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An artist’s ren­dering of the memorial fountain which is set to be the Class of 2019’s senior gift to the college. Ryan Kelly Murphy | Courtesy

The Hillsdale College Class of 2019 revealed Friday that their senior class gift to the college will be a memorial fountain on the quad. 

The fountain, designed by Hillsdale College Pres­ident Larry Arnn’s daughter Alice Arnn ’11, will cost $20,000 and will be located between Christ Chapel and the front doors of the Grewcock Student Union.

Senior Fundraising Chair Andie Chandler called the fountain a “very ambi­tious gift.” The $20,000 will cover the fountain itself, but the stairs will be part of a sep­arate fundraiser.

The goal is to have the fountain fin­ished by 2019 home­coming, around the same time the chapel will be com­pleted. 

Chandler and co-chair Nick DeCleene said they polled the senior class, and 61 percent wanted to con­tribute a gift that the college needs. Addi­tionally, 30 percent of the class rec­og­nized a desire to beautify campus. 

Seniors Kayla Mykeloff and Kathryn DuHadway said they are excited about what the fountain will add to campus. 

“I think it’s going to bring together the chapel and all the sur­rounding buildings. It will help tie every­thing together,” Mykeloff said.

“It will elevate the quad a bit, but it won’t impede things,” DuHadway said. 

The senior class officers propose that the fountain will add func­tion­ality to campus in addition to beauty. They sug­gested that the steps leading up to the fountain could be used as a place for events, a study spot, or class lec­tures, much like the amphitheater behind Mossey Library. 

“We wanted it to be some­thing that all of campus could use,” Senior Class Pres­ident Ryan Kelly Murphy said. 

This is will not be the first time for the college to have a fountain on campus. The Hillsdale College Class of 1886 donated a fountain to the college on their grad­u­ation year, and there have been mul­tiple foun­tains in dif­ferent loca­tions around campus since then. 

None of the foun­tains remain today, however. 

Public Ser­vices Librarian Linda Moore says that the college con­sidered building a fountain on the quad in the 1980s, but that never came to be.

“I think that back then the college found it too dif­ficult to maintain,” she said.

Chandler acknowl­edged that the gift is a lofty goal. She said the largest senior gift in the past was less than half the price of the fountain, only around $8,000. 

But she pre­sented this as an incentive, encour­aging her fellow seniors that they could be known as “the class that doubles the fundraising total.” 

The fundraising chairs plan to combine their events with social occa­sions. They want those who donate to get some­thing fun in return. They also plan to reach out to donors, alumni, and parents.

Murphy empha­sized that if every grad­u­ating senior donated about $60, the entire fund would be covered. 

“We know that we’re all college stu­dents, and the $20,000 price tag can be intim­i­dating. But if we all chip in, make an effort, and reach out to family and friends, I think it will actually be a pretty achievable goal,” Murphy said.

The class wel­comes all dona­tions, and they created a Venmo: @FountainFund. 

The senior officers said they look forward to returning to see the fountain, which Murphy said will be “a social hub, a heart of campus.” 

The fountain will be ded­i­cated to the Class of 2019, as well as current and future alumni.

  • George Gibbs

    Article could have noted that the design looks iden­tical to the fountain from the 1880s, making it likely Ms. Arnn’s intention.