Hillsdale Faculty is understood for its robust campus tradition, a lot of which was constructed by a plethora of shared jokes. From the results of eating corridor meals on the digestive system to Hillsdale Faculty President Larry Arnn’s perpetual seek for the great to reflections on the phenomenon of Hillscourting, no subject is free from assault. Hillsdale’s tradition of satirical wit could have reached its peak in an early 2000s Collegian part referred to as the Backpage.
The Backpage, often captioned “Michigan’s funkiest journey” (to parody the Collegian’s oft touted phrase “Michigan’s oldest faculty informationpaper”), housed satirical and comedic articles, photographs, and recurring bits. A few of the latter had been the overheard Hillsdale part, featuring cheeky quotes from students and college, and information bytes, which contained humorous takes on present occasions each on campus and all through the world. It was in print from 2000 to 2002, and was a revival of the Collegian’s first satire stint within the early 90s.
Every difficulty of the Backpage tended to focus on an total theme, like St. Patrick’s Day, Greek life, a Hillsdale themed mad-lib, and the overwhelming population of residenceschoolers on campus. Some themed pages even had alternate headers, equivalent to a Christian themed web page entitled The Holydale Backpage: Michigan’s Most Spiritual Faculty Informationpaper. One distinctive difficulty referred to as the Face Web page had two cut-out masks of then Provost Robert Blackinventory and President Larry Arnn. Beside the masks was an inventory of activities to do as soon as adequately disguised, equivalent to sneak into Broadlawn to raid the fridge and “do Provosty stuff.”
A particular recurring gag of the Backpage was Cap’n Arrn, a comedic, pirate-themed spin on the identify of our beloved president— then new to the school. The nickname was so prevalent that, moreover incomes frequent malestions on the Backpage, there was even an incident wherein a jolly roger flag was positioned on Central Corridor. Backpage contributor Invoice Grey, 2001 Hillsdale graduate and present associate vice president of nationwide donor outattain for the school, denies any responsibility on behalf of the Collegian for this occasion. In response to Grey, removed from angering President Arnn, these jokes really made him and his household really feel extra welcome in Hillsdale. Grey stated, “The Backpage made them really feel welcome, like they had been a part of the household.”
The Backpage mission was headed by a gaggle of Collegian reporters who referred to as themselves the “Assume Tank” consisting of students Joel Schellhammer, Lucas Miller, Joshua Walton, Ben Courtney, Billy Grey, and J.D. Rowland, often known as “The Beaver.” All had been 2001 grads other than Rowland who graduated in 2002. Every difficulty of the Backpage featured an inventory of Assume Tank contributors, typically with nicknames, corresponding to the week’s theme. For instance, in a November 2000 Greek life themed difficulty, the Assume Tank included figures equivalent to Josh the Spartan, Billy Prince of Thebes, and Ben the Sophist, together with Cap’n Arnn and his band of merry males.
In 2011, a 10-year anniversary web page was published entitled the “We’re Again Web page.” Geriatric Joel, Final Gasp Luke, Wrinkled Willy, Soiled Outdated Ben, Jitterbug Josh, and JD the Gummy Beaver got here collectively to poke enjoyable at their alma mater yet one more time. They thanked Hillsdale for, “altering so little we are able to nonetheless make enjoyable of it 10 years later.” A outstanding bit on the decennial Backpage featured a chart of how alumni donations are distributed. Allegedly, a significant quantity of funds are delegated to a ten% tithe to Rush Limbaugh, wicker furniture for the school lounge, and Dr. Arnn’s honor code tattoo. Preserve this noble trigger in thoughts when Hillsdale requests donations from you post-grad. Grey stated the outdated Assume Tank is considering a 20-year anniversary Backpage this fall, so preserve your eyes peeled.
Although the Backpage may seem to be a paper predecessor to right now’s Hillsdale meme pages, it’s a shining instance of the creativity-filled historical past of the school and its students.