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.