How Hillsdale Passes it Forward

Written by Emma Shea

Friends of the College, but strangers to you, will often introduce themselves simply because they see you wearing anything related to Hillsdale. The many outlets of the College have earned friends near and far, with enthusiastic conversations beginning with “I get Imprimis!” or “I love their online courses!”

These conversations not only help us feel more at home when we are traveling, but can also result in serendipitous blessings. A student recently told me how he and a classmate were in Mobridge, South Dakota, for a Hillsdale wedding and went out to eat at a local steak diner. A man asked him where he ran track at college. When the man found out, his eyes lit up. “I’ve never met a Hillsdale student before! You guys are going to save this country!” he exclaimed. Their conversation continued, and when the students later went to ask for their check, the waitress said the gentleman had paid for their meal. They thanked the gentleman, and he said, “If I can’t go and support the College in person, the least I can do is buy a decent dinner for its students.”

Any Hillsdale student is sure to tell you about the passerby, toll worker, waitress, or young couple that offers to buy you lunch and have a conversation. These strangers ask us how we know Hillsdale or tell us that they remember us from a CCA or a campus tour. They often share their personal reasons for loving the school.

Considering these copious interactions, we see it is not only alumni who are avid fans of our College, but also the College’s subscribers, readers, followers, and those who share our values. People don’t stand behind Hillsdale only because of our president and interesting CCAs. They stand behind the mission and the College’s pursuit of it. Today, more schools than not advertise high-sounding mission statements, but demonstrate no pursuit of the marketed excellence. They care for the appearance of virtue instead of the practice thereof. 

 I write this not only to emphasize how important it is to go to a college with a realistic and noble mission, but also to remind students how blessed we are to be here, receiving an education that will aid us for the rest of our lives. Not only are we prepared for future careers, but we learn how to comprehend the religious and philosophical questions that surround us in everyday decisions. We learn how to navigate the struggles of being human and how to deal with those struggles rationally. It’s especially important amidst exams, papers, and chaotic schedules to see the purpose of it all—that these days form us into the active citizens we will be, pursuing truth and beauty in our future communities and careers. 

Echoing the gratitude of the people mentioned above, may we live with conviction regarding the good and true, passing forward Hillsdale’s mission to future generations.

Emma Shea, ’22, studies biology and religion. She is from Middleville, Michigan, but plans on somehow living in every state with National Parks and herds of sheep/ cows. When she is not running late, she is scheming up road trips with friends or how to get into events for free. 


Published in October 2021