Access and Affordability, Stories of Impact

Donor Impact – Jeffrey Osgood ’79

It was mother’s love that led Joan Osgood to invest in Houghton. She wanted a place where her second son, Jeffrey ’79, would thrive in his training in the sciences. When Jeffrey chose Houghton because of the welcoming, friendly atmosphere, she realized he was joining a community like no other. From students who introduced themselves and welcomed him to professors who supported him at every stage, Joan was amazed at Jeffrey’s transformation at Houghton.

She recalls an episode that was especially poignant. Jeffrey and the entire physics department stayed with the Osgood family while attending an exhibition in New York City. Although Joan had prepared bedrooms for the two faculty members, they insisted on sleeping on the family room floor, sharing in the experience with the students. Their humility and desire to identify with the students astounded her. Osgood reflects, “There is no greater impact than the example of someone’s life—a Christian life—truly lived out in small things.”

When Jeffrey passed away at the age of 27 from cancer, Joan and her late husband Donald Osgood ’52 wanted to honor him in a tangible way. They decided the most effective way was to give to the school where Jeffrey had had so many wonderful experiences. The couple established the Jeffrey Osgood Memorial Scholarship in 1987 to provide funding for students like Jeffrey who were majoring in math or science. They wanted other students to have the kind of rich and empowering educational experience Jeffrey had had—an education that deepened his faith and prepared him for advanced study and a career in the sciences.

For Joan, investing in the education of students is not only a memorial to a son profoundly transformed by Houghton but also a perpetual gift to others who, like Jeffrey, will be impacted for years to come by the dedication and commitment of the Houghton community.

Access and Affordability

The Attainable Dream

Growing up in Sri Lanka, I never imagined attending a four-year college. The cost made it an unattainable dream. When God opened my eyes to the possibility of attending college, I had no idea how my family would afford it. My financial situation would never have allowed me to pursue such a thing. Houghton College offered me a generous financial aid package, turning my dream into a reality. Both the Admission Office and the Student Financial Services Office worked out various plans and scholarships that changed my entire situation, making a college education possible.

During my time at Houghton, I have grown in my understanding of God and His grand purpose for my life. My preconceived notions of what I wanted are being challenged as I come to understand more about what God wants for me. God has used my peers and professors to sharpen and challenge me greatly. At Houghton, I have had the distinct pleasure of making friends from all over the world and have studied under phenomenal professors who have stretched me beyond my comfort zone.

I am currently studying Music and Theology. My desire is to take the Word of God to people and places where traditional church ministries cannot go. I seek to reach these people using music as a conversation starter. By studying both Music and Theology, I strive to become a better musician while learning more about God’s Word and how to teach it to others.

Access and Affordability, Stories of Impact

Daniel Bussey

Daniel Bussey ’20 is at home on the stage, comfortable in his own skin, even as he sings his heart out. When it came time to apply to colleges, he knew he wanted a Christian environment in which to learn, practice and thrive. Bussey is now entering his sophomore year, studying vocal performance with the plan of a professional career in the performing arts.

This past spring, Bussey was the only first-year student in Houghton’s production of I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change, which allowed him to combine two of his loves: singing and acting. He credits Amanda (Young ’01) Cox, instructor of voice and director of Houghton Lyric Theatre, for having a significant impact on his life at Houghton. According to Daniel, “She encourages me to keep my faith first and do everything to the glory of God.”

Bussey hopes to pursue a career in musical theater and remains committed to serving as “an instrument of God’s love while using my gifts to impact the lives of the audience members.”

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.”