165th Commencement
May 13, 2017

165th Commencement<br />May 13, 2017

Hillsdale College celebrated its 165th Commencement Ceremony on Saturday, May 13, 2017, at 2:00 pm. Dr. Anthony Esolen, an internationally-known lecturer, translator, and writer, gave the commencement address to the Class of 2017.


Professor of English
Providence College

Anthony Esolen

Anthony Esolen

Anthony M. Esolen is professor of English at Providence College. He received his A.B. from Princeton University and his M.A. and Ph.D. in English from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. A senior editor for Touchstone: A Journal of Mere Christianity, he is a regular contributor to Crisis Magazine, Catholic World Report, Public Discourse, and Magnificat. He is the author of several books, including Ten Ways to Destroy the Imagination of Your Child and Out of the Ashes: Rebuilding American Culture, and the editor and translator of several more, including Lucretius’s De Rerum Natura and Dante’s Divine Comedy.

Hillsdale College

Larry Arnn

Larry P. Arnn

Larry P. Arnn is the twelfth president of Hillsdale College, where he is also a professor of politics and history. He received his B.A. from Arkansas State University and his M.A. and Ph.D. in Government from the Claremont Graduate School. He also studied at Worcester College, Oxford University, where he served as director of research for Sir Martin Gilbert, the official biographer of Winston Churchill. From 1985 to 2000, he served as president of the Claremont Institute for the Study of Statesmanship and Political Philosophy. He is the author of three books, including, most recently, Churchill’s Trial: Winston Churchill and the Salvation of Free Government.

2017 Senior Class President
Hillsdale College

Jacob Thackston

Jacob Thackston

Jacob Thackston was born and raised in Spokane, Washington, the oldest of five children. He will receive a bachelor of arts degree in philosophy, with a minor in politics, from Hillsdale College and continue on to Harvard Law School. While at Hillsdale, Jacob led a group dedicated to service in the community called “A Few Good Men.” He was active in student government and also a member of the Omicron Delta Kappa Leadership Honorary. Jacob intends to practice law at the civil appellate level and hopes to one day become a judge.

Academic Honors

Those wearing white stoles are honor students—graduating cum laude 3.4, magna cum laude 3.6, or summa cum laude 3.8 GPA. The valedictorian and salutatorian wear gold honor stoles. Honor cords worn by graduates signify membership in discipline-based organizations or academic honorary societies.

Top Academic Honors



Colleen Coleman


Rebekah Molloy

Rachel Molloy

Deborah Stevenson

Christian Wiese

Christopher Pudenz

Eric LaRose

Rebecca Viviano

Garrett Glassburn

Larissa Clark

Rachelle Ferguson

Honors Program Graduates

Matthew Bellinger

Benjamin Block

Elizabeth Brom

Noah Diekemper

Margaret Handel

Matthew Hoenig

Madeline Johnson

Imogen Kane

Marie Landskroener

Emily Lehman

Jennifer Matthes

Nathanael Meadowcroft

Jonathon Misiewicz

Shelby Ripley

Samuel Smartnick

Jacob Thackston

Luke Zahari

Choir singing

Alma Mater

Proudly we sing of college halls gracing a hilltop high
Proudly our tower and ivied walls point to an azure sky,
And may that spirit long remain, bringing distinction true,
Noble pride in our Hillsdale’s name endures ’neath the white and blue.

Here we for greater knowledge strive, here lasting friends acquire,
Here may we keep our dreams alive, as we to heights aspire,
Here may our youth a challenge meet, building our hopes anew,
Faith in life becomes complete ’neath banners of white and blue.

Words and melody by Bess Hagaman Tefft, Class of 1937
Harmonized by R. L. Bowers, former professor of music, Hillsdale College

Central Hall

Hillsdale College Mission Statement

Hillsdale College is an independent institution of higher learning founded in 1844 by men and women “grateful to God for the inestimable blessings” resulting from civil and religious liberty and “believing that the diffusion of learning is essential to the perpetuity of these blessings.” It pursues the stated object of the founders: “to furnish all persons who wish, irrespective of nation, color, or sex, a literary, scientific, [and] theological education” outstanding among American colleges “and to combine with this such moral and social instruction as will best develop the minds and improve the hearts of its pupils.” As a nonsectarian Christian institution, Hillsdale College maintains “by precept and example” the immemorial teachings and practices of the Christian faith.

The College also considers itself a trustee of our Western philosophical and theological inheritance tracing to Athens and Jerusalem, a heritage finding its clearest expression in the American experiment of self-government under law.

By training the young in the liberal arts, Hillsdale College prepares students to become leaders worthy of that legacy. By encouraging the scholarship of its faculty, it contributes to the preservation of that legacy for future generations. By publicly defending that legacy, it enlists the aid of other friends of free civilization and thus secures the conditions of its own survival and independence.

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