[Press Release] Houghton College Set to Inaugurate Sixth President

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Houghton College will host an inauguration celebration on Friday, October 1st at 10:00am at

the John & Charles Wesley Chapel, 1 Willard Ave., Houghton, NY, 14744 for the College’s sixth president, Dr. Wayne D. Lewis, Jr.


Houghton College, a nationally ranked Christian college of the liberal arts and sciences, is the best-priced Christian college in the nation. With an enrollment of nearly 1,000 students, Houghton has equipped graduates for lifelong success since 1883 through customizable programs offered in Houghton and Western New York, and online. The College offers more than 50 undergraduate in-person and online programs, including Equestrian

Management, Data Science, Engineering and Christian Ministries, as well as graduate programs in business, education and music.


Lewis will guide Houghton College’s ongoing mission to provide a high-quality Christian college education to students of all backgrounds through classroom locations in Houghton and Buffalo, N.Y., and online. His career demonstrates his commitment to being a champion for students and focusing on improving educational access, opportunities and experiences for students, including those who have historically been underserved. This passion closely mirrors the mission of Houghton College’s founder, Willard J. Houghton, who recognized the critical intersection of a life-bringing Christian faith and high-quality education that could alter the trajectory of a person’s life.


Board of Trustees Chair, John Lee, said, “The baton pass from President Shirley Mullen to President Wayne Lewis has been flawless. The Houghton community and Western New York have welcomed Wayne and his family with open arms. The complementary giftedness of Dr. Mullen and Dr. Lewis has been evident as I have had the opportunity to work alongside Dr. Lewis in his role as the 6th President in Houghton’s 138 year history. I have clearly seen why God brought Dr. Lewis to Houghton at this time and how his enthusiasm, energy, and new ideas will lead Houghton into the next chapter of its continuously unfolding and enduring mission of developing scholar-servants for a changing world.”


The event will feature a performance by the Houghton College Choir and Chamber Ensemble, investiture ceremony and presentation of the presidential medallion and inaugural address by the new college president.


President Lewis said, “Houghton College has been widely recognized and continually affirmed as one of the finest Christian colleges in the nation, but the best is yet to come. Houghton’s next chapter will be one of growth, wider reach and greater impact than the College has ever experienced. Daily, I see evidence of God’s hand on Houghton. Whether on the Allegany County residential campus, through our online programs, or in the heart of Buffalo, God is using Houghton College to bring about transformational change in the lives of our students and their families, and through the impact our students and graduates

have in their communities, Western New York, and around the world. In Western New York especially, Houghton’s impact has been undeniably significant and is increasing in healthcare, business, education, the arts, and data science. I am particularly excited about our growing footprint and impact on the historic East Side of Buffalo, where we are working should-to-shoulder with residents and community leaders to address long standing disparities in education and career opportunities.”

With 20 years of experience in education, higher education leadership is a calling for Lewis. Before becoming Inaugural Dean of the School of Education at Belmont University, Lewis served as the Commissioner of Education for the Commonwealth of Kentucky, overseeing an agency with over 1,100 employees and a $5 billion annual budget while also a faculty member at the University of Kentucky. Through these experiences, Lewis led the expansion of early postsecondary opportunities for high school students, launched Go Teach KY to increase and diversify the public school teacher workforce, led doctoral programs delivered through hybrid and fully online formats, supervised over 10 successful doctoral dissertations and over 15 successful master’s and education specialist degree projects, and served as the founding faculty director of the University of Kentucky’s Black and Latino Male Student Success Initiative.

President Emerita Shirley A. Mullen said, “We look forward to seeing the ways in which Dr. Lewis’s particular experiences and preparation will shape this next chapter in Houghton’s long and storied past.We look forward to celebrating with him on October 1.”


Event Details:

Who: Dr. Wayne D. Lewis, Jr. becomes sixth president of Houghton College

What: Inauguration celebration to take place during Purple & Gold Homecoming Weekend (virtual viewing for public, members of the media are invited to attend)

Where: John & Charles Wesley Chapel, 1 Willard Ave., Houghton, NY, 14744

When: Friday, October 1 at 10:00am

Parking: Available next to the chapel. Please see the campus map attached.

 

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