Since opening in the summer of 2018, the Equestrian Event Center has had a substantial impact on Houghton students and the regional equestrian community. But anyone who has been to the equestrian facilities here at Houghton knows that the real impact – as with most places on campus – has far more to do with the people than the physical space.
From the beginning, the equestrian program at Houghton has been the fulfillment of the vision and tireless efforts of Jo-Anne Young ’69, program director emeritus. Her vision created a distinctive Houghton program that has launched scholar-servants prepared for equine therapy, equine business, equine training and veterinary medicine. Currently, over twenty-five students have declared a major or minor in equestrian studies, and the student Equestrian Society has seventy members.
Throughout the course of IMPACT: The Campaign for Greater Houghton, Jo-Anne Young has played the roles of visionary, advisor, donor and advocate. More than $100,000 was donated in tribute to Jo-Anne, resulting in the creation of the Jo-Anne O. Young Competitors’ Wing in the Equestrian Event Center.
[O]ver the last thirty-one years, this program has been built from modest beginnings into one of the signature academic programs of [Houghton] College and one of finest equestrian programs in the land. [It is] a program where, as Jo-Anne once said, “each student and each horse is regarded as one of God’s treasures to be taught, developed and encouraged in a way that fulfills the talents and passions of each one.”
Excerpt from former provost Dr. S. Jack Connell ’82 emeritus citation on October 7, 2017
Jo-Anne’s dedication, determination, vision and selfless commitment are nothing short of amazing. Her devotion to serving Christ is evident to those around her, not by her words, but by her actions, attitude and genuine commitment to use the riding center to glorify God and advance the Kingdom of God here on earth.
Heidi Piper ’87
What makes Jo-Anne special is that God is always the center of Joanne’s life. I have seen that quiet peace demonstrated many times over the years. Joanne’s life reflects her Christianity. I am honored to call her my friend.
Shirley Levernier, community member
Jo-Anne cares deeply about her students, and it shows in the ways she pushes them to excellence, encourages them in their spiritual walk, and invites students into her home. In Jo-Anne I found a mentor, cheerleader and coach as I prepared for a career in the equine industry.
Joanna Sudlow ’15