Carrying On A Family Legacy

February 15, 2024

Madeline Murphy ’27 grew up hearing stories about how her grandparents met at Houghton in an English class 53 years ago, and how her mom, Elizabeth (Clay ’02) Murphy, came to know the Lord during her time as a student. Now, as a third-generation Houghton student, Madeline is carrying on the family tradition.

“Our family calls this place our second home,” Madeline said. “I realized when I toured that this was where the Lord was calling me and was going to be disappointed if I didn’t get accepted.”

In her first two semesters here, Madeline has begun to pave her own path at Houghton. On top of double majoring in Writing and Politics and Philosophy, she is a member of Houghton’s Women’s Choir. Being a part of the choir has led to one of Madeline’s favorite college experiences so far.

“In the fall the Women’s Choir collaborated with the orchestra and wind ensemble on a piece called ‘Total Praise.’ It was this worship experience that I hadn’t experienced before in high school. For all of us to take the time to totally praise the Lord, it was this awesome moment of realizing this is why I do choir.”

In her next three years at Houghton, Madeline looks forward to continuing her faith journey by building intentional relationships with her professors and fellow Highlanders.

“The Christian community sets Houghton apart. There’s a real emphasis on making connections and being intentional. It’s easy to go through the motions; No one is forcing me to go to chapel or church or to do my devotionals. Houghton has really given me the opportunity to take that intentional time to sit with the Lord.”

Madeline is currently exploring her options for law school and hopes to become a district attorney after graduation.

A Houghton diploma is more than just a testament to a degree earned.  It is an affirmation of the calling to be a scholar servant.  Leaving the stage with a diploma in one hand and a towel in the other, challenges alumni to live and to work in God’s Kingdom and to be worthy of that calling.

In a world where our culture is constantly changing, I am thankful that Houghton is still impressing upon its students the importance of leading and laboring for Christ.  No matter the graduation year, the high calling remains the same.

Elizabeth (Clay ’02) Murphy