Hillsdale College announced the formal launch of its “Freshman Foundation” lecture series on Oct. 21 to complement the Senior Capstone lecture course, according to a press release. Freshmen will receive an introduction to academic life and the partnership on a college campus, and learn what it means to be a Hillsdale student through five lectures from faculty deans.
Hillsdale College President Larry Arnn gave the first lecture of the 2021 – 2022 academic year on Sept. 7 about the “four pillars” of the Hillsdale education: learning, character, faith, and freedom.
Dean of Faculty Mark Kalthoff gave the second lecture on learning on Oct. 5. On Nov. 16, Matthew Young, dean of natural sciences and associate professor of chemistry, will speak about faith. David Whalen, associate vice president for curriculum, and Paul Moreno, dean of social sciences, will lecture in the second semester.
“You’re going to study long and difficult hours at something that’s not immediately penetrable, and you’re going to need your courage and resolution,” Arnn said in his inaugural lecture. “Why would you do that? Because you love something. You long to know.”
Whalen said he hopes to share the nature of higher, liberal education with the freshmen.
“I hope to underscore how consequential, permanent, and even dangerous it is,” he said. “I hope to awaken them not to its difficulty, but to its importance, and its terrible beauty.
Provost Christopher VanOrman said Arnn’s lecture is intended to familiarize freshmen with the four pillars.
“Dr. Arnn’s desire is to introduce these four fundamental principles early during the freshman year as these themes will continue to be weaved through their education over the next few years,” he said. “We want the freshmen to recognize these important principles and how they relate to their everyday life including their future major.”
The lectures are held in the Searle Center and include a complimentary lunch catered by Bon Appetit.
“The Freshman Foundation series are a good reminder of the reason I decided to come to Hillsdale in the first place,” freshman Linnea Shively said. “It gives me a big picture view of how I will not only grow academically in my time at Hillsdale, but how I want to grow holistically as a person, too.”
VanOrman said this year’s lectures would be similar to last year’s, though Whalen would be replacing Dean of the Humanities Stephen Smith, who is on sabbatical.
“The Freshman Foundation lectures were such an integral part of my freshman year,” sophomore Marlow Canady reflected. “They introduced us to professors in various departments through lectures that helped us understand Hillsdale’s core values. It’s also fun to see your whole class sharing a meal together a few times throughout the year.”