Student Activ­ities Board host the Love the ‘Dale cam­paign 2018 Eliz­abeth Bachmann | Courtesy

The alumni office recently teamed up with the 1844 Society to show a little love to the school and bring alumni’s hearts and thoughts back to their alma mater. The Love the ’Dale cam­paign offi­cially began the week of Valentine’s Day, and though all the appeals have been mailed out and the phonathon is long-fin­ished, support from Hillsdale alumni con­tinues to steadily trickle in.  

To date, the cam­paign has raised $157,766 for aca­d­emics, various sports teams, clubs, com­mittees, and greek orga­ni­za­tions. However, according to Colleen McGinness, Director of Strategic Part­nership and Student Giving, the Alumni Office set no spe­cific mon­etary goal for this cam­paign.

“Our goal for this event was to increase donor and alumni par­tic­i­pation,” McGinness said. “Right now we are around 15 percent par­tic­i­pation on a given year. Eighty-five percent of dona­tions are not from people who went here. Alumni are not really giving back. We are working in an effort to improve our giving par­tic­i­pation, so we have a donor goal instead of a dollar goal.”

The 1844 Society and Alumni office are running the cam­paign through a unique vendor that acts as a social media platform, making it easier to spread awareness for its cause. At the inter­active site, alumni can ini­tiate their own chal­lenges to old class­mates, team­mates, sorority and fra­ternity brothers and sisters, and friends, to donate a certain amount. They can also create a match, which is a donation pocket for a spe­cific facet of Hillsdale life that they enjoyed most, whether that be ath­letics, aca­d­emics, or a spe­cific club or orga­ni­zation.

“Most people give money to what matters to them. This cam­paign was tar­geted to alumni, and designed to elicit an affinity for the things that matter to them,” McGinnes said. “In an alum’s case, they are going to give to the spe­cific area that they really cared about. Here, alumni can des­ignate their money to whatever area they choose, or they can make a general donation.”

The 1844 Society worked on the student side to create a tra­dition of giving back to Hillsdale, either through money or time. In this cam­paign, stu­dents were encouraged to con­tribute by sharing the cam­paign on their social media to help garner support for the cause.

“The 1844 Society is encour­aging stu­dents here cur­rently to get into that habit while they are still here at Hillsdale. We aren’t alumnae yet, but we will be next four years. We can start giving now. There are already so many things that we have to be thankful for, and that we wouldn’t have been able to expe­rience if other people hadn’t given in the first place,” said senior Shelby Bar­gen­quast, Pres­ident of the 1844 Society. “From the moment you step foot on campus, the schools gives gifts to you. The society is trying to acknowledge that, and then get others to acknowledge that, and get people to give back to what they love.”

Vice Pres­ident of the 1844 Society senior Emily Walker agrees that the Love the ‘Dale Cam­paign is not only a way to pay it forward but also a means of staying con­nected in the Hillsdale com­munity.

“It is a great way to give back to a school that is giving us so much in oppor­tu­nities and infor­mation. Some­times we don’t rec­ognize all the oppor­tu­nities we have and we don’t realize that they come from donors,” Walker said. “Donating is a way to way thank you, and for, alumni, it is a way to stay involved.”