Huntington University at 125 years will be the theme of Heritage Days 2022. The rich history of Huntington’s local university and its contributions to the area and the world will be celebrated Wednesday, June 15 to Sunday, June 19 throughout the community. Huntington University is also the sponsor of Heritage Days 2022.
Huntington University, 2303 College Ave., had its beginning as Central College. The college began with the dedication of one building on Sept. 21, 1897. That building, known then as the Administration Building, still stands, and today is known as Becker Hall. Classes began at the college the next day. Central College became Huntington College in 1917 and Huntington University in 2005 with the first graduating class under that name being 2006.
The first year at Central College 85 students would enroll for classes. By the fall of 1900, 102 were enrolled. There were no graduates the first year and three students graduated in 1899. Dr. Charles Kiracofe, an ordained United Brethren minister, was the college president for the first five years. Today the fall enrollment at Huntington University for 2021 was 1,363 and Dr. Sherilyn Emberton has been the president since 2013. Locations include the Huntington campus, Carew Street in Fort Wayne and Peoria, Arizona.
The cornerstone of the original Administration Building was laid August 18, 1896 by Bishop Milton Wright, a United Brethren minister and the father of Wilbur and Orville Wright, credited with the design and build of the world’s first viable flying machine. The building was complete in June 1897 and the dedication took place on Sept. 21, 1897.
Huntington University is among the top Indiana Christian liberal arts colleges, with a strong historic and ongoing relationship with the Church of the United Brethren in Christ. As explained in the mission statement, “With the conviction that all truth is God’s truth, the University exists to carry out the mission of Christ in higher education. Through a curriculum of demonstrated academic excellence, students are educated in the liberal arts and their chosen disciplines, always seeking to examine the relationship between the disciplines and God’s revelation in Jesus Christ.”
The university is a private, four-year, Christ-centered institution committed to developing the “whole person” by assisting students to understand all areas of human knowledge from the perspective of a Christian worldview. Each year, Huntington sends out hundreds of men and women with associate, bachelors, masters and doctoral degrees “to impact their world for Christ.”
The Heritage Days parade will celebrate Huntington University Saturday, June 18 beginning at 10 a.m. Huntington University’s 125 year history can be carried through on parade entries in the form of representations of the events that took place or individuals who have contributed to Huntington University over the years.
The celebration for HU continues with activities that will be a part of this year’s Heritage Days festivities including the traditional Chief of the Flint Springs Tribe breakfast Thursday morning and the annual Rotary Strawberry Feed on Thursday evening. A car, truck, bike and motorcycle show will take place on Friday evening in downtown Huntington.
Saturday afternoon following the parade will bring the Fun Zone, full of children’s activities, which will include bounce houses, free pony rides, a petting zoo, and more. A car show and hot air balloon festival at Huntington North High School will begin in the afternoon on Saturday, and a balloon glow will take place on Saturday evening.
JeFFFest will take place on Sunday evening, June 19, on East Franklin Street across from the Courthouse completing the Heritage Days festivities.
Poor Jack Amusements will provide the midway and carnival rides for 2022. Rides and activities will be located in the Cherry Street area from Wednesday, June 15 through Sunday, June 19. Streets involved with the carnival will close on Monday, June 13 at 3 p.m. to allow for set-up.
Heritage Days are coordinated by a Steering Committee of the Huntington County Chamber of Commerce. For more information contact the Chamber at 356-5300 or visit the website at huntington-chamber.com