Since its founding in 1844, Hillsdale College has been guided by two principles: academic excellence and institutional independence. As one of the top 100 liberal arts colleges in America, according to U.S. News & World Report’s Best Colleges 2009, the College is respected for its rigorous, traditional core curriculum and independent principles, which include never accepting federal or state taxpayer funding.
Students are encouraged to develop a broad perspective through classroom activities, intramural sports, volunteerism, and off-campus opportunities. Through its educational partnerships and extension facilities, Hillsdale College provides premier scholastic opportunities overseas and professional internships that enable students to earn credits while experiencing different cultures and developing real-life skills.
In November 2008, the College announced that it would establish roots in the nation’s capitol with the launch of the Allan P. Kirby, Jr. Center for Constitutional Studies and Citizenship in Washington, D.C. The Center will provide teaching to Hillsdale College students who are in Washington serving internships or fellowships, as well as to the general public. The Center will also host seminars on American history, political science, economics, literature, and other topics of interest to citizens in the area.
Temporarily located on G Street, the Center will move into its permanent location at 227 Massachusetts Ave. in September 2010. Currently, the 16,000-square-foot facility is undergoing an extensive renovation to its interior and outdoor plaza.
Last October, Virginia L. Thomas, former Heritage Foundation executive and wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, joined the College as associate vice president for Washington operations. Thomas and David J. Bobb, director of the Allan P. Kirby, Jr. Center, are overseeing the development of Hillsdale’s Washington campus.
The Center will greatly benefit students participating in the Washington-Hillsdale Internship Program (WHIP), who experience Washington for a semester while serving internships in political offices, policy centers, and media outlets. During their internship, students will also take courses in American politics, public policy, American foreign policy, or national security, taught by adjunct professors at the new extension site.
Overseas, Hillsdale College has created educational partnerships that allow students to study advanced programs in Argentina, England, Germany, Scotland, or Spain. In these programs, foreign language students can put their advanced knowledge of French, German or Spanish to practical use and immerse themselves in another culture.
In Tours, France, Hillsdale students can earn Hillsdale College credits while taking courses at the Institut de Touraine, while students with a sufficient command of German can study literature at the Universität Saarbrücken in Germany.
In cooperation with the Center for Cross-Cultural Study, students with a knowledge of Spanish can take economics, education, history, literature or other special courses in Seville, Spain, while boarding with families or staying in small student residences throughout the city.
Students do not necessarily need to know a foreign language to study overseas through a Hillsdale College-affiliated program. Business students can gain valuable perspective while attending classes at Regent’s College in London, England. Through the Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies and the Oxford Study Abroad Program, qualified junior- or senior-level students can fully experience the academic and social programs at Oxford University for a semester.
Hillsdale College’s global reach allows students to experience studying in Washington, D.C. and overseas, but the school’s rural campus in southern Michigan offers students top-notch facilities to enhance their learning experience. Since 2000 Hillsdale has dedicated seven new buildings that offer the latest amenities and student-friendly environments, including the newly built Grewock Student Union, Strosacker Science Center and Moss Laboratory Wing, Howard Music Hall, and Lane Hall.
The Hillsdale campus is currently connected to Merit Network via a high-speed connection with Internet2 access. Grewock Student Union offers students wireless access throughout the building, and the Strosacker Science Center and Moss Laboratory Wing feature special research areas and computer facilities.
Kendall Hall includes special labs, observation rooms, and a library for the Psychology Department. Howard Music Hall contains the Conrad Recital Hall, McNamara Rehearsal Hall, a jazz studio, a percussion studio, and practice rooms.
In the future, Hillsdale College plans to build a new Intramural Building and Chapel/Performance Hall and add new facilities to the Mossey Library and Central Hall buildings.
Hillsdale College’s desire to build a better Hillsdale is not limited to its campus community. In December 2006, Dave Zenz, executive director of information technology at Hillsdale College, arranged a meeting with the City of Hillsdale, Hillsdale Board of Public Utilities, Hillsdale Community Library, Hillsdale County, Hillsdale County Intermediate School District (ISD), Hillsdale Community Health Center, Jackson Community College, and Merit Network to discuss the creation of a local IP network, which would then connect optically to Merit’s fiber backbone.
After reaching an agreement and establishing charter members for the community network in the spring of 2007, work began on the local IP network and for the 16-mile fiber build that will connect to Merit’s backbone network. At the end of October 2008, the local Hillsdale IP network was completed. Work is progressing on the fiber-optic build to Merit’s backbone, with collaboration from Jackson County ISD and Hillsdale County ISD. The entire network connection is likely to be completed by mid-to-late 2009.
The new Hillsdale community network will provide greater network service to the Hillsdale area and better connectivity for the community members.
When complete, Hillsdale College will be connected to Merit’s network and Internet2 by a 1 gigabit fiber connection.
With a 10-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio and an enrollment of 1,300 students, Hillsdale College is providing a liberal arts education with small class sizes and a focus on academic excellence. While most reached the school on foot or by horseback when it was established in 1844, Hillsdale College’s reach now extends to Washington, D.C. and around the globe. Students are encouraged to develop a broad perspective while attaining their collegiate goals and have access to the latest tools and facilities on Hillsdale’s modern campus.
Medal of Honor recipient Edward Rickenbacker once said, “The four cornerstones of character on which the structure of this nation was built are: Initiative, Imagination, Individuality and Independence.” Hillsdale College and its students have exemplified those four ideals, building an exceptional reputation in higher education and around the world.