Name Change at Houghton

Houghton College now is Houghton University.

“This is an important moment in the history of our institution,” according to Houghton President Wayne D. Lewis, Jr., in announcing today approval of a charter and name change by the New York State Board of Regents.

“Throughout our history – whether Houghton Seminary at our founding by The Wesleyan Church (then Wesleyan Methodist Connection), Houghton College most recently or Houghton University as of today – our focus and commitment as a Christ-centered institution in the Wesleyan tradition that intentionally integrates our Christian faith with academic excellence has never wavered,” he said.

“That commitment today is as strong as ever,” Lewis noted. “With this transition, we move courageously and prayerfully into Houghton’s next chapter of service, innovation and excellence.”

The educational institution started in 1883 as a seminary (high school). Coeducational from its founding, Houghton operated as a secondary school for its first 15 years.

The former college received its provisional charter from New York State in 1923 and awarded its first 19 baccalaureate degrees two years later. A permanent charter was granted in 1927, with accreditation by the Middle States Association of Schools and Colleges in 1935.

Lewis says the name change doesn’t reflect any variaitons in the institution’s vision, mission or priorities but, rather “aligns with the Houghton of today.”

This is manifested, he said, with “a rigorous liberal arts and sciences foundation of coursework provided across Houghton’s areas of study. We continue to offer degrees in the liberal arts and sciences, but additionally, for some time, Houghton has also offered undergraduate degree programs outside of the liberal arts and sciences, including but not limited to programs in teacher education, business, and sport, recreation and wellness management.

“Additionally, building on our liberal arts and sciences foundation, Houghton now offers respected graduate degree programs in music, business, and education,” he notes.

“Houghton continues to improve educational access,” Lewis also said, through a recent tuition reset, which made it the best-priced Christian college in the nation, according to the most recent tuition survey by the Council of Christian Colleges & Universities; college courses offered fully online and in Buffalo; and early college courses for high school students.

“This change in Houghton’s status elevates the institution’s efforts to improve access, particularly for international students,” the university president said. “In addition, Houghton will expand its offerings on the historically underserved East Side of Buffalo this fall with new hybrid courses that will allow Houghton Buffalo students access to residential campus bachelor’s degrees in business, psychology or criminal justice.”

Further information in regard to the name change is available at, with the institution’s history at

Houghton students, alumni and friends will gather virtually to celebrate this new university status on Tuesday, July 19, the 197th birthday of the institution’s founder, Willard J. Houghton, with further details to be posted at