Eagles. They’re everywhere. Lurking in corners, peering out at you from bookshelves, looming over you while you head to dinner. Hillsdale’s mascot may be the Charger, but her decor is decidedly eagle-themed, creating an odd conundrum that has stumped curious freshmen, observant visitors, and highly-skilled procrastinators for years.
Hillsdale is home to dozens of eagles, with a total of 27 currently on display. Brian Becks donated his eagle collection to the College in the early 1990s along with many of the first-edition books in the Heritage Room, Library Director Dan Knoch said.
“Brian Becks was the main person responsible for the eagles,” Knoch said. “Along with the eagles came many of the books in the Heritage Room that he had collected over the years. He collected rare, valuable works, along with eagles, and he wanted to donate the eagles.”
Many more eagles flocked campus in the early 1990s, Professor of English Ben Whalen said. But Moss Hall staff said that some have been moved to storage over the years, leaving only 27 on display.
Below is a complete list of eagles on campus:
1.The eagle on the alumni walk, known to campus as simply “the eagle.”
2. The very realistic eagle in the Heritage Room, which is actually made out of turkey feathers, Knoch said. No endangered wildlife was harmed.
3. The golden eagle in the Heritage Room entrance, glaring at everyone coming and going. Silence, you peasant.
4. The free-standing eagle near the center of the Heritage Room.
5. This painted porcelain eagle, kept in a glass case in the Heritage Room.
6. – 7. These two friends, also porcelain and also in a glass case in the Heritage Room.
8. This majestic bronze eagle bust sits on a Heritage Room shelf.
9. – 10. These bronze eagles have some impressive pectoral muscles. A small but conclusive bit of research indicates these are very heavy.
11. The eagle sitting on the table in the Heritage Room. Majestically reminding you to keep your books on your own side.
12. – 13.These two white porcelain eagles stand guard over their shelf in the corner. Ye be warned.
14. This one in the window of the Heritage Room, turned away from the eyes of passersby checking themselves out in the glass. Awkward eye contact avoided.
15. This eagle does not fear awkward eye contact.
16. This wooden eagle stands watch over the Heritage Room exit. It resembles a German woodcut.
17. Another eagle outside the Heritage Room, which looks even more like a woodcut.
18. The presidential seal, on the sideboard next to the Heritage Room. Also an eagle.
19. The clock in the Heritage Room has an eagle on it.
20. So does the clock in the foyer of Central Hall.
21. – 22. The financial aid office has a painting of eagles on the wall.
23. This eagle lives in the president’s office, on Dr. Arnn’s secretary’s desk. He is the only eagle on the fourth floor of Moss Hall. (Provost Dr. Whalen across the hall does not have one. Hm.)
24. This eagle head. The college commissioned 20 of these as gifts for donors, but were unable to deliver some because sculptures are heavy and hard to ship, Moss Hall staff said. This one lurks on a table in the corner of a Moss Hall office.
25. This eagle is in that same office, soaring majestically over the clutter on the counter.
26. This eagle sits outside the Dow hotel, and is commonly known as the Eagle at Rest, Knoch said. The plaque below it indicates it was donated in 1992.