Some Hillsdale professors fall in love with the city and decide to stay — even after they retire from teaching. Over the years, Hillsdale College professors come and go, but some professors remain in the area, continuing to contribute to the community.
Will Morrisey came to teach in the politics department at Hillsdale in 2000. Holding the William and Patricia LaMothe chair in the United States Constitution, his 403(b), a retirement savings plan for educational institutions and non-profit employers, allowed him to retire in 2015, the date he received when he checked when he could retire back in 2005. When he finished teaching at the college, he wanted to continue living in the area.
“I liked the area,” he said. “The property values are very good in Hillsdale compared to a lot of other places in the country. The house I live in is located in an area that is convenient for me; I don’t drive. But it’s easy walking distance to the stores.”
Morrisey continues to read and write on a regular basis. He maintains a book review website, “Will Morrisey Reviews.” As an academic, he compared his decision to remain in Hillsdale to a character in a French novel by André Malraux.
“One of the characters in the novel is an elderly scholar,” Morrisey said. “The novel is set in the Spanish Civil War, so the fascist troops are advancing upon his town, and somebody told him to get out of town before it’s too late. He says, ‘When a man of my age travels, he takes his library with him.’ He’s not moving. I’d have to take my library with me. Therefore, I’m not moving.”
But life is not always quiet for Morrisey. He keeps active in the community, and he has served on the Hillsdale City Council since August 2016. He was elected to take over the unexpired term of a city councilwoman.
Another local professor who retired is Carolyn Lundy. She worked at Hillsdale as a lecturer in accounting from 1991 to 1996. Lundy worked in the business department, teaching courses such as business information systems and income tax. She recalls teaching a marketing class one semester while the professor was on sabbatical.
She continued to work after she retired from teaching at Hillsdale. She still did accounting work, and to this day, she does online teaching for the University of Phoenix. But this was not the only reason she and her husband Larry decided to remain in Hillsdale.
“Our family was here; our kids were here and our grandkids,” she said. “We had no reason to go anywhere else.”
Even so, she takes life a little quieter these days. She and her husband are actively involved in their church, College Baptist. They are apart of the church’s student adoption program. They host college students in their home on a regular basis.
Another former professor is Jim Juroe who, like Lundy, also happens to be involved with College Baptist’s student adoption. Juroe taught English at Hillsdale from 1970 through 2001. One of the appeals of Hillsdale was that it allowed him to teach a broad range of courses within the English department. He didn’t want to be “pigeonholed,” he said. Ultimately, he retired from teaching at the school because of an eye condition that affected his grading ability.
“It didn’t allow me to read papers in the way you have to,” he said. “I got cloudiness of vision. I’d probably still be here.”
Juroe was responsible for starting Hillsdale’s Oxford Study Abroad Program. He worked with the program until May 2017.
“I decided maybe I should grow up,” he said with a smile. “When you get to be an octogenarian, you probably ought to back off a little.”
His decision to remain in Hillsdale was due to his love for the area and the college students.
“I think there’s no better place to live on earth than Hillsdale,” he said. “It’s one of those best-kept secrets. I just love it here. I love rural life.”
Juroe and his wife continue to stay busy with their involvement in the student adoption program.
“We have about 8 students now,” he said. “My life would probably be less stressful and busy if I started working again.”