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A statue ded­i­cated to Hills­dale’s Civil War sol­diers occupies the center of Kresge Plaza.
Vir­ginia Aabram | Collegian

“Hillsdale played such an important role in the Union and not one doc­u­mentary has been made about it,” said senior Reagan Gen­siejewski said. 

Gen­siejewski and her class­mates senior in a video sto­ry­telling class, Lily McHale, junior Gabrielle Beas­sette, and sophomore Carter McNish, are hoping to change that in a video sto­ry­telling class with their upcoming film, “Defining Liberty: Hillsdale College and the Civil War.” The doc­u­mentary follows the lives of five out of the 505 Hillsdale stu­dents who fought in the Civil War. 

The film will be pre­miereing on Tuesday, Nov.ember 16th at 7 p.m. in Lane 124. The film, which is still being edited, will run any­where between from 30 to 45 minutes. 

Buddy Moore­house, the classes instructor and director of two Emmy-nom­i­nated doc­u­men­taries, said he picked this topic because he wanted to increase exposure to for the college’s role in the Civil War. 

“It’s pretty widely known that Hillsdale had an extra­or­dinary role in the war, but I don’t think people truly appre­ciate the details,” Moore­house said. 

According to Gen­siejewski, each student in the class researched a dif­ferent civil war veteran from the college and then com­piled their stories into a single nar­rative. 

“I researched Asher LaFleur, an orphan born in New York who ended up at Hillsdale College and decided, like many of his class­mates, that it was time to fight in the war,” said Gen­siejewski said. “After the war, he even­tually returns to Hillsdale and actu­ally­actual becomes the mayor.” 

The film will also chronicle the story of the soldier depicted in the college’s Civil War memorial statue. 

“The Civil War statue holds so much meaning that I don’t think a lot of stu­dents under­stand,” Gen­siejewski said. “That’s some­thing that we are really seeking to bring to the fore­front in our film.” 

“There is no story that illus­trates its mission better than the civil war story,” Moore­house said. “If they really want to under­stand and appre­ciate their college, they need to see this film.”