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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.”