Lamplighters, the senior women’s honorary on Hillsdale College’s campus, is celebrating the induction of its new eight members at the Honors Ceremony on Saturday.
Founded in 1949, Lamplighters was established at Hillsdale to recognize outstanding women and to stand as a counterpart to the men’s honorary, the Mortar Board. The current senior members selected junior women based on the four pillars of the honorary: character, scholarship, leadership, and service to the community and college.
“The honorary says, ‘You are one of these eight outstanding senior women who exemplify these traits,’” Fleming said. “It’s how we were picked, and it’s how we pick the new members.”
Lamplighters inherit charm bracelets from alumnae. The bracelets have 12 charms with the names of 12 past Lamplighters who had the bracelet. At the end of the year, the women remove the oldest charm and send it with a letter to the alumna Lamplighter.
Junior Madison Frame said she is excited to join the honorary with a rich tradition.
“I think the emphasis instead of being on sisterhood is more on a tradition or a heritage, and you’re passing on the tradition of women who have come before you in Lamplighters,” Frame said. “That was meaningful for me, because there have been several seniors as well as upperclassman from the past two years who I know and respected a lot, really looked up to who were members of Lamplighters.”
Junior Rachel Watson, a new inductee to the honorary, said it was an honor to be recognized by prominent leaders on campus.
“It’s really cool to see that group of women and how diverse they are and seeing that all the outstanding senior women nominees were Lamplighters and half of the President’s Ball court women were Lamplighters,” Watson said. “Seeing people recognized by this group but also by the entire campus, that’s been impressive and humbling.”
This year, the honorary is discussing ways to increase its involvement with the student body. President Larissa Clark said she hopes to give a luncheon for underclass women to share advice and encouragement.
“Larissa’s vision is to take ourselves off a pedestal,” Fleming said “We want to talk about the things we’ve struggled with in college as well as the things we’ve learned.”
This year’s Lamplighters also assisted with the Women’s Commissioners Sale in the fall, which raises scholarship money for Hillsdale College students, and held a mixer in the spring for women who qualify for the 3.4 GPA requirement to get into Lamplighters.
Then in 12 years, each member of the 2016-2017 Lamplighter circle will receive a charm with their name on it accompanied by a letter from a future Lamplighter.
“It’s a way for past and present Hillsdale women to be connected in honoring character, scholarship, service, and leadership,” Christina Lambert ’16 said.