An estimated 2,600 people are expected to attend the graduation ceremony tonight at Hillsdale College, in Hillsdale, MI, despite Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s executive order limiting gatherings of over 100 people in the state of Michigan. According to a current Hillsdale College student who writes for 100 Percent Fed Up, the school has announced that there will be a surprise speaker at the graduation ceremony. Excitement is swirling around the campus about who the surprise speaker might be, as enhanced security is currently taking place around the school and a number of roads are being blocked off by law enforcement.
The prominent independent liberal arts school is known for offering students a top-notch education while refusing to accept any federal funding. The college’s refusal to accept money from the government gives them the ability to educate students without having to bow down to the politically correct mob infecting college campuses across America. As part of its core curriculum, Hillsdale College requires each of its students to take a course on the United States Constitution.
According to the Detroit Free Press – Hillsdale College sent almost all of its students home when it closed its campus in mid-April due to the COVID-19 threat. But now, an estimated 2,600 students, family members and guests will descend on Hillsdale this weekend for a large-scale commencement ceremony over the objections of local health officials.
The prominent conservative college’s decision to follow through with its plans to hold an in-person commencement on Saturday has drawn opposition from officials at the Branch-Hillsdale-St. Joseph Community Health Agency. They say a mass influx of people from various regions of the country coming into Hillsdale risks widespread community exposure.
Hillsdale College originally planned to hold commencement on May 9 but postponed it to Saturday due to the ongoing COVID-19 threat. Admission to Saturday’s commencement ceremony is by ticket only and it is closed to the public and members of the media. Ticketing will be contactless and handled electronically.
In preparing for the rescheduled event, Hillsdale College undertook a number of precautions that “either meet or exceed those recommended by the World Health Organization,” according to a Thursday news release. College officials contacted Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s team more than a month prior to the event and have communicated with the state Attorney General’s Office and local law enforcement and health officials about the planned ceremony, the release states.
The ceremony itself will take place outdoors in pre-positioned seating where social distancing can take place, and if it is moved inside it will be held in a venue large enough to allow adequate spacing between guests, the college says.
Among the many precautions the college is taking, all attendees will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms and have their temperatures checked. Masks will be required in compliance with Whitmer’s executive order, and signage directing mask usage will be prominently displayed. Masks will be provided for those who do not have them. In collaboration with Hillsdale Hospital, health stations will be located on-site and staffed by nurses to help with any health concerns that arise.
Additionally, attendees who have COVID-19 symptoms or who have been in contact with anyone infected have been instructed not to come, as well as individuals who are most susceptible to COVID-19.
In an email obtained by The Detroit News, Hillsdale College President Larry Arnn told students this week that he met with senior class officers about commencement plans and had a spirited discussion about the importance of the ceremony, and outlined how the college would take precautions amid the pandemic.