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A striking view of the campus from Central Hall. Bryan Springer | Courtesy

Hillsdale College received more than $200 million in new dona­tions in its latest fiscal year, which ended in June, setting a new record for its fundraising.

“People in large numbers love the mission of the College and how we pursue it. Our deter­mi­nation to carry on pur­suing it has been much admired by many,” Pres­ident Larry Arnn said in an email. 

The college began the Four Pillars Cam­paign last October when it cel­e­brated its 175th anniversary and ded­i­cated Christ Chapel. The fundraising effort, which seeks to raise $686.8 million by 2024, draws its name from the four pillars described in the college’s founding doc­u­ments and articles of asso­ci­ation: learning, char­acter, faith, and freedom. 

Because Hillsdale doesn’t accept federal funding, the college relies on the gen­erosity of  sup­porters to con­tinue in its mission. The capital cam­paign will pri­marily fund under­graduate schol­ar­ships, as well as general oper­a­tions, according to Nancy Johnson, a vice pres­ident of insti­tu­tional advancement. 

Other funds will support endow­ments for out­reach projects such as the Barney Charter School Ini­tiative, and capital projects such as New Dorm, which is yet to be fully funded. 

According to Calvin Stockdale, senior director of insti­tu­tional advancement, the Four Pillars Cam­paign goes “right back at the core of what Hillsdale is as an under­graduate education.”

Danny Drummond, insti­tu­tional advancement asso­ciate, weighed in on Arnn’s push for the program.

“Dr. Arnn is always going to fight for what he knows to be right, and for what Hillsdale has always stood for,” Drummond said.

Throughout the coro­n­avirus pan­demic, Arnn con­tinued to reach out to Hillsdale sup­porters. Johnson said sup­porters con­tinue to view Hillsdale as a “voice of reason in these uncertain times.” 

The cam­paign also aims to endow about 50 faculty chairs in the music department, the devel­oping master’s program in clas­sical edu­cation, and else­where. Arnn, along with senior-level staff and Provost Chris VanOrman, plan to meet this week to discuss the use of these endowments.

Hillsdale’s com­mitment to returning to in-person classes and holding an in-person grad­u­ation encouraged the sup­porters of Hillsdale’s mission, Johnson said. 

“They believe that our stu­dents are key to the future lead­ership of our country, both in big and small ways, both in public office and as citizen leaders and edu­cators, in fam­ilies, and in business — in com­mu­nities across the nation,” she said. “They believe in and want to support you and your fellow students.”