0 Houghton alumni Stephanie and David Bruno with their child standing as they are presented with an alumni award by President Lewis.

David and Stephanie Bruno Receive Fearless Award

October 11, 2023

Fearlessness takes many forms. It can be bold, loud and public. It can be quiet, personal, and even private. Throughout generations, thousands of Houghton alumni have lived out everyday fearlessness by expressing supreme confidence in the power of God to overcome challenges and adversity. To choose one story out of thousands is to acknowledge and see so many of our alumni who daily choose to live their lives as fearless followers of Jesus Christ.

The story of David and Stephanie Ford Bruno, both from the Houghton Class of 2015, is one such story of tenacious, confident fearlessness in the face of challenges and potential tragedy.

David graduated from Houghton with a degree in Communication, Stephanie with a degree in Inclusive Childhood Education. They made the most of their Houghton experiences, filling their time outside the classroom with work, volunteering, and worship. Today, Dave and Stephanie run High Ground Media, a communication and marketing consulting firm, while raising their three young children. Dave also shares his gifts as a director of communication with both Kingdom Bound Festival and Vox Church.

As so many Christ-followers know, it is easy to live out our beliefs when things are going well. It is far easier to display the fruit of the Spirit, and to confidently rely on God when we are on the mountaintop, instead of in the valley. Dave and Stephanie found themselves in the Valley when, early in the second trimester, their third child was diagnosed with trisomy-21 after a routine blood test. More commonly known as Downs Syndrome, they were informed the medical condition of the child Stephanie was carrying came with less than a 50% chance of surviving to term.

The Brunos faced repeated pressures from medical professionals to terminate the life of their precious child before birth, directly in conflict with their long-standing, firmly-held belief in the sanctity of all human life. Representative of a great unknown number of other Houghton alumni who faced and made the same choice, Dave and Stephanie never waivered in their commitment to carrying their child to term And in August of 2022, they welcomed their son, Joshua Luke, into the world. Joshua weighed less than 5 pounds and spent a month in neonatal intensive care before coming home to join his family.

Parenting itself, for followers of Jesus, is a fearless act of faith in the One who created us and our children. Parenting a child with the unknowns of a medical condition requires a moment-by-moment reliance upon a Father who loves us and is ever-present. Dave and Stephanie Bruno, walking this journey with their son, clearly represent to us what it means to live out everyday fearlessness as a follower of Jesus. They show us the fruit the Spirit has grown in their lives and in their words and actions express their confidence in the power of God to overcome adversity.

Like the Brunos, Houghton University believes firmly in the sanctity of human life, and that is clearly evident on this campus. We believe that life is a gift from God and must always be regarded as sacred.

It is privilege to present to David and Stephanie Ford Bruno, in honor of their fearless faith and in honor of the fearless faith of parents just like them, with Houghton University’s 2023 Fearless Award.