Author: Michelle [Shelly] Hillman
Date: October 9, 2017
Categories: Academics|Advancement|Athletics|Financial Aid|Impact

In the context of its 2017 Homecoming celebration, Houghton College launched the public phase of a $70 million multi-year comprehensive campaign at a kickoff dinner on Friday evening, October 7. IMPACT: The Campaign for Greater Houghton will advance Houghton’s capacity for global impact, building on its 134-year tradition of equipping aspiring students with the knowledge and passion to change the world. To date the college has raised $45.52 million during the leadership phase toward the $70 million goal.

According to Houghton College President Shirley A. Mullen, “IMPACT is focused on ensuring that our longstanding twin trademarks of high quality and affordability will continue to mark a Houghton education long into the future – drawing students from diverse cultures and socio-economic backgrounds into the transformational opportunities of a Christian liberal arts education and connecting them to opportunities for global service that they never thought possible.”

IMPACT focuses on three strategic priorities: access and affordability, strategic campus enhancement, and academic and experiential investment.

The first priority is to raise $33 million for annual and endowed student scholarships, ensuring that Houghton will be able to continue its founder’s mission of offering a high-quality education to those who would not otherwise have this opportunity. Scholarships benefit Houghton’s increasingly diverse student body from nearly every state in our country and from over 30 countries around the world, 41 percent of whom are considered low income by national financial aid standards.

The campaign focuses on three areas of campus enhancement: The Paine Center for Science, the Kerr-Pegula Athletic Complex, and the Houghton College Equestrian Center. Proposed renovations to the Paine Center for Science – home of innovative learning experiences such as the nationally recognized Summer Research Institute – will update existing lab and classroom spaces while creating new labs for the first-year Science Honors program and the growing data science major. Additionally, significant growth in new academic programs, such as data science and biochemistry, has resulted in demand for additional classroom and lab space.

The Kerr-Pegula Athletic Complex (KPAC), made possible by an initial $12 million gift from Kim (Kerr ’92) and Terry Pegula, signaled the beginning of the leadership phase of the campaign in June of 2011. Dedicated in October 2014, the KPAC has become a pivotal economic force in Allegany County and the Western New York region. The facility hosted more than 30,000 visitors last year, drawing spectators for clinics with Olympic athletes, major recording artists, and a variety of major conferences and athletic events. That number is expected to increase this year, as the KPAC serves as the scene of new opportunities in the county and region, a setting for renewed discipline and physical growth, and a place of joy for generations of community members and spectators.

Over Homecoming weekend, the college broke ground for a 36,400-square-foot indoor Equestrian Arena, made possible by an anonymous $2.4 million lead gift. In addition to the new arena – to be completed prior to the 2018-2019 academic year – the campaign proposes expansion and upgrades to existing facilities, as well as an endowment to provide ongoing operational funding. The Houghton College Equestrian Center currently hosts public events such as classes, competitions, United States Equestrian Federation and Certified Horsemanship Association clinics, and a sold-out, multi-week equestrian summer camp. New and expanded facilities will allow for further growth as the center becomes an economic force locally and regionally, and draws students and spectators from as far as California, Texas, and Washington.

Finally, the campaign will expand opportunities for experiential programs that link learning to real-world problems. In the context of the campaign the college hopes to endow such programs as the Summer Research Institute; the Center for Faith, Justice and Global Engagement; and the Center for Data Science.

“The ultimate purpose of the campaign is to help Houghton transform students who will impact the world for Christ,” remarks Kevin Knowlton, a 1979 graduate of the college and co-chair of IMPACT. “Houghton College needs our continued encouragement, our support, our prayers, and our resources as it continues to equip students to lead and labor as scholar-servants in a changing world.”

More information on IMPACT is available in the upcoming printed Houghton magazine, as well as at

To learn more about giving to Houghton or to make your own impact in the lives of students, please contact the Houghton College Office of Advancement at 585.567.9640 or visit