Mrs. Dorothy Deemer Houghton was born at Red Oak, Iowa, March 11, 1890. she graduated from Wellesley College in 1912. Mrs. Houghton served as president of the General Federation of Women's Clubs from 1950-52, was appointed by President Eisenhower as deputy director of the International Cooperation Administration from 1953-55. Mrs. Houghton received Iowa's Most Distinguished Mother of the Year. Mrs. Houghton holds honorary degrees from four American universities an has been decorated by three foreign nations. She is honorary president for life of the U. S. Electoral College and has served as president of the National Safety Council. She represented the United States as an alternate delegate to the Intergovernmental Committee on European Migration in nine sessions at Geneva and Venice. The last Mr. Hiram Houghton was president of the Houghton State Bank of Red Oak, Iowa. Three of the four Houghton children hold degrees from the University of Iowa. Her Distinguished Service Award Citation reads:
When the definitive story of this State is told, it will be written that over a course of decades in the 20th century, there was a woman in whom the fires of purpose and of zeal burned brilliantly. It will be noted that the flame of her endeavors illuminated all of Iowa, spread outward across the nation, and leapt oceans to shine in far countries of the world.
Dorothy Deemer Houghton has given her life to service, including a dozen years as a regent of the institutions of higher learning in Iowa. Drawing upon some infinite well of energy and zest and human affection, she has been organizer and inspirator to legions, and proud servant of presidents and monarchs.
In the beginning, she raised high her personal standard of devotion in her service; to her family, her Club, the Federation of Clubs; or to the regency, or the national committee, or the international commission, or the United Nations, or any of the myriad causes she has served. She has been honored by colleges and universities, and decorated by foreign states. She is respected and admired by countless numbers whose lives have been touched by the force of her persuasion.
When the definitive story of this State is told, it well may be recorded that after the Fates had fashioned Dorothy Houghton, they lost the pattern for that special breed.
This University if proud to acknowledge the leadership of her example with this Distinguished Service Award.