Senior psychology major Claire Lupini and senior biochemistry major Spencer Rothfuss were crowned queen and king of the president’s court by Hillsdale College President Larry Arnn at the annual President’s Ball on Saturday night.
“Claire and Spencer are both exceptional representatives of our Hillsdale College campus community,” Chairwoman and Associate Professor of Chemistry Courtney Meyet said in an email. “Not only are they outstanding scholars in their disciplines of study, but they have also made themselves known throughout campus by their outreach, leadership, and mentorship to other students.”
Both Rothfuss and Lupini are extremely involved in multiple sects of campus life.
Lupini is the small events leader on the Student Activities Board, works at the St. Peter’s Free Clinic as the volunteer coordinator, and is in the Lamplighters, Omicron Delta Kappa Leadership, and Psi Chi Psychology honoraries.
Rothfuss is the former chairman of Equip Ministries.
“I was shocked and excited and honored and honestly, speechless,” Lupini said. “I was so beyond honored that I won — it was a moment I’ll never forget.”
According to her boss Zane Mabry, director of student activities, Lupini is a wonderful example of the values Hillsdale instills in students.
“Her work ethic is super apparent. As far as SAB goes, she’s often looked to as one of the leaders, and one of the wiser members,” Mabry said. “She’s trusted by the whole team not only with ideas but character-wise as well. She’s a good model of both like good work in terms of what happens on SAB, but also good character as a whole.”
Professors are encouraged to nominate seniors for the President’s Ball court on multiple criteria: high academic achievement, campus involvement, and most of all, strong character. From there, a panel of five faculty members conduct interviews with all 10 nominees to determine who would best represent the senior class.
In an email to The Collegian, Rothfuss said he didn’t want glory.
“Should I bother to make a list of my qualifications it would be, I assure you, banal at best,” Rothfuss said. “Even more so, however, I have no desire for that list to be the thing communicated to my peers about my representing them. If my stint as representative king is to be of any value, it is to exhort next year’s king and the rest of the studentry on how to properly view success.”
Rothfuss also submitted an opinion piece to The Collegian titled “A Message from the King.”
“Even if you, reader, never get a crown, live so that you won’t be ashamed to smile under one,” Rothfuss wrote.
Assistant Professor of Theatre Christopher Matsos, who said he has gotten to know Lupini over her four years at Hillsdale, said her kindness and humility made her a joy to have in class.
“Claire brings a warm, calm, and confident energy to the classroom,” Matsos said in an email. “She has periodically invited me to participate in SAB events she has organized, where I’ve found her to be a poised and resourceful leader. If my faculty colleagues have had anything like the positive experiences I have had working with Claire, I am not at all surprised that she was selected.”
The President’s Ball court historically highlights members of the senior class who excel in all areas of Hillsdale life.
“It’s an honor,” Mabry said. “It’s a reflection of four years of hard work and dedication to the values that Hillsdale tries to instill in you. It’s a reflection that you’ve taken your education, your moral education and your academic education, seriously.”
For two students who have dedicated their time at Hillsdale to the pursuit of all things good, Lupini said, it is truly an honor.
“They do not only what is required of them, but put the extra time into every aspect of their endeavors on and off campus,” Meyet said. “They have fostered strong relationships with fellow students, faculty, and staff. They have shown themselves to be true members of a college as well as involved citizens in the community of Hillsdale – diligent, trustworthy, and honorable.”