Hillsdale through the eyes of Greg McLogan

McLogan’s dad bought him the camera while he was in college, and McLogan would use it to capture the youthful antics and lifelong memories he made as a Hillsdale College student of the ’80s.

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The year is 1986, and Sigma Chi Greg McLogan is driving his dad’s 1985 Pontiac Fiero, while blasting New Order’s “Age of Consent,” around Baw Beese lake. He cap­tured it all on his VHS-recording video camera. 

McLogan’s bor­rowed his dad’s camera while he was in college, and McLogan would use it to capture the youthful antics and lifelong mem­ories he made as a Hillsdale College student of the ’80s.

Born and raised in the city of Hillsdale, McLogan grad­uated from Hillsdale High School in 1984, and said he knew he always wanted to go to Hillsdale College.

When he moved into his freshmen men’s dor­mitory, Gal­loway, McLogan met his future 4‑year-college roommate Tim Kuhlman, ’88, and friend Newell Mott, who would remain at Hillsdale for one year before trans­ferring. When the school announced it would put on its first-ever Mock Rock event, Mott said he knew he wanted to do some­thing for it and went straight to McLogan.

“In 1984, MTV was prime at that time. When they said they were going to do an event like that, everyone was excited, and I knew I wanted to do Billy Idol,” Newell said. “I lis­tened to him in the late ’70s with his GENERATION X album. I threw out the idea, and Greg McLogan was on board to do that.”

While others dressed up as the Go-Gos, Motley Crue, and Prince, Mott dressed himself in a leather jacket and pants ensemble, spiked hair, and sang Idol’s “Rebel Yell.” The entire per­for­mance was recorded.  

It wasn’t until 25 years later that the video would res­urrect itself. McLogan calls its resur­facing one of his “favorite stories.”

“I tracked Mott’s son down on Facebook, and saw he was working in Rochester, Min­nesota,” McLogan said. “I sent it to him and he got a hold of it. He played the video in a room with a bunch of people.”

Mott describes the rest of the story from his end.

“I worked with my son at the time and came into the office and heard Billy Idol playing in the back­ground and all these people were gathered around the com­puter,” Mott said. “They were laughing and my jaw dropped. I hadn’t seen the video in 25 years.”

But these would not be the last of McLogan’s videos res­ur­recting the good ol’ days. By cre­ating a YouTube channel that serves as an archive of his old “home videos,” McLogan reveals a per­spective of Hillsdale College through his own eyes.

Some videos show McLogan and fellow Sigma Chi brothers goofing around the little yellow fra­ternity house on the corner of Hillsdale and Fayette Street. Footage shows the fra­ternity members smoking cigars, one fra­ternity brother doing the Pee Wee Herman dance, and others capture various members of soror­ities hanging out on the front porch of Sigma Chi during the Derby Days com­pe­tition, while sporting their various letters.

In one video, McLogan takes his dad’s Fiero on what he calls a “campus cruise” with one of his friends. While driving circles around Hillsdale’s campus of the 1980s with less devel­opment, more trees, and lots of neigh­borhood houses sep­a­rating campus buildings, McLogan pulls over to say ‘hi’ to some girl friends.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bdkE9WArdvQ&t=303s

One of the girls said, “Do you like my letters?” while tugging on her sweats embroi­dered with Pi Beta Phi Greek letters. Then goes on to say, “What are you doing?”

The response: “Filming you guys.” All of a sudden, the girls become camera-shy.

“There were a lot of dif­ferent reac­tions to the camera,” McLogan says. “People would ham and show off, and then others would be like, ‘What are you doing with that?’ Most people enjoyed it.”

Kuhlman wit­nessed a lot of McLogan’s film­making during their times together in Gal­loway, the Sigma Chi house, and an off-campus house they later moved into together.

“Some people thought Greg was annoying when he put a camera in their face, but years later, I’m sure no one is upset that he put a camera in their face when they look back on the videos now,” Kuhlman said. “Some of it was boring stuff, but a lot of them were very inten­tional and sort of like mini-doc­u­men­taries.”

In the older video, after McLogan’s Pi Phi friend walks away from the camera, she exclaims, “I want a ride in this!” referring to McLogan’s Fiero. McLogan goes into director mode.

“We’re going to go around the block! Film us taking off, and then film us coming back, okay?” McLogan says, as he directs his friend with the camera.

McLogan also used movies clips and music that were popular during his time in college to com­mem­orate the times in which he and his friends were living. 

He com­piled clips from the “Sixteen Candles” movie, and added popular songs like “Blue Monday” and “Age of Consent” from New Order — McLogan’s favorite band — to his videos.  As one video plays “Age of Consent,” McLogan and a friend walk into the McIntyre women’s dor­mitory from a snowy Hillsdale, star­tling the House Mom and bursting into dorm rooms to sur­prise unsus­pecting friends in good fun. 

One video fea­tures the St. Elmo’s Fire’s theme song inte­grated with videos of Sigma Chis pushing each other down Hillsdale Street in wheel­chairs, and another clip of a Chi Omega pulling up her dress only to reveal shorts under­neath.

For McLogan, the videos serve as a sort of time capsule that rep­re­sents a time in his and his friends’ lives that was quin­tes­sen­tially college and quin­tes­sen­tially ’80s.

“Other people took pic­tures too, but Greg really had a sense for the moment. He was a com­mu­ni­ca­tions major and editor of the Col­legian, and paid attention to those moments that would become mem­ories,” Kuhlman said. “He created some of those moments too, so these were things that people kind of got used to and played along with. It was almost like a regular routine on some TV talk show.”