Hillsdale: A College for Conservatives

If you have kids who are now thinking about colleges but you shudder at the liberal propaganda that is shoved down the throats of college students these days, you may want to take a look at Hillsdale College in Hillsdale, Michigan. Unlike most colleges and universities, Hillsdale was founded on sound conservative principles and will give your kids a great education. From The Toledo Blade:

Between sips of coffee from a Bill of Rights mug, [Hillsdale President] Mr. Arnn explained that he traded the California sunshine of the Clare-mont Institute for Michigan winters because of Hillsdale’s articles of association.

That document, he quoted, charges the college to develop the “moral, social, and artistic instruction and culture as will best develop the minds and improve the hearts of the students.”

Hillsdale refuses to accept any government funds. It replaces federal scholarships and loans with private funds from a $265 million endowment. When administrators subtract financial aid from Hillsdale’s $26,430 sticker price, the average annual cost drops to $13,430.

The college defies affirmative action and does not track the ethnic make-up of its 1,300 students. In a video to promote Hillsdale called “Educating for Liberty,” Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas says this policy dates to Hillsdale’s establishment by Free-Will Baptists as an abolitionist institution that admitted blacks.

Hillsdale publishes Imprimis, a monthly that reaches more than 1.25 million readers and runs speeches given at college events by the likes of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. The college stores on-line the complete writings of William F. Buckley, a grandfather of modern conservative ideology.

An outsider could confuse Hillsdale classes for boosterism of past Republican administrations.

A morning history class trumpeted President Reagan’s 1981 tax cut as clearing the way for Microsoft, the Sony Walkman, and fax machines.

“The arguments have been documented 100 times on the theoretical level that the government raising money doesn’t help the economy,” said freshman Andrew Cureton, who can instantly tell his professor that Richard Nixon won every state in the 1972 presidential election except Massachusetts.

When students talk in class, they tend do so with a certainty of their convictions. Lauren Clark, a senior, said intellectual rigor matters more than ideological shading.

“What’s the slogan?” she said. “Hillsdale College: Where your best hasn’t been good enough since 1844.”

The college requires students to complete a course on the Constitution, one that often influences their perspective on government.

Jeremiah Regan, a junior history major, said his political views have morphed since high school.

“I was a Republican when I came to Hillsdale,” he said. “I’m much less Republican now and have loyalty to conservative ideas.”

Hillsdale endorses this type of culture in an honor code that freshmen sign each fall. It asks them to engage in “self-government,” a pledge meant to uphold every person’s “natural rights” for the common good.

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