This week marks a return to our college after travels across the country and around the world—a sweet reunion of the summer Hillsdale diaspora. To our freshmen and transfers: welcome! To all returning: it’s good to be back.
Tabulating all the places Hillsdale students have been this past summer would make for some fascinating accounting. Start with all our homes and internships and travels. Add in every crossing of paths, happy meetings out of the context of campus life. Make a final addition to this imaginative arithmetic of every incoming freshman’s hometown. Would it equal a little bit of awe and a lot of good stories? We think so.
We all feel the pang of wanting to be home, the pull of life at Hillsdale, and the draw of traveling for one or two or three months straight. Perhaps it is our freshmen who most acutely understand that pull between home and Hillsdale right now. This transition to college is more than learning to live away from your family; it’s becoming a part of a new community, a community that eagerly welcomes your friendship.
Hillsdale, campus and town, does become a home in these rapid, transitional four years. Despite the constant shifting of the community, students find something of permanence in learning to read the great books, cherish traditions, and love each other. But while we are learning these things, siblings at home grow up, grandparents age, and we miss our parents, pets, and the neighborhood streets we grew up on. How are we to reconcile these two homes, especially with yet another transition looming a few short years in the future? An answer to this question may turn out to be one of the things we had to sojourn here to find; in the meantime, returns to both homes become all the sweeter. And when we graduate, we shall still say, in the words of a senior class president in the memory of, already, only half the student body, It was worth it.
The Forum is a magazine-style gathering place of Hillsdale culture and intellectual conversation on campus. Quite naturally, this issue became threaded with themes of travel and return, place and home. To reflect on our summer travels, we’ve featured vignettes and photos from Morgan Brownfield, Tomàs Valle, and Matt Sauer that capture moments of travels and meetings in “unlikely places”. Ben Strickland kicks off The Forum’s new photography feature with a shot of his Maine homeland. And to continue a Forum tradition of alumni contributions in the first issue, the editors asked Grace Marie Wierenga (née Lambert) and Evan Gage, class of 2014, for an update on life on the outside and their adventures abroad.
In the essay section, Timothy Troutner examines the richness of the Christian liturgical heritage and Editor-in-Chief Madeline Johnson interviews Claire Schumock for a liberal arts look into the intricate world of the natural sciences. In our regular columns, book columnist Sarah Schweizer, ’15, reviews Siddhartha and movie columnist Timothy Troutner discusses Calvary. Noah Weinrich reports the latest news on freshmen orientation in his satire column.
The Forum can’t live up to its lively Roman name without your engagement. Respond to one of the essays with a letter to the editors or write a full-length rebuttal. Distill your ruminations on campus culture into essay form. Polish up a class paper for the whole community to ponder. Bring the perspective of your physics or psychology or history major to bear on our common life. That life will be richer for it.
Before we invite you to turn this page and join Fall 2015’s campus conversation, we would like to extend a sincere thank you to former editor-in-chief senior Chris McCaffery for all that he has done for The Forum in past years and for all of the support he continues to give us. We would also like to thank Jacob Lane and everyone at ISI and the Collegiate Network for their continued support of this publication. Also, don’t flip too quickly through our glossy pages; be sure to linger over the handiwork of head designer senior Meg Prom.
With that, let all magazine-perusal and return festivities commence!
Co-Editor-in-Chief Sarah Reinsel is a junior studying English and classical education. Co-Editor-in-Chief Madeline Johnson is a junior studying philosophy