Houghton College Celebrates First Virtual Homecoming

Houghton College invited alumni from around the world to join them for a wide array of virtual activities throughout the 2020 Homecoming and Family Weekend on Friday, October 2 and Saturday October 3.

The weekend kicked off with the annual Alumni Award Ceremony during Friday morning’s Legacy Chapel service. The event honored the work and dedication of Houghton alumni from around the world, including: Kim (Kerr ’91) Pegula, recipient of the Willard J. Houghton Medal for her work in the revitalization of Buffalo and her impact on her alma mater; Drs. Jonathan and Lois (Morgan) Sastic, Class of 1975, recipients of Alumni of the Year, for their work with Oneonta Surgical Associates and in medical missions; brothers Mark Moyer ’84 and Dr. Eric Moyer ’85, recipients of Distinguished Achievement, for their work in the fields of pharmaceutical research and development and polymer chemistry, respectively; Dr. Sydnie Cunningham ’13, recipient of Young Alumna of the Year, for her work with the U.S. military in the field of Industrial and Organizational Psychology; Steven and Karen (Greer) Lynip, Class of 1965, recipients of the Christian Service Award, for their lifetime ministry with SIL in the Philippines; and Debra (McKay ’76) Canfield and Kevin Knowlton ’79, recipients of the Alumni Appreciation Award, for their leadership as co-chairs of IMPACT: The Campaign for Greater Houghton which was successfully completed on May 31, 2020.

The Greatbatch School of Music’s Homecoming Collage concert took place on Friday night, featuring new and recent performances by Houghton students and alumni. Other Friday events included the opening of the art show Recollective, an art discussion panel, a panel discussion with President Shirley Mullen and the start of the Highlander Virtual 5K.

Saturday’s virtual content included a gathering for Highlander Athletics’ alumni and gatherings for the 5-year reunion classes, including 1985, 1990, 1995, 2000, 2005, 2010 and 2015. The afternoon virtual Hands on Houghton Festival provided a LEGO competition to build historic Fancher Hall, a brief rope tying lesson by Professor Laura Alexeichik Thayer ’01, a short birding experience with Professor Eli Knapp ‘00, and an introduction to Environmental Art with Professor Aaron Harrison ’01. The evening concluded with a round table discussion from the Mosaic Center on matters of diversity and the traditional student variety show, SPOT.

Virtual events remain accessible to alumni and friends who were unable to attend during the Homecoming and Family Weekend through the College’s social media channels, including Facebook and YouTube.