A Hillsdale College response team has been activated in order to monitor and respond to developments in the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) situation, and provide on- and off-campus resources to best support our students and community members who may be affected by the spread of COVID-19.
Here at Hillsdale College, we are working closely with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) and the Branch-Hillsdale-St. Joseph Community Health Agency to monitor COVID-19 developments in our region. Additionally, we are observing Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines and will communicate regularly with the Hillsdale College community via email and this webpage regarding this developing situation.
Wednesday, April 22, 2020
The following is a press release regarding the rescheduling of Hillsdale College’s 168th spring commencement.
Hillsdale, Mich. — Hillsdale College has rescheduled its 168th spring commencement for July 18, 2020. Hillsdale College President Larry P. Arnn formally invited all seniors graduating this semester to return to campus for a weekend celebration starting on Thursday, July 16, with a graduation ceremony on Saturday, July 18.
“We could not say goodbye to our graduating seniors without celebrating their accomplishments,” said Christopher VanOrman, Hillsdale College provost. “We look forward to having them return to us for a three-day-long celebration.”
Hillsdale College will offer a travel stipend to graduating seniors who return to campus for Commencement. Details on the weekend’s events and speakers will be announced in the upcoming weeks.
Admission to the event is by ticket only for graduates and their families, employees, and friends of the College. The College welcomes media coverage of commencement. Any media interested in attending must register in advance by contacting Emily Stack Davis at [email protected] or (517) 803-3745.
Tuesday, April 7, 2020 4:29 p.m.
The following message was sent to students, faculty, and staff from Hillsdale College President Larry P. Arnn
Dear students, faculty, and staff:
I write to announce that we will not be resuming classes in person this term nor during the summer. Classes will resume on the regular schedule in the fall. To say that I regret this decision does not do any justice to what I and others think.
The reasons for this decision are two: the governor of Michigan yesterday hinted that she would extend the lockdown until April 30. That is the day final exams are scheduled to begin. You do not want to be traveling, if you can travel, on the eve of those exams. Moreover, many states have already extended their lockdowns beyond April 30, which means that many students would not be able to come.
The second reason is larger and is characteristic of the mess we are in. We have been seeking urgently for the knowledge and the tools to manage the College fully under the threat of this virus. We cannot get them for some weeks. For example, we are pretty sure that we have a few cases of the virus among the staff and their families, but right now most of them exhibiting milder symptoms have not been tested. There are few testing kits. Also, we cannot yet test for the antibodies, which would reveal who has had the virus and might permit their free movement.
Finally we know now that the virus can be deadly for young people, almost certainly in low numbers, almost certainly not as deadly as it is to older people. No one knows why it is deadly to some young people or how many may be afflicted. It is known that the virus attacks the lungs in some cases with particular intensity, and those who have problems with their respiratory systems are vulnerable. Maybe that explains why some young people get into the peril of their lives. That is only maybe. If we knew, we could isolate people with those problems. That would be helpful.
I think it a shame that we do not have this information and these tools, whereas a few countries have had them all along. South Korea is a shining example. Also Taiwan. They were ready for this, and we in America were not, and so things have to stop. We have been resisting this disruption with all our might, and we will continue to do so. We cannot make our resistance successful in time to resume classes this term. Think of the crises in the past 175 years that the College has faced—wars, depressions, pandemics, financial panics (three in my term here alone)—without interruption of classes. As the College rose from those worse crises, so it will rise and promptly recover from this one.
We are planning to have commencement on May 9 as scheduled. Whether we can do that will depend upon events still unfolding. If we cannot do it then, we will schedule commencement for August 15, the week before school resumes. We will have dormitory space and food service for the returning seniors, and we intend to have four days to celebrate our common achievement and to do all the normal rituals plus some others. There will be a big party and senior dinners. Also a few lectures of the best kind we have around here. You should think right now about reserving the dates August 11-15 for coming back to campus. Employers will understand very well. If you meet resistance, we will help to persuade them.
But as I say, we have not abandoned May 9.
Right now there is only one way that we can make a special contribution to this crisis: we can remain colleagues, or to use a better word, friends. Our friendship consists in the work we do together, the knowledge we acquire, the love that drives us toward that lovely knowledge. It consists in the way we cultivate charity and good behavior among ourselves. These are the purposes of the College, and we have kept them up even through this disruption. We must continue that, right up to the moment when the crisis ends. This temporary online coursework is so good that only people like us, who experience the real thing at a high level, can tell the difference. We must continue to make the best of it. We must continue to stay in touch with each other as nearly as possible in the regular way.
God bless you, and be safe. Also work hard. Also be good.
Dr. Larry P. Arnn
PS: Student Affairs will be reaching out to you regarding your belongings and other details.
Friday, March 27, 2020 11:00 a.m.
Hillsdale College President Larry P. Arnn addresses students and parents regarding the College’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Monday, March 23, 2020 1:50 p.m.
The following message was sent to students from our Provost, Dr. Chris VanOrman.
Though we wish to have you back on campus as soon as possible, we must delay further at this time.
The College will not resume in-person classes until Monday, April 20. Students who elect to return to campus are welcome back on Sunday, April 19, assuming the activity suspension is not extended.
Assuming that Hillsdale College will resume again on that schedule, the goal is that Commencement will be held on Saturday, May 9, as planned.
For students who have already left campus without their belongings, based on Michigan Gov. Whitmer’s “Stay Home, Stay Safe” Executive Order (EO 2020-21),” we request that you not return to retrieve those items at this time.
Student Affairs will share further details with students later this afternoon regarding mail, packages, housing, student services, and other details. Students should look to their Hillsdale College email and SAB newsletter for updates.
Dr. Arnn asks me to say: “Be good, work hard, be tough, and take care of yourself.”
Friday, March 20, 2020 10:21 a.m.
Hillsdale College President Larry P. Arnn addresses students and parents regarding the start of online classes and the spirit of the College.
Thursday, March 19, 2020
Hillsdale College Professor Eric Hutchinson on Learning in Quarantine
“Learning in Quarantine,” in mereorthodoxy.com, E. J. Hutchinson, March 19, 2020
Friday, March 13, 2020 6:53 p.m.
Hillsdale College President Larry P. Arnn addresses students and parents regarding the COVID-19 outbreak.
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