The cor­ner­stone was placed on the Christ Chapel Nov. 7. Breana Noble | The Col­legian


A crane lifted an L-shaped cor­ner­stone and placed it into the southwest corner of the under-con­struction Christ Chapel on Tuesday to a round of applause. The stone pro­claims in Greek and Latin: “For God and country.”

Rev. Adam Rick, Hillsdale College chaplain, blessed the cor­ner­stone during a ded­i­cation cer­emony, imme­di­ately fol­lowing Con­vo­cation. Provost David Whalen said the event marked the spir­itual sig­nif­i­cance of the new chapel and reli­gious founding of the college.

“This cer­emony rec­og­nizes the unique nature of this building as set apart, as sacred to God,” Whalen said. “The building of this chapel is very much an act of grat­itude, and we trust, we hope and pray that gen­er­a­tions and gen­er­a­tions of warm grat­itude will be given to God for all of our blessings.”

The $28.5-million chapel — due for com­pletion in May 2019 — will be 27,000 square feet and hold up to 1,350 people for large lec­tures, music con­certs, and Con­vo­cation.

“You can’t read the story of Hillsdale College without under­standing freedom, high learning, char­acter, and God,” Arnn said. “Those four things are an integrity. They are part of a whole. They always have been. Because the whole has an integrity, the college thrives.”

Before the cor­ner­stone was set in place, Jo and Jack Babbitt, the leading bene­factors of the building, fixed into the chapel’s wall a Bible, the ceremony’s program, the Honor Code, and the college’s Articles of Asso­ci­ation to be pre­served there in per­pe­tuity.

“All those things are per­manent things,” Arnn said. “They are part of the record of the making of this college and this chapel.”

It may also be a tes­tament to the ded­i­ca­tions of other cor­ner­stones on campus. Senior Hans Noyes, who is doing a project of Hillsdale’s reli­gious history for a public history project to be put on display in the Her­itage Room, said he learned a Bible was placed into the foun­da­tions of Central Hall, as well.

“It’s neat they’re paying homage to that,” Noyes said.

Jo Babbitt said Psalm 118:22 explained the sig­nif­i­cance of the ded­i­cation: “The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cor­ner­stone.”

“I hope God’s wisdom and knowledge will be built up on that cor­ner­stone — Christ alone and cor­ner­stone,” she said.

  • Jen­nifer Melfi

    If they are writing it in Greek shouldn’t they ref­erence “for GODS and country? The Greeks, despite dr. Ann’s insis­tence didn’t actually believe in jebus. I also laugh to hear dr. Whalen trot out this con­ve­nient fiction that Hillsdale has always been a Christian college.… just that it has been hidden until 2015, kind of like Pres­ident trump’s Chris­tianity.