More than 1,550 donors united to support Houghton College’s One Day Giving Challenge on April 28 by giving more than $800,000 to support student scholarships, capital projects, and more.

“This is a great day of celebration,” said Houghton College President Shirley Mullen. “It is an affirmation of the lifelong impact of a Houghton education. Graduates of all ages want to give back to the college that provided them the tools for a life of vocational effectiveness, personal flourishing, and service to others. It is an encouragement to current students, faculty, and staff, to be part of a vibrant and supportive community that extends around the world.”

The success of the day was largely the result of two matching lead gifts. The first was a dollar-for-dollar matching challenge gift up to $185,000 for gifts made to Houghton College’s Student Scholarship Fund. Houghton received an additional $190,000 for reaching a threshold of 1,500 donors during the 24-hour period.

“I am amazed and inspired by the extraordinary generosity of Houghton College’s alumni and friends, who came together from around the world to support the college and its mission to provide a Christ-centered education and to equip students to lead and labor as scholar servants,” said Karl Sisson, vice president for advancement and external relations. “The faithfulness and sacrifice of those who gave, shared, posted, called, and inspired is overwhelming–it’s a tremendous statement about who we are as a community and the things we value.”

A social media and website takeover accentuated the importance of the One Day Giving Challenge, reaching the extended Houghton community and demonstrating the value of supporting future Houghton graduates. Students shared their intended career plans, demonstrating the direct impact of donations. The college set up a Giving Central location in the campus center, making participation for on-campus individuals easy. The Houghton mascot was seen around campus, embodying the Highlander spirit, while dining services offered purple and gold ice cream in support of the college. Faculty and staff members joined in the effort, with 170 donating to the Challenge.

The Student Scholarship Fund currently enables students from 31 states and more than 37 countries attend Houghton College where more than 97 percent of Houghton students receive financial aid.