Painting with handing pointing up, Strangely Warmed by Houghton art professor Ted Murphy.

Houghton Magazine—Winter 2024

From the President

Winter 2024

For 140 years, Houghton University has provided students with a high-quality, intentionally Christ-centered education. Founded initially to ensure such an education was available and affordable for students in Western New York and northwestern Pennsylvania, Houghton now serves students from our region and well beyond and prepares graduates to go from here to the ends of the earth, transforming the world for Jesus.

During the last academic year, as Houghton successfully completed its immediate past strategic plan, The Arc Toward Our Future, the university community came together to craft a set of strategic priorities intended to move Houghton boldly into the future. While firmly and unapologetically grounded in Biblical truth and centered on the Gospel of Jesus Christ, we needed to collectively chart a course forward that provides for Houghton’s continued relevance, sustainability and impact. By the grace of God and with the collaborative effort of students, staff, faculty, administrators, community leaders, the Athletics Advisory Board, the Alumni Board, the President’s Advisory Board and the Houghton Board of Trustees, a new set of strategic priorities was developed and adopted. For the next five years, this set of priorities and objectives, and corresponding key performance indicators, will guide strategic decision making and resource allocation at Houghton.

Houghton’s new strategic priorities are neither a document to be shelved nor a checklist of tasks that have minimal impact on the university’s policy and leadership. These priorities represent the direction and steps Houghton is taking now and over the next five years to ensure the university is a destination of choice for Christian students and families, provides an unparalleled Christian academic experience, and has a transformative impact on our region and the world. The stories in this issue of Houghton Magazine help to illustrate how and where these priorities are already shaping Houghton’s fearless and relentless pursuit of excellence for God’s glory.

Yours for fixing up the world,

Wayne D. Lewis, Jr.

Download a PDF Version of the Magazine

Homecoming & Family Weekend 2023

Pile of punched cards on table.

From the Archives - IBM 1130

In February of 1967, Houghton College took its first step into the computing age when an order was placed for an IBM 1130. According to the IBM website, the 1130 was first released in 1965 and was promoted as a “low-cost, medium-sized” computing option. The machine could be purchased for $32,280, although Houghton rented its unit for approximately $800/month.

IBM promoted its 1130 in the original press release of 1965 in this way: “The desk-sized 1130 is designed for individual use by engineers, scientists and mathematicians. But with its range of peripheral units, the 1130 also will be used in such fields as publishing, construction, finance, manufacturing and distribution. For ease of use by many individuals, an advanced storage technique is available with the 1130 computer. Data and instructions for computer processing are recorded on a magnetic disk similar in appearance to a phonograph record. Disks are protected by a plastic cartridge. Each IBM 2315 disk cartridge can hold the equivalent of more than one million characters of information.”

Houghton’s plan was to use the “incredible speed, permanent memory, high accuracy and automation operations” to facilitate course registration, grade computations, maintenance of alumni records and standard business computations. But the efficient and affordable IBM 1130 wasn’t just chosen for Houghton’s administration. It was also selected with Houghton’s business students in mind and soon became a favorite tool of Houghton professors such as Larry Christensen, Fred Trexler ’64 and Ted Norton.

The computer was installed in “Russell House” (later known as “Pickle House”) over Christmas break in 1968. It was initially operated by Gary McEwan and programmed by Houghton alumna Donna (Stewart ’67) Gross. Donna was trained by IBM and, prior to her work at Houghton, held a contract with NASA. According to a Houghton Star article dated January 17, 1969, the first users of the computer were students, who used the computer for “socialized final exams.” By 1970, students were anxiously worrying over their courses in Basic Fortran.

The IBM 1130 was later moved to the “new science building” (now known as the Paine Center for Science) and was replaced by 1978 with a PDP/1170 computer with a convenient sixteen terminals. The PDP/1170 had a remarkable 128 k of internal memory, a tape drive, a punch card reader and a graphic terminal. The installation of the PDP/1170 terminals was celebrated with the formation of Houghton’s HC3 – that is, the Houghton College Computer Club.

Did  you know?

You can find digitized versions of all editions of the Houghton STAR, the Boulder, the Milieu and Houghton Magazine online through the Willard J. Houghton Library? Visit to read an excellent article about the IBM 1130 written for the Houghton STAR by Sharon (Lamos ’73) Oppedisano and published on October 1, 1971.

Archival black and white photo of student and professor with IBM computer.

Save the Dates!

Golden Highlander Reunion

May 10-12, 2024

For the Class of 1974 50th Reunion!

Summer Alumni Reunion

August 2-4, 2024

Alumni from 1950's as well as, 1964, 1969, 1979, 1984, 1989


October 3-5, 2024

Reunion Classes: 1994, 1999, 2004, 2009, 2014, 2019

Alumni, we love to know what is happening in your life and where God and your Houghton education are leading you.

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