When I think of the mission of Huntington University, I am reminded of two of the university’s founding fathers and the example that they set for generations of HU alumni.
Bishop Milton Wright was a strong defender of the conservative Christian faith, yet he was a vocal supporter of equal rights for women and a society unencumbered by class distinctions. A truly self-made scholar, he passed on his wisdom and encouraged his sons Wilbur and Orville to explore, invent and challenge conventional understanding.
Equally, President Charles Kiracofe brought his own passion for education to this institution. Kiracofe, a refugee from Confederate injustice, became a prominent scholar/preacher promoting higher education throughout the denomination and eventually assuming the presidency of two United Brethren colleges.
Their examples are reflected in the way HU educates “students broadly for a life of moral and spiritual integrity, personal and social responsibility, and a continued quest for wisdom.” The foundation laid by Wright and Kiracofe has prepared the way for many alumni to participate in “God honoring service,” including J. Edward Roush and E. Dewitt Baker.
Roush, class of 1942, became a lawyer and a U.S. representative who most notably was instrumental in the establishment of the 911 emergency telephone system. E. Dewitt Baker, class of 1940, was a missionary and educator who built schools in Sierra Leone and distinguished himself as a humble servant-president of HU. These are just two of the many alumni who combine their Christian faith with a quest for wisdom and a life of service.
Randy Neuman is the associate director of library services and the director of the United Brethren Historical Center at Huntington University.