The Her­itage Foun­dation Foreign Policy Analyst James Carafano lec­tures on hyper­sonic mis­siles at a Hillsdale AHS event. Courtesy | AHS

Hillsdale’s chapter of the Alexander Hamilton Society is the second best in the nation, according to the society’s national board. 

On June 1, rankings from the national AHS office placed Hillsdale’s chapter behind only Duke Uni­versity. The national office also honored Hillsdale’s group with the “Most Improved Chapter” award. 

As a national club, AHS seeks to create oppor­tu­nities for dis­cus­sions on America’s foreign policy among college stu­dents. The club gives stu­dents the chance to hear from and meet pro­fes­sionals in the field of inter­na­tional affairs.Hillsdale’s chapter in par­ticular works to create con­nec­tions between stu­dents and foreign policy experts in Wash­ington, D.C. 

AHS Pres­ident Brady Helwig, a senior, explained the prestige of the awards and rankings. 

“The most improved chapter award is one of four national awards every year,” Helwig said. “We’ve never won a national award before, so that was a pretty big deal for us.” 

The rankings for AHS chapters are based on a point system, Helwig explained. Chapters receive points for every event they host, for the number of stu­dents in atten­dance, and how many chapter officers they send to national AHS events. Hillsdale’s chapter has con­sis­tently ranked in the top 10 since its founding in 2014. 

Pres­ident Emeritus Callie Stoub said the club took steps to improve its campus involvement at the beginning of the 2019 – 20 school year, par­tic­u­larly at its first event last Sep­tember.

“It was a day-long event. We had three outside speakers and the stu­dents really enjoyed it,” Stoub said. “We actually set a precedent because it was the first time an AHS chapter had an event of this scale.”

This year, the society is focused on pro­moting the ben­efits of mem­bership to con­tinue growing the chapter. 

“It’s really good for people who want to do careers in foreign policy,” Helwig said. “Getting plugged in with the national chapter helps you look for jobs, intern­ships, et cetera. We also discuss a new foreign policy topic every two weeks, which helps members learn more about our nation’s foreign affairs.” 

In the last two years, Hillsdale’s AHS has expe­ri­enced sig­nif­icant success. Stoub was the third pres­ident in a row to receive an invi­tation and attend the Reagan National Defense Forum in Cal­i­fornia.

“Nationals selects about 15 stu­dents to attend the con­ference. You get to meet all of these national defense con­tractors and gov­ernment offi­cials,” Stoub said. “I was about two feet away from the sec­retary of defense in a hallway at one point, which was incredible.” 

The society is imple­menting a new men­torship program for stu­dents who want to pursue the fields of national security and foreign policy, Stoub explained. It will connect stu­dents with alumni and pro­fes­sionals in D.C. to help them get access to intern­ships and resume help. 

Pro­fessor of History Paul Rahe, faculty advisor for the club, said it was the stu­dents’ work ethic that pro­pelled the society to success. 

“These stu­dents really are admirable,” Rahe said. “They care a lot about edu­cating the campus and cre­ating an envi­ronment that fosters learning about important issues. I’m glad they’re being rec­og­nized for their efforts.”