras, Indonesia, Morocco, Paraguay, Philippines, Russia, South Korea, Tanzania, Thailand, United Kingdom and the United States.

To view the Commencement slide show, please click link: