At a school that empha­sizes history in its aca­d­emics, it only makes sense that Hillsdale con­siders its own history too. The Alumni Brick Walk, which was ded­i­cated in October 1994, does just that.

While orig­i­nally started to raise money for the college, the Brick Walk has turned into a path of history. It runs from the corner of Hillsdale and East College streets to the front of Delp Hall. Many of the bricks in the walk are engraved, bearing names, quotes, or inside jokes from stu­dents, faculty, and donors.

“Going through, you see people’s names you went to school with and that you know,” Mossey Library public service librarian and alumna Brenna Wade ’08 said. “It’s inter­esting to find people’s bricks and to remember and to think about every­thing that went on.”

The idea for the brick walk began in 1989 during a fundraising cam­paign.

“Orig­i­nally the funds for it were to go to the ren­o­vation to the fine arts building, but because it actually cost more to ren­ovate than to build a new building, they tore it down,” said Ronda Deer, his­torian for the Alumni Exec­utive Board and chair­woman of the Alumni Walk. “So now our funds go to our Alumni Legacy Schol­arship, which goes to stu­dents who have parents, sisters, brothers who attended Hillsdale.”

There are more than 3,000 engraved bricks on the walk, and each one costs $150. Although the majority of them were pur­chased by indi­viduals, the beginning of the walk fea­tures past pres­i­dents of the Alumni Asso­ci­ation.

Money for the fund not only comes from brick pur­chases, but also from the direct dona­tions to the fund. So far, more than $1 million has been raised. Although dona­tions are con­sistent, brick pur­chases have slowed.

“For this year for spring and fall, we only had about 30 orders, but there have been years when we’ve had 300,” Deer said.

For some, the walk plays an important role in the history of the college.

“College life is very tran­sient, so when you leave, within four years there’s not a student left on campus who remembers who you are,” Public Ser­vices Librarian Linda Moore said. “So for faculty and staff, it’s kind of nice to be able to leave a per­manent remem­brance of them on the alumni walk. I think it’s important, at least to the alumni and for other indi­viduals, people who have worked here a long time.”

Deer helped spearhead the project and still main­tains the walk today.

“I’ve con­tinued to take care of it,” she said. “Today we put in 12 bricks, and I will go home tomorrow and put them on the map so that the Alumni Office has a record of where all the bricks are.”

Although she did not choose at first to work on the walk, the project has become close to her heart.

“My involvement with the brick walk has been a ded­i­cation of love for the college,” Deer said. “It’s just going to be there to be a tes­tament to the people who bought a brick, who cared about the College, and wanted to be remem­bered in some way as having attended Hillsdale College.”