Updates on End-of-Year Celebrations

To:         Members of the Houghton College Community
From:    President Mullen
Re:        The Latest Updates on End-of-Year Celebrations

On March 13th, when we first made the decision to move to Houghton Online for the remainder of the semester, we announced that there would be updates during the first week in April on end-of-year events like Commencement and Baccalaureate, the Athletic Banquet, and the Faculty and Staff Recognition Dinner.  Little did we know then that, long before the first week in April, our choices about such matters would be, to some extent at least, made for us.

We are not free to hold gatherings of 50 people or more until well into May. This means, at least, that we will not be able to have any of these events as we have traditionally envisioned them.

While we certainly want to do all we can to support the nation’s efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19, we also refuse to have this virus take from us the opportunity to honor our seniors and to celebrate their accomplishments, to honor our athletes, to honor our faculty and staff who have given their lives to the service of Houghton students, and to honor our alumni from the Golden Highlander 50th Reunion Class of 1970.

At this point, we are approaching these events with two principles in mind:

  1. Assuming we can do so with the employees that we are allowed to have on campus at the time, we will plan to hold a virtual celebration of each event on the day currently scheduled.  This provides a symbolic placeholder—given the uncertainty of when we will be able to carry out our second principle.  We are currently working on each of these events and you will hear more shortly on plans for the virtual celebrations.
  2. As soon as we are able, we will plan to schedule new opportunities for honoring our Class of 2020, our Golden Highlander Class of 1970, our Senior Athletes, our Hall of Honor Athletes, and our Faculty and Staff retirees either at stand-alone events, or as part of other campus celebrations.

As soon as we have further details, we will let you know more about the virtual events.  Please note that the times will coincide with the timing of the original event.

We welcome your questions and thank you for your understanding as we seek to re-create these time-honored college celebrations and commemorations in this new world.  If you have questions, please contact the President’s Office at 585.567.9310 or email president@houghton.edu.

Sincerely,

Shirley Mullen
President