Hillsdale College students set the highest average all-campus GPA since 2007 with an average of 3.343 last spring, surpassing fall 2016’s record of 3.34.
Provost David Whalen made the announcement on Tuesday at the first-ever Convocation held in the Searle Center, as the college gathered together to honor scholarship, excellence in instruction, and the college’s religious heritage.
A faculty committee selected Assistant Professor of Chemistry Courtney Meyet to receive the Emily Daughtery Award for Teaching Excellence, which recognizes a junior member of the faculty each fall.
“I was absolutely surprised,” Meyet said. “I was definitely humbled by it; I don’t think I deserve it. It is one of the sweet high points of my career.”
Whalen once again awarded Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority and Alpha Tau Omega fraternity the Greek scholarship cups. Kappa earned a 3.44 and ATO a 3.259 average GPA last semester, respectively.
KKG President Maria Thiesen, a senior, said the sorority placed extra emphasis on academics last semester during the recruitment process, at chapter meetings, and a new academic structure that prioritized accountability in grades and study table times as well as incentivized good work.
“We were really happy to keep the scholarship cup,” Thiesen said. “I think we’ve fostered an environment of positive academic growth. It’s great to see that work pay off.”
Overall, women at Hillsdale once again had higher grades than the men, earning an average 3.425 to their 3.260.
All average GPAs increased from the spring semester.
Because of scheduling conflicts with College Baptist Church, Convocation was moved to Searle. Coordinating with events there, the college moved the event from Thursday to Tuesday.
Assistant Professor of Psychology Collin Barnes, selected as Professor of the Year by the class of 2017, spoke on the pursuit of hidden truth. He framed his talk around an anonymously written poem called “Golden Keys” from a book he had as a child. Although the four keys — good morning, if you please, goodnight, and thank you — seek to teach young children the importance of manners, Barnes compared them to how people should approach the challenges they face.
“I trust you see here the hints of these four keys: the creating of a problem, the search for its solution, the laying to rest of the puzzle, and the welcoming back of a insight,” Barnes said. “What puts our place in the right place when we are committed to truth is not a technique of verification but a disposition, and the golden keys prepare us to express it. I am speaking here of reverence.”
Valuing tradition, specifically liberal arts, enables the college to pursue truth and serve eternal ideals, Barnes said.
From the sound of it, Hillsdale, just as its motto says, will continue to do just that.
“The college is doing pretty well,” President Larry Arnn said. “We’ll have college again next year.”