The class of 2019 packed the Biermann Athletic Center Sunday alongside their parents, student peers, and college faculty for their formal welcome at Freshman Convocation.
Seniors Marie Wathen and Kyle Cooper joined College President Larry Arnn at the matriculation ceremony, bringing their four years of lessons at Hillsdale College to the students beginning their first.
Wathen spoke about her experiences with friendships at Hillsdale, and how they reflect a care for a higher good.
After a fall on slippery ice while walking to class landed her in a wheelchair last winter, Wathen said her friends helped without question.
“They became famous for kicking people off of the couches in the Heritage Room for me,” she said with a chuckle.
Wathen also emphasized the journey of higher education, reminding freshmen they signed up for a challenge and that the first paper is not reflective of the rest.
“As you begin your first year at Hillsdale, immerse yourself in this community, which will show you truth and beauty,” Wathen said.
Cooper shared his understanding of time management with the new students. As a member of the Hillsdale basketball team, he reminded freshmen that it’s important to stay focused on their goals throughout their college career.
“You’re either moving, or you’re falling behind. Learn to make time in a day to go to class, do your homework, call your parents,” Cooper said. “We are a very small college, as you probably know. A lot of the people here will become a second family.”
Arnn closed convocation with a reminder that while Hillsdale is a challenge, the difficult task of pursuing the higher good at this college is worth the effort.
“[Students] have this huge jigsaw puzzle, and they don’t know where any of the pieces go,” Arnn said. “It’s hard. You’ve got work.”