June 15, 2021
Today marks my first official day serving Houghton College as its sixth president, and it is an incredible honor joining you for the work ahead. As we begin our time together, my ambition is to serve the College and this community in a way that is pleasing to God and worthy of the trust and confidence the Board of Trustees and the Houghton community have placed in me.
Welcomed and Blessed by Community
Since we arrived in Houghton a week ago, Monica, Whitley and I have been blessed by this community. Your kindness, generosity and helpfulness have surpassed anything we could have imagined. Thank you for your encouraging words, hospitality, prayers and well wishes. We are grateful to be part of this community.
I am counting down the days until we are all back on campus. The community aspect of the college campus is part of what drew me to a career in higher education. One of the great blessings of my career has been building and maintaining relationships with so many students, faculty and staff, and with great anticipation, I look forward to building those relationships at Houghton beginning this summer.
Vision for Excellence
In the coming weeks, I will be sharing more about our inaugural year together. My goal is to direct all of our efforts toward the continued establishment of Houghton College as one of the nation’s premier Christian colleges of liberal arts and sciences, preparing and equipping scholar-servants from diverse traditions and backgrounds to lead and labor across the globe.
As we embrace that shared vision for the work ahead, let us commit to one another that, in everything we do, whoever we are and whatever our task, we will pursue excellence for the glory of God. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. put it this way:
“If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.”
Time for Preparation and Healing
Finally, while we prepare for the 2021-2022 academic year, make sure that rest and healing are part of your preparation. The last 18 months have been unlike anything we have ever experienced, and the COVID-19 pandemic affected us all. In our rest, let us give thanks to God for keeping us through such extraordinary times, and let us pray for healing for our families, the Houghton College community, our nation and the world.
Yours in His Excellence,
Wayne D. Lewis, Jr.
President, Houghton College