0 Houghton president emeritus Dan Chamberlain sitting at his desk.

Houghton Remembers President Emeritus Daniel R. Chamberlain

June 3, 2024

On May 31, 2024, Daniel R. Chamberlain, President Emeritus and one of Houghton’s most dedicated scholar-servants, passed away in Ocean Springs, Mississippi. He was 91. Chamberlain, who served as the institution’s president for three decades and built a remarkable foundation for Houghton of academic excellence, spiritual growth and commitment to service.

Celebrating a Dedicated Scholar-Servant

During his presidency from 1976 to 2006, Chamberlain spearheaded numerous enhancements to academic life and made significant improvements to the physical campus. He began his tenure by sharing these words:

It is our intention to build on the one true foundation, which is Christ Jesus, and by any standard, that is the ‘rock that is higher than I.’


Chamberlain’s unwavering dedication to serving the Kingdom of God and the greater world was evident in his leadership and the opportunities he provided for students.

Dr. Chamberlain’s leadership at Houghton was not only lengthy, but God-honoring, visionary and transformational. I am thankful for the opportunities I had to spend time with him during my visits to Brooksville, FL. From our time together I gained a better understanding of the history and context of the university I now serve, and an even deeper appreciation for who Dr. Chamberlain was as a person and the quality of leadership he provided for Houghton. Houghton is a better and stronger university because of his leadership.

Wayne D. Lewis, Jr., President of Houghton University


Under Chamberlain’s guidance, Houghton University—then Houghton College—introduced transformative programs including the first-year honors program in London, a study-abroad experience in Tanzania and a transformational redesign of the institution’s core curriculum. He also oversaw significant improvements to the physical campus, including the construction, renovation and relocation of various buildings.

Houghton president emeritus Dan Chamberlain receiving medallion at inauguration.
Houghton president emeritus Dan Chamberlain jumping out of pretend 100th anniversary cake for Houghton.

Among the Longest-Serving Presidents

Upon his retirement, Chamberlain held the distinction of being one of the longest-serving college and university presidents in the nation. Even after stepping down, he remained an active advocate for Houghton, leaving an indelible mark on the institution and its community.

“We grieve, along with the Chamberlain family and the Brooksville community, the passing of Dr. Daniel Chamberlain, one of the great statesmen of the Wesleyan Church and leaders of Christian higher education” said president emerita, Shirley A. Mullen ’76, who succeeded Chamberlain as president in 2006.

We in the Houghton University community have been the special beneficiaries of his Christian character, his professional expertise, his faithfulness and his passion to extend the national and global impact of this institution over a thirty-year season of its history.  We are grateful to God and to his family for Dr. Chamberlain and his irreplaceable role in the Houghton Story and in the Kingdom.

Shirley A. Mullen ’76


A celebration of Chamberlain’s contributions to the Houghton community are still in the planning stages, tentatively scheduled for the fall. A funeral service will be held Thursday, June 6, 2024, at 11 a.m. CDT, with viewing and visitation at 10 a.m. CDT at the Bradford-O’Keefe Funeral Home in Ocean Springs, Mississippi. The service will be live streamed via a link provided by the funeral home’s website.

View Chamberlain's Dedication Page