We love Houghton College – Reflections on completing my term as trustee

JoAnne Jones with her Grandma and parents at her Houghton graduation
JoAnne Jones with her Grandma and parents at her Houghton graduation

Houghton is special

JoAnne and I returned yesterday from the fall trustee board meeting at Houghton College.   I have had the wonderful privilege of serving the Central New York District of the Wesleyan Church as district representative on that board for the last six years.   Even though the decisions to be made have occasionally been difficult, I have relished this opportunity and served with great joy.   The reason I am no longer serving is that when I semi-retired, I moved out of the district from which I was a representative.   I thank District Superintendent, Wayne Wager, and the DBA for the opportunity to serve.

As I was driving home yesterday, I was reflecting on the reasons why I have so much enjoyed serving in this capacity.  It was fulfilling, stimulating and exciting.  I will miss it greatly.   But why is Houghton so special?

Houghton has a transformative vision

Houghton has a vision, not just for education, but for the maturation and transformation of the lives of students.  This is something I strongly believe in.  So much of American higher education has abdicated its responsibility for character formation and settled only for increasing knowledge and technical prowess.   That is a badly flawed concept.   The result of it has been an atmosphere on many secular campuses that actually contributes to moral turpitude.   In contrast, the evidence of Houghton alumni shows that Houghton grads have a highly developed character for service, leadership and faith. You can check out the mission statement at http://www.houghton.edu/about-us/.

Houghton practices excellence

Houghton is a place of excellence.   From musical performances to scholarly presentations, from board business procedures to landscaping the already beautiful campus, the Houghton way is excellence.   This is why Houghton is in the top tier of liberal arts colleges in the nation and is the highest ranked Christian college in the Northeast.  http://www.houghton.edu/about-us/national-recognition/.   Because of this, Houghton is well recognized by graduate schools.  I can be proud to be associated with Houghton.

Houghton is a place to meet leaders

It has been a stimulating opportunity personally to serve among so many great leaders.   In the course of my six years, I have come to know denominational leaders, college leaders, businessmen, prominent lawyers and doctors, persons of wealth and expertise in various fields.  Our college president, Dr. Shirley Mullen, was recently recognized on the cover of Christianity Today.      http://www.houghton.edu/news-media/recent-news/houghton-president-shirley-mullen-named-one-of-christianity-todays-top-50-women-you-should-know/162/.   This has been growth-producing for me and a very helpful networking experience as well.   I have also gotten to know Harriet Olsen, the president of United Methodist Women, with whom I have had the distinct privilege of working on the Academic committee for these six years.  But this idea that the company we keep either strengthens us or drags us down, is a principle of life too.  When we seek out company or have opportunity to interact with people of greater experience, wisdom, expertise or character maturity than ourselves, it will raise us up.    I have experienced that in this season of service at Houghton.

We highly recommend Houghton

And, by the way, if you know a good student looking for a great college, do them a life-time favor and recommend they check out Houghton.  http://www.houghton.edu/

 

 

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