Unified by Truth
Written by Josh Bailey
“Do you have any older siblings who went to Hillsdale?”
I cannot tell you how many times people have asked me that question. In fact, all of my older siblings went to very different schools. I’m always surprised and slightly perplexed as to why so many students continue a family legacy. After talking with a few current students who had siblings also attend Hillsdale, some of the mystery was revealed.
First, I talked with sophomore Rosemary Pynes from Lincoln, Nebraska. Rosemary has two older siblings who graduated from Hillsdale and, coincidentally, a younger brother who recently visited campus and is considering attending.
I asked Rosemary how having siblings at Hillsdale impacted her decision while looking for schools.
“It helped in picturing what college would be like,” she said, “but I just thought that everywhere was like Hillsdale. After visiting other places, though, I realized how unique Hillsdale was.”
Not all of Rosemary’s preconceptions of Hillsdale from her siblings were positive.
“My siblings were both history majors, so I got a very ‘history’ perspective of Hillsdale,” she said. Explaining this more, she described how her sister would tell her about the long history papers she had to write. As a result, Rosemary questioned whether the College was very strong in science. She is currently a biochemistry major.
As for her younger brother and his concerns in following in his older siblings’ footsteps, she said he’s apprehensive.
“He sees all of us as so different that he doesn’t know if it would be a good fit for him. He hasn’t come to realize that it could be a good fit for many different people.”
Marcus is a sophomore economics and math double major from Bay City, Michigan. His older brother attended Hillsdale, and his younger brother was visiting, so I decided to get the brothers’ input.
“I was worried about being different than my brother and not doing as well here,” Marcus said. However, his older brother’s love for the College impacted his decision: “It made me a lot more confident that I wanted to go here.”
Christopher, Marcus’s younger brother who is a junior in high school, agreed with this sentiment. “I would say the same thing. I know I am different from my brothers, but their positive experience has also made me more confident that I want to go here.”
Marcus admitted that his parents also influenced his decision making. “They would have supported me elsewhere, but they really trusted the school, which also gave me confidence.”
Finally, I spoke with freshman Timothy Green, who has two older sisters who are alumni and two brothers who currently attend Hillsdale. Timothy’s story is different than many others in that he was the first of his siblings with a desire to attend Hillsdale.
“When I first visited with my oldest sister,” he explained, “none of the others wanted to come.” And yet, Timothy pointed out, “Hillsdale always impressed me the most.” This impression only grew during his siblings’ time at Hillsdale.
“I loved how much my sisters were growing and changing. I could tell that they were smarter and better people every time they came home.” He added, “All their friends were very smart and wise and friendly, and I wanted to be that kind of person.”
Despite his ongoing interest, Timothy applied to multiple schools to consider all his options. However, he admitted, “The people and mission eventually drew me back.”
Although Rosemary, Marcus, and Timothy come from different family backgrounds and situations, they all came to realize that Hillsdale is not a formula for one specific individual, but a building block for those from all disciplines who are unified by a commitment to pursuing Truth.
Josh Bailey, ’19, is a marketing major from the back roads of Iowa. A volunteer program leader, intramural athlete, and dedicated student, he can usually be found either busy with a project, sweating in the gym or buried in a book in the corner of the library. In his free time he enjoys adventurous shenanigans with the guys in his dorm.