Hamilton College can't get enough of Lin-Manuel Miranda's Pulitzer Prize-winning musical.
"Hamilton" has captivated the campus community, Teri Weaver reports for NewYorkUpstate.com.
"People get introduced to it, by a friend," says first-year student Austin Ford. "And you hear it. And then you start singing. And then you hear other people signing it. And it really devolves from there. Until you've completely surrendered your entire being to 'Hamilton.'"
Reverence for Alexander Hamilton runs deep at the college, which was first chartered in 1812 after the former Treasury secretary became a trustee and lent his name to the school.
His memory has come alive once again through the musical, which has been cherished by the Hamilton College community.
High school students applying to Hamilton discuss the musical in their essays. Ron Chernow's biography of Hamilton, which inspired Miranda to write the musical, flies off the shelves at the campus bookstore.
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"There's a particular pride in it here," says Hamilton President Joan Hinde Stewart of the show. "If he ever was the forgotten founding father, as he's sometimes called, he no longer is."
Even Stewart has been swept up in "Hamilton" fever—when giving speeches, she likes to drop rap numbers from the musical.
Miranda visited the college as part of its 200th anniversary in the fall of 2011, before "Hamilton" became a runaway hit. Now the college purchases blocks of tickets for students to see the show in New York City—Stewart says unfortunately, she can't help alumni who have called to ask about getting tickets to the show.
While some of the college's "Hamilton"-themed events do go toward fundraising, Stewart says such efforts are also meant to honor the college's history.
"It's always going to have a special place in our environment," Ford says. "It goes into our generation. It goes further than that. Even my grandmother listens to it. But it really holds a special place here" (Weaver, NewYorkUpstate.com, 5/4).
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