Access and Affordability, Stories of Impact

Grace Walker

Walking an unfamiliar road isn’t a problem for Grace Walker ’18, an equestrian performance and business administration double major with a concentration in marketing. Walker is not only a full-time student she is also a young entrepreneur with her own equine riding/jumping/dressage business, G Walker Dressage.

Walker journeyed across the country from southern California to study at Houghton, and it was not until she rode and trained under equestrian director Jo-Anne Young ’69 that she began to consider integrating her passion for equine dressage with the formation of her own small business.

Walker’s faith is the central component of her goals as she seeks to be an example of a Christ-follower in a profession and industry where Christianity is uncommon. Walker remarks: “I want to live out a life that portrays [giving] all glory to God in all of my accomplishments as well as grace in my failures.”

Access and Affordability, Stories of Impact

Stephanie McMahon

As a self-proclaimed planner, Stephanie McMahon ’19 likes to see details sketched out. During her time at Houghton as a biology major with a chemistry minor, she has witnessed God’s gentle guidance down unfamiliar avenues, shaping and molding her life and calling for His purposes.

McMahon came to Houghton eager to pursue a field of study that she was passionate about—as well as participate in a sport that was dear to her—in an environment that encouraged Christ-centered growth. When, in a pivotal moment, she questioned her ability to balance her major and her place on the basketball team, conversations with her coaches Alicia (Campbell ’01) Mucher and Raegan Ryan, as well as support from chemistry professor Dr. Karen (Reese ’93) Torraca, encouraged her to stay steadfast and keep pursuing both. “It was in that moment I learned that I didn’t have to do everything on my own or have it all together all the time.”


Message from the President

In one word, that is the timeless mission of Houghton College. We seek to facilitate, in the words of Webster’s, the “force of impression of one thing on another.” First, we invite the deep imprint of a transformational education on the intellectual, spiritual, social and personal development of aspiring men and women. Second, we connect these individuals with opportunities to have a compelling effect on their families, their churches, their professions, their culture and their world. This is what Houghton has been doing since Willard J. Houghton founded the institution in 1883.

It is not just any kind of impact. Houghton’s impact is toward enlarging the true, the good and the beautiful in every individual and in every situation of our world. In the language of St. Paul and Augustine, it is about linking our deepest longings, our most energetic pursuits with those things that are most worthy of our attention. It is about seeing the world as God sees it—celebrating its creation and pursuing its redemption—in the spirit of our Lord Jesus Christ.

It is not just impact that is selective or high-profile. Houghton is about developing the God-given potential of every student who comes to us—not just the students who will make the Dean’s list. Only God knows what he can do with the gifts of someone who makes him or herself fully available to his purposes. Houghton is about celebrating the effect of daily creative and passionate faithfulness wherever that is to be found—both in the places that others notice and that draw public acclaim and in those places that are known only to God.

We invite you to enjoy the stories of impact that we have gathered together in this issue of Houghton and to join us in looking forward expectantly to all that is yet to come for this institution of “God’s own planting” as He continues through the Campaign for Greater Houghton to “raise up friends to perpetuate it for the good of the world.”


Shirley A. Mullen, Class of 1976