Live band performance and dancing at night for the Hillsdale Garden Party.


Get a head start on your status as a Hillsdalian.

You’ll quickly learn that there’s no place quite like Hillsdale, and that’s true for our campus traditions, too.


Students playing Thatcherball in the snow.

A winter sport invented by and played only by us, it has a simple goal: run the football through the snow from one side of the Quad to the other and score by dropping the football in the lap of Margaret Thatcher’s statue. (Yes, Lady Thatcher knew about it, and approved.)

Statue Golf

Students playing golf on campus.

Grab a nine iron, and hit the links on our Liberty Walk. Tee up a Wiffle ball, and golf from statue to statue, connecting with George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, Margaret Thatcher, and Ronald Reagan.

Garden Party

Students dancing in Slayton Arboretum at night.

Held at the “Arb” (shorthand for our Slayton Arboretum), it’s the first big gathering after freshman orientation. A great time to unwind and get to know everybody.

Shakespeare in the Arb

Students performing a Shakespeare play in Slayton Arboretum.

It’s both the name of a student-led drama troupe and the location where they’ve been performing plays by the Bard every spring for more than a decade.

Senior Sidewalk

Seniors writing in chalk on campus sidewalks.

When you’re a Hillsdale senior, you earn the right to finish your time on campus by painting a blue and white message—funny, touching, profound—on our network of sidewalks.


Front of the crowd during a Centralhallapalooza concert.

This is a biggie. At the end of the year, Hillsdale throws a huge celebratory festival, and everyone’s invited. There are big music acts and surprises (like a live elephant) to give the academic year a proper and amazing send-off.

Epic Week

Student sitting outside with with a rug and table lamp reading.

The air has turned crisp, the birds are flying south—why, it must be time for the annual outdoor reading-aloud of great epic poetry. Head to the small stage near the quad where two honor societies, Eta Sigma Phi (classics) and Lambda Iota Tau (literary studies), stir the hearts of passersby with Homer, Virgil, and Dante.

Naval Battle

Muddied students with duct tape weapons and shields after the annual Naval Battle.

It’s our Lake Winona plus a fleet of cardboard boats plus a gleefully misguided sense of what constitutes historical re-enactment. As a writer for The Collegian observed, “Think more rugby in a monsoon than ‘Master and Commander.’”