Hillsdale’s 1844 Society is chal­lenging stu­dents to help fundraise for schol­ar­ships in just 30 hours starting Thursday and Friday, with its first-ever campus fundraising cam­paign.

“This cam­paign is not about the college asking Hillsdale stu­dents for their money to be put into a general fund,” 1844 Society Pres­ident senior Mariah Hardy said. “This is about reminding our­selves of what we love about Hillsdale and pon­dering how we can give back to our peers to ensure that the next gen­er­ation of Hillsdale stu­dents can graduate.”

By asking stu­dents to donate in amounts of $2, $5, $10, and $18.44, members said they hope to raise enough to finance four Ransom Dunn schol­ar­ships. Four seniors this year benefit from these need-based schol­ar­ships. Bonnie Hough ’84 and her husband, David, have pledged $100,000 to the cam­paign, and members of the 1844 Society said they want to match the amount.

Starting with a social media cam­paign and online giving at noon on Thursday, 50 stu­dents will post pic­tures and sta­tuses with #pay­it­forward and #1844ever to raise awareness for the 1,844-minute event, in addition to pledging money them­selves. Then, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, members of the 1844 Society will collect online and cash dona­tions in the Grewcock Student Union.

Among the 50 student advo­cates who will post on social media and pledging money are the Class of 2017 officers. Senior Class Pres­ident Jacob Thackston said he is eager to help his peers.

“That is what’s so great about the Ransom Dunn schol­arship,” Thackston said. “It’s a way to help other stu­dents stay here and benefit from this great edu­cation.”

Director of the 1844 Society Colleen McGinness said there isn’t a set goal for the fundraiser but that she is hoping to at least match the $5,000 raised for the Ransom Dunn schol­arship last year.

“We have a par­tic­i­pation goal of 13 percent,” McGinness said. “It sounds small, but only 13 percent of stu­dents gave last year over the entire aca­demic year. If 13 percent of stu­dents give in one 30-hour period, that will be a great success.”, a crowd­funding website, will allow stu­dents to see the fundraising happen in real time. As an incentive, student advo­cates who donate money and encourage their peers to do likewise will have the chance to win prizes, including a $100 book­store gift card, $100 Amazon gift card, and an iPad Mini.

Members of the 1844 Society said they know it’s not easy for college kids to give money, but McGinness said she’s hopeful.

“College kids’ pockets are not deep,” McGinness said. “But, most stu­dents can give some­thing, even if it’s $5 and they sac­rifice a latte that week. We are wildly blessed by thou­sands of people around the country who are giving to afford this kind of an edu­cation for every student here at Hillsdale.”

For Thackston, it’s more than just being thankful for a Hillsdale edu­cation, he said; it’s also about cre­ating lifelong stewards of the college.

“One of our big duties as senior class officers is to engage the seniors not just now but also give as alumni,” Thackston said. “The stu­dents who will be most engaged after grad­u­ation are the ones that give.”

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Thomas Novelly
Collegian Editor-in-Chief, Thomas Novelly was born in Novi, Michigan, but was raised in Franklin, Tennessee, making him a self-proclaimed "Yankee gone South." Thomas began writing for The Collegian as a sophomore, and since has served as a reporter, columnist, and Assistant City News Editor. He has also worked for two major publications, interning at the Washington Free Beacon in D.C. and The Tennessean in Nashville. His work has been seen in National publications such as CBS News, National Review Online, Stars And Stripes, and USA Today. Follow him on Twitter @TomNovelly.