Graduation from Hillsdale College often takes students to different parts of the country and the world, but for Hank Prim ’17, commencement didn’t take him away from Hillsdale full time.
Seven days after graduation, Prim started his new positions as the assistant director of the Student Activities Office and director of residence life, jobs which encapsulate both his outgoing personality and his own Hillsdale experience.
While at Hillsdale, Prim was a resident assistant in Simpson Residence for three years. In addition, he served as the Pep Band director and participated in various other groups in the music department. Prim also took on leadership roles such as a head resident advisor in Simpson and as a student security manager.
Prim said he remembers speaking with a professor after the Student Leadership Workshop leading into his junior year, saying he would love to work in Student Affairs some day. But, he said he thought: “There will never be a job opening during my time, never.”
Two years later, that dream came true.
“The college is so cool, and I think Student Affairs has such a unique element to it,” Prim said. “There is so much more to college than just sitting in a classroom. The relationships that you build, the friendships that you make, and the experiences that you have are sometimes just as educational as sitting in a classroom.”
Prim said he loves fostering both learning and college community, and he is grateful for the opportunity to do it as a full time job.
Ashlyn Landherr, the director of student activities, has been working with Prim all summer in preparation for the upcoming school year. She said the balance of both of their personalities will add to this year’s various student activities, with each of them playing to their strengths.
“We’re really excited to have him on the team,” Landherr said.
Josh Bailey, a junior and Simpson RA, spoke to Prim’s passion for working with residence life and his ability to throw great parties as well as make great connections with people.
“He’s already so connected,” Bailey said. “He is a familiar face.”
Junior Andrew Sheard, a fellow Simpson RA, also spoke highly of Prim’s inviting character.
“He is always really inclusive; he hated to see someone left by himself,” Sheard said.
Prim said his relationships with the people who are now his bosses has helped him throughout the transition from student to college employee.
“I lived in the dorms for four years, three as an RA, so I have a lot of relationships with students, so sometimes now being seen as a staff member is sometimes strange,” Prim said. “But I think that plays well to the benefit because I’m still connected with the folks on the ground, so to speak. Having those open lines of communication I think will be super beneficial.”
Now that orientation is over, Prim says he plans to shape an “awesome, common, unified sense of what dorm community means,” under his role as director of residence life, where he looks forward to working with each of the individual RA teams.