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.”