Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)

Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)

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.

Monday, September 7, 2020

Thank you all for your diligence in following campus-wide guidelines implemented to slow the spread of COVID-19. Over the last two weeks of move-in, registration, and classes, you have demonstrated good judgment and respectful consideration for one another, the faculty and staff, and the local community. Thank you.

To date we have had very few cases of the virus, have managed them appropriately and safely, and are prepared to continue doing so as necessary. Of course, given what we know about the virus, it is almost certain that we will have more positive cases in the future. We will take care of one another. We will remain vigilant and protect those who are most vulnerable. We are well prepared to manage cases with quarantine, tracing, and treatment as they arise. You know of our plans.

As we move forward, these updated guidelines will help us to continue our essential work together:

  • Students need not wear masks as they move about campus. Masks shall be worn in the public areas of classroom buildings, faculty office buildings, and within the Knorr Dining Room until seated. Individual faculty members may request masks in their instructional spaces and offices.
  • On Wednesday, September 9th the Sports Complex will reopen to students, staff, and staff families. Due to the Governor’s order, masks are required while exercising in the Sports Complex.
    Continue diligence in physical and facial distancing, especially in close, indoor settings.
  • Monitor yourself for the onset of symptoms.
  • Practice sound hygiene habits including frequent handwashing.
  • Masks may be required for specific activities and events.
  • Outside visitors are required to wear masks on campus.
  • Daily temperature and health screenings are no longer required unless specified by the senior staff.

We will continue to isolate suspected and positive cases in order to limit the spread and protect the vulnerable. We will continue to review our precautionary measures throughout the semester and adjust them as prudence dictates.

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
Hillsdale College

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.”

Thank you,
Chris VanOrman

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, 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.

Questions or concerns? Reach out to our security, housing, and health representatives using the contact information below.


Joe Kellam
[email protected]


Carolyn Milligan
[email protected]


Brock Lutz
[email protected]

Health and Wellness Center Open; Availability Limited

The Ambler Health and Wellness Center is open Monday through Friday, 8:00 to 11:45 a.m. and 12:45 to 4:00 p.m.

The doctor is available on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Fridays from 8:00 to 10:00 a.m. and on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m.

The doctor’s in-office availability may change if the demands of his private practice dictate. Please call ahead if you have any flu-like symptoms, particularly a fever above 100.5°F, cough, and a sore throat.

The Center’s phone number is 517-607-4368.

If you have a health care emergency, call Brock Lutz’s cell phone at 216-789-9605.

If you have a health care or security emergency, call the Security Office cell phone at 517-398-1522; staff members are available 24/7.

Helpful Resources