Hillsdale plans in-person commencement celebration this weekend

July 16, 2020, 7:53 AM

Hillsdale College, the conservative private school in south-central Michigan, is planning a graduation party for 2,600 this weekend on its campus, and officials apparently don't care what public-health experts have to say about it. (Nothing good.)

Hillsdale College (Photo:

Crain's Detroit Business reports that while the college is requiring attendees to wear masks and encourages social distancing, it doesn't appear to be taking any other extraordinary measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19. "Appear" because Hillsdale "did not respond to multiple messages from Crain's seeking comment."

OK then. 

On the schedule:

Hillsdale College is planning events starting Thursday with a dinner for graduating seniors, followed by a "senior palooza" on Friday night and an outdoor commencement ceremony Saturday on the college's east lawn, according to a noise variance the college received from the city of Hillsdale.

The concern, of course, is that students and their families will be converging on Michigan from around the country, including hot spots like Florida, Texas and California. Local health officials aren't pleased:

"I have no words for how disappointing it is to me that the college would put the Hillsdale community at such risk," county health officer Rebecca Burns said Tuesday in an email to local health officials that was obtained by Crain's.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is not pleased either:

"There's no excuse for not taking the health of our fellow Michiganders seriously," (Whitmer spokesman Zack) Pohl said.

Maybe a rewrite of the school's alma mater is called for:

Proudly we sing of college halls, gracing a hilltop high.
Proudly our tower and ivied walls point to an azure sky.
And may that spirit long remain, bringing distinction true.
Cough cough cough cough cough cough cough cough, whew.

Read more:  Crain's Detroit Business

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