Letter From the Editor, April 2015

Letter from the Editor

In 2003, Hans Zeiger founded a small newspaper at Hillsdale College “To facilitate a forum for Conservative issues in order to stimulate thinking on various aspects of political life.” That newspaper, the Hillsdale Conservative, hoped to combat liberalism across America, and worked with the Hillsdale College Republicans to pursue that goal. When that relationship proved rocky, Zeiger ceded the role of editor-in-chief to Stephani Deichmann.

From 2005 to 2006, Deichmann published eight issues of the Hillsdale Conservative, recruiting staff, improving the design, and struggling to develop a strong base of donors. The paper was hampered by its dual purposes, writing for subscribers across the country and appealing to readers on campus.

Stephanie Francl (née Deichmann) continued as editor-in-chief for the 2006 to 2007 academic year, publishing six issues. She ended the paper’s relationship with College Republicans and changed its name to The Hillsdale Forum, giving a nod to the paper’s mission statement. The change in name also came with a change in scope: to appeal to Hillsdale students, the paper should write for them, not for a national audience it did not and will not have.

Emilia Huneke-Bergquist and Julie Robison served as editors-in-chief of the paper for the next two years. During their tenure The Forum expanded onto the internet, producing a Twitter account and a rather garish blog. Logistical issues—particularly Hilldale’s rigor and volume of work—limited Bergquist and Robison to producing three issues a year.

The next pair of editors-in-chief was Matt Cole and Anna Smith, who worked to make The Forum stable and reliable. During the 2010–2011 academic year, they increased the number of issues printed to four, printing on time and with a reliable group of staff writers.

In 2011, Rachael Wierenga became editor-in-chief. Under her leadership, The Forum changed its format from a 12-page newspaper to a 24-page, color magazine. In an effort to promote stability, she established a consistent structure for Forum content and published five issues. The Forum won a design award for Design Editor Lauren Wierenga’s work during this year.

Weston Wright served as editor-in-chief from 2012 to 2013. He maintained Wierenga’s emphasis on stability in format and structure while working to improve the magazine’s quality and reputation. He published four issues of The Hillsdale Forum.

Christopher McCaffery became editor after Wright, and published eight issues of the magazine. He re-wrote the mission statement of the publication to refocus more strongly on the liberal arts and the political life of campus, and has greatly enjoyed his tenure with the magazine he loves—may it be in a better place than it was found in.

Next year, Sarah Reinsel and Madeline Johnson will take over as co-editors-in-chief, and they’re sure to do a great job. Current Web Editor Emily Lehman will serve as managing editor. Special thanks should go to the current Forum staff and everyone who contributed essays this year, and especially our graduating senior staff: most of all Chelsey Schmid, who has thanklessly dedicated a truly heroic amount of time to the magazine; Matthew O’Sullivan for his excellent editing the past two years; former editor-in-chief Wes Wright; long time tardy columnist Andy Reuss; and self-motivated social media man John Taylor. Thank you also to graduating seniors who have regularly contribute writing, including Devin Creed, Ian Atherton, John Taylor, Garrett West, and Nathan Brand.

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