0 Houghton President Wayne D. Lewis, Jr. sitting at conference table with purple tie.

Houghton President Renews Contract with Unanimous Board Support

October 24, 2023

In a resounding show of support, Houghton University’s Board of Trustees unanimously voted to renew the contract of President Wayne D. Lewis, Jr. during their October board meeting. The new agreement is a 4-year extension that goes through 2028. This decision is a testament to Lewis’ exceptional leadership, unwavering work ethic and relentless pursuit of excellence for the glory of God.

“With this vote, the trustees have expressed their enthusiastic support for Dr. Lewis and a deep confidence that he is the one to lead Houghton for the foreseeable future,” said Rev. Dr. Joey Jennings ’86, Chair of the Board of Trustees.

Houghton President Wayne Lewis waving at cars as they come in for move-in day.

Dr. Lewis has worked tirelessly to help bring in a great incoming class this fall. We have every reason to think that we will continue to experience growth in enrollment. While many factors have contributed to this increase, he and his team have made some great decisions and communicated the University’s mission with compelling clarity.

Rev. Dr. Joey Jennings ’86, Chair of the Board of Trustees

Throughout the renewal discussions, board members expressed their wholehearted confidence in Lewis, highlighting remarkable milestones achieved over the last three years. His transformative leadership has successfully guided the institution through the transition from college to university and the launch of new programs, including new majors in Neuroscience, Biomedical Sciences, Global Studies, Worship Arts and more. Under his guidance, Houghton has experienced two consecutive years of fundraising success, raising over $1.8 million within 24 hours on each of the last two One Day Giving Challenges.

Lewis’ renewal of Houghton’s historic mission and commitment to foster relationships that help address contemporary issues has been instrumental in the recruitment of Houghton’s largest class in six years. His ability to connect with prospective families, alumni, donors, employees, churches and partner Christian schools has strengthened the University’s network and enhanced its reputation in Western New York and beyond. Already, the University has seen positive indicators for the fall 2024 recruitment through increased applications and visits to campus.

“I am honored to accept another term as president of Houghton University,” said Lewis. “Serving the students, families, employees, alumni, and Board of the University and the people of The Wesleyan Church has been one of the greatest honors of my career. I am thankful for God’s calling to Christian higher education and Houghton, and I am thankful for His grace. I believe God’s direction to us in this season is just as it was to Joshua—to be strong and courageous. We will continue to fearlessly and relentlessly pursue excellence for the glory of our God.”

Reflecting on Lewis’ impact, Jennings added,

These have been challenging years for all universities, and especially for Christian liberal arts universities. Dr. Lewis’s leadership in these first three years has exceeded my expectations. He has grasped the mission of Houghton. It aligns with his calling as well, and we feel blessed to have him lead us.


As Houghton University looks towards the future, President Wayne D. Lewis, Jr.’s visionary leadership and his fearless ability to overcome the challenges ahead will continue to position Houghton for success.