On Saturday, May 10, the Houghton College class of 2014 celebrated its Commencement along with faculty, staff, family, friends, administrators, board of trustees and members from the class of 1964. A total of 234 undergraduates and seven master’s students took the ceremonial march across the stage in the John and Charles Wesley Chapel to receive their diplomas, signaling the end of their careers as Houghton students and the beginning of their new lives as college graduates, joining the more than 22,000 who call themselves Houghton College Alumni.
The greeting was ushered in by President Shirley Mullen as she said, “We are delighted to have you here today for this joyous and long-awaited occasion. If you are here today, you are family, and this is a grand family celebration. As parents, professors, grandparents, siblings and friends, we gather to rejoice in the gifts that God has given to our graduates…and more specifically today, in these graduates’ stewardship of those gifts. Most of all today, we welcome the Houghton College graduates of 2014 to this, their day!”
President Mullen welcomed commencement speaker Dr. David Beckmann, president of Bread for the World. “Dr. Beckmann is leading the very kind of life to which we invite all our graduates to live; offering his gifts to God to use to make a difference in our world in ways that Dr. Beckman could not possibly have imagined when he was your age.”
Beckmann addressed the graduating class, “You have a lot to celebrate and I want to join in celebrating with you.”
Beckmann continued the address by talking about the impact that Bread for the World has had, and the opportunities the graduates have as well, as they move into the world. “I pray that God will use you to change the world…your communities and your nation. Don’t focus just on getting yourself established, because you might get caught in that trap. We need you to help us fix up the world.”
Jordan Latouche from the graduating class of 2014 presented President Mullen with the class gift, a hand painted mural of the Houghton athletic mascot, the Griffin, on the wall of the new Kerr-Pegula Complex.
President Mullen next presented the Houghton Medal to Dr. Carolyn Paine Miller. Miller is a 1960 graduate of Houghton College and the daughter of former Houghton president Stephen Paine. Mullen offered these words as she presented the medal, “For showing what it means to lead and labor faithfully, imaginatively, and with great effectiveness as a globally engaged scholar-servant for over 50 years, we honor you today with the Houghton Medal.”
The graduates were then presented with their diploma certifications.
President Mullen closed the Commencement celebration by saying, “Enjoy this moment today. Let your fears take second place today to joy and celebration. And then, tomorrow, 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.”
The class of 2014 includes Leah Doty, who is a fourth generation student and the great-granddaughter of former Houghton president, Stephen and Helen (Paul ’37) Paine. Leah also has two grandparents, her mother, one brother, three uncles and two aunts who are all Houghton graduates. Lauren Daugherty is a third generation student, the granddaughter of Rev. Henry Ortlip ’40 and Elizabeth (Carlson) Ortlip’42. In addition, both of Lauren’s parents are alumni along with four uncles, three siblings, one aunt and two cousins. Sharon Brautigam is a fourth generation Houghton student who has one great-grandmother, one grandfather, two parents, two sisters, three uncles, two aunts, and seven cousins whom are all Houghton alumni. Josh Duttweiler is a third generation student. His grandparents, Robert and Mary (Eastman ’57) Duttweiler ’55 had six children who attended Houghton beginning in 1978 and had at least one child in school at Houghton every year until 1993. As of this year, there were five related Duttweilers attending Houghton at the same time.
Snapshot of the Class of 2014
- 244 Undergraduates
- 7 Music Master’s Graduates
- 57 undergraduates achieved double majors and two earned two degrees
- 113 graduated with honors
- 2 graduates were commissioned as Second Lieutenants, U.S. Army
- Co-Valedictorians – Jessica L. Miller and Emily C. Wendell
- Salutatorian – Sharon R. Brautigam
- Graduates came from 12 countries, including Cameroon, Canada, China, Ecuador, Japan, Kenya, South Korea, Switzerland, Thailand, United States, and Zimbabwe.