A free meal on campus is always an “unexpected party.”
Perhaps only at Hillsdale College, though, would students feast in honor of Bilbo and Frodo Baggins’ birthdays and call it “second breakfast,” which is exactly what happened in the Heritage Room at 11 a.m. on Tuesday.
“It’s a very Hillsdale thing— something unique to us,” Public Service Librarian Brenna Wade said. “Tolkien and Lewis are huge here.”
About 50 to 60 students and a few professors gathered for the “Hobbit Day” celebration, sitting around the room in smaller groups to bond over their love for “The Lord of the Rings” – and food.
In the tradition of hobbits, the library provided a feast. A long table in the center of the room held an array of scones, muffins, cheese and crackers, pretzels, grapes, and doughnut holes. Made available were coffee, tea, and hot cocoa as well. Freshman Nic Rowan said he was motivated to come by the food, but he is a true fan of “The Lord of the Rings.”
“I was in the ‘Lord of the Rings’ club at my high school,” he said, adding that he would appreciate a “Riders of Rohan” group on campus.
Freshman Kathryn DuHadway also enjoys the trilogy. “‘The Lord of the Rings’ kind of fits with Hillsdale’s philosophy. There were a lot of deeper themes in [the trilogy],” she said, mentioning the struggle between good and evil as an example.
“I like doing things that are unique to Hillsdale,” she said. “It’s fun throwing an event that appeals to the student body that wouldn’t necessarily appeal at most schools.”
Wade said she’s hoping to make this celebration an annual tradition. Based on student reactions to today’s event, that’s good news for the Hillsdale shire.
“Excellent,” Rowan said, describing the breakfast. “The Green Dragon could not have done better.”
He got up to leave, then glanced back.
“That’s a ‘Lord of the Rings’ reference,” he said.