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Lamp­lighters from last year and this year, as well as three sophomore women (front row) who were rec­og­nized by the hon­orary for highest GPA at the spring honors assembly. Chloe Kookogey | Courtesy

The Lamp­lighters women’s hon­orary is entering its 70th year on Hillsdale’s campus, with the selection of eight new members from the junior class.

This year’s class includes Sarah Becker, Vic­toria Addis, Ade­laide Holmes, Mollie Beth Dill, Michelle Reid, Emily Skwarek, Avery Lacey, and Natalie Bodnar. The new members are chosen by the pre­vious class of Lamp­lighters members based on their lead­ership, schol­arship, char­acter, and service.

“The girls have often pro­vided service to the Board of Women Com­mis­sioners, vol­un­teering at fundraising events, including the annual Garage Sale,” Pro­fessor of Rhetoric and Public Address Kirstin Kiledal said, faculty adviser to the group along with Pro­fessor of Chem­istry Lee Baron.

Members are broadly involved across campus, serving as RA’s, playing sports, leading campus orga­ni­za­tions, and par­tic­i­pating in Greek life.

The group fosters com­munity among many who might not oth­erwise meet.

“Some of us have known each other throughout our college career. Some have not,” out­going pres­ident and senior Chloe Kookogey said. “It’s nice to have that oppor­tunity to be pulled out of your own major, your own department, your own friend group, and really get to know other women who are doing excellent things for the college.”

Sarah Becker leads the GOAL Com­munity Health Program, serves as the vice pres­ident of infor­mation for the Pre-Pro­fes­sional Society, plays violin in the Hillsdale College Sym­phony Orchestra, par­tic­i­pates in the Col­le­giate Scholars Program, and vol­un­teers in Hillsdale Hospital’s emer­gency room. She said she was inspired by others who par­tic­i­pated in the hon­orary before she did.

“I vividly remember looking up to women like Hannah Andrews and Alexis Garcia, who were both Lamp­lighters when I was a freshman,” Becker said in an email. “I wanted to exem­plify what I admired in them: inten­tion­ality, ded­i­cation, and an incredible gift for encour­agement.”

Vic­toria Addis agreed.

“As a freshman, I remember Kyra Rodi, who so effort­lessly lived out the values, and how I admired her for it,” Addis said in an email. “Our actions don’t just affect our lives, they affect everyone around us.”

Kiledal said one of the group’s favorite tra­di­tions is the silver charm bracelets that each member wears. They contain an engraved medallion for the current member and 11 pre­vious wearers, and when a charm is removed, the current wearer writes a letter to its owner telling her about her expe­ri­ences at Hillsdale.

“My bracelet, in par­ticular, bears the name of the three most recent GOAL Program Directors: Lucille Townley, Allison Deckert, and Alexis Garcia,” Becker said. “I’ve had the priv­ilege of knowing and working with each of them in some capacity during my time at Hillsdale.”

The bracelets inspire women to pursue excel­lence.

“It’s amazing being able to look at the bracelets and rec­ognize names of women that I had looked up to when I first came to Hillsdale,” Addis said. “It’s like a yearbook of women that are my ‘aspire to be.’”

Others look forward to the day when they receive their charm back.

“I think the bracelets will be some­thing to cherish for years to come,” Michelle Reid said in an email. “Since they’re returned 10 years after you graduate, it will be really neat to see where life has taken myself and the other women.

For now, the newly-inducted members will com­mu­nicate with each other to elect their officers, and they said they look forward to the coming year.

“I see Lamp­lighters as a sweet fel­lowship between some of the women I admire most on campus,” Reid said. “Because of this, I hope to grow in friendship with them, be chal­lenged by them, and to learn from them. It’s pow­erful to watch other women love this campus in dif­ferent ways.”