Imagine if your drive home was over 6,ooo miles. That’s a trip to London and back or a one-way ticket to Beijing. Now picture yourself trekking that far on horseback. Add the brutality of a winter in the Midwest, and you have a glimpse into what a man named Ransom Dunn did for Hillsdale College in the 1850s.
Sounds like some kind of fairy tale or urban legend, right? Well, call Disney, ’cause this blog post is based on a true story. Dunn, a wise professor and avid supporter of Hillsdale College, traveled through the states of Wisconsin and Minnesota for two years to raise funds for the school when times got tough. Without his dedication, the ‘Dale could have bitten the dust during the Civil War like 80 percent of colleges existing at the time.
Maintaining an institution is, like, really expensive. From its very beginning, Hillsdale has been fiercely dedicated to independence and to the wellbeing of students learning here. Financially, this means keeping the government’s hand out of our tuition bills. It also means a lot of generosity from selfless donors. Just how much do these Hillsdale heroes invest in our education? Nearly two-thirds of each student’s actual cost of attendance. $25.2 million for this academic year alone.
But it’s not all about money. With Thanksgiving coming up, it’s time for an extra call to gratitude in all aspects of our lives. Here are just a few things to be grateful for this week:
1. Your Favorite Professors
Ever heard of the term ‘endowed chair’? We hadn’t either. On Wednesday, the 1844 Society will explain how it’s possible for us to support as many distinguished professors as we do. One of the best feelings as a student is sitting in a lecture that genuinely keeps you engaged for the full hour. That feeling isn’t hard to come by here, and we’re lucky.
2. Artistic Peers
Thursday is Day of Thanks, one of our favorite events of the year. Students will be given the chance to write free thank-you cards to donors, parents, teachers, coaches, and friends — anyone who makes your life brighter & your education possible. The best part about these cards? Students and faculty of the college designed all of them. Give these creative geniuses a shoutout next time you see them on campus, because they’re giving Hallmark a run for their money.
3. Good Eats
In celebration of our students, our donors, and Hillsdale in general, Bon Appetit will be serving a special meal in the Searle Center this Thursday night. Doors open at 5:45, and plates are served starting at 6:30. For just a normal swipe off your meal plan, you can feast on a deluxe spread of Thanksgiving grub. Don’t be scared by the fanciness — casual dress code is more than welcome. In fact, elastic waistbands are encouraged, because you’ll be stuffed by the end of your meal. Give thanks for the simple blessing of food on your plate.
4. Warmth on Freezing Mornings
If Hillsdale were to rely on funds raised from students’ tuition payments alone, the college would have to turn off its lights, heating, and just about everything else on November 29 of the academic year. We’d all have frostbite! Thankfully, our union, library, and other buildings stay toasty during cold winter months.
5. Super Staff
Last week, we mentioned how grateful we are for Bon Appetit. The people who work at Hillsdale truly do go above & beyond to make life better for students. Have you ever stopped to have a conversation with the people who sit at the desk in the Sports Complex? Kindest souls you’ll meet. The security crew who stays up later than all of us to patrol campus and keep us safe from clowns? Thank them too. All of our lives at Hillsdale would be radically different without our awesome staff.
6. Friends & Freedom
In case you haven’t noticed, freedom is kind of Hillsdale’s mantra. We are lucky to pursue truth and #pursuefun with some of the best people around, all while celebrating our liberties as individuals. This week is all about thanking the selfless people who have shaped our time at Hillsdale, but it’s also a time to reflect on some of life’s most fundamental blessings.