Back and Better Than Ever: The Revival of The Hilltop News

Jayme Middleton, Editor-In-Chief 2019-2020

            When I wrote for The Hilltop News during the Jan Term of my freshman year, I told everyone I knew that I was going to be published in the school newspaper. The general reaction to that by my peers was, “We have a school newspaper?”

            Like many institutions of higher learning, LaGrange College does indeed have a student newspaper, and it’s been publishing since the early 20th century.

            The Hilltop originally began as a classic print newspaper, like the kind of newspaper in movies or that would show up in mailboxes on Sunday mornings. As technology advanced, the publication was switched over to our Web site. And from the first article online to our most recent piece, it is all there.

            Upperclassmen will find some familiar looking names. A few of our recent graduates of the 2019 class wrote for The Hilltop, including Jamarcus Watkins, Maegan Lennon, and Celeste Crowe. Our very own Trinity-Lynn Hightower, class of 2017, published an article. For those who are not familiar with Trinity-Lynn, drop by the housing office and talk to the ’17 alum about her time here on The Hill.

            Dr. Justin Thurman has been the Hilltop’s faculty advisor since 2012. He frequently pushes his students to write work for publication. He is known around campus for his boundless energy paired with an intense passion for writing. These qualities serve as the backbone for our newspaper.

            This year’s staff is made up of approximately eighteen wonderful writers and photographers from all disciplines, like journalism, history, English, art, photography, music, and nursing. Our staff is made of mostly upperclassmen, but we plan to highlight some of the exemplary work our first-year students produce, as well. Keep an eye on our “First Word” section to check out these up-and-coming writers.

          We are excited to have writers returning to The Hilltop News. Miranda Cox, Madison Murphy, Puja Roy, and Nick Oakley, who all published creative writing during the 2019 spring semester, are stepping forward to work as journalists and help students stay aware of what is going on here at LaGrange College.

We are also looking forward to a lot of new faces, such as Alexis Westrick, Cole Reihing, and Lila Phurrough, who all have upcoming articles in the next few weeks. 

As we sought out writers for this year, one of our goals was to ensure that clubs were represented, too. Dr. Thurman and I are proud to say our staff has members from the Black Student Union, your LaGrange College Marching Band, PAC, Sci-Fi Club, Sustainability Club, and Pride Club, to name a few. Our plan is to highlight our campus organizations and make sure that their work is known and appreciated.

            As we highlight these student writers, we want to spread word around campus. We want everyone to know that, yes, LaGrange College does have a newspaper, and, yes, it will be a spot where students can come to write about nearly everything. We look forward to posting opinion pieces, news around campus, and to serve as a watchdog group if that is what our readers want. We also want to grow. If you want to write for your college newspaper, even if only a few times or just on a special occasion, let us know! I can personally be reached at

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