Hillsdale College Welcomes 10 New Faculty for 2020-21 Academic Year

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HILLSDALE, Mich. – Hillsdale College welcomes ten new faculty members to campus for the 2020-2021 school year.

“We are excited to welcome these distinguished scholars and teachers into our academic community,” said Chris VanOrman, Hillsdale College provost. “We wish our new faculty, as well as our established faculty, the best as they begin another year of work dedicated to the liberal arts.”

Hillsdale College Asked to Advise on Standards for Florida Public School Students

Florida state capitol

HILLSDALE, Mich. — Hillsdale College, a national leader in classical liberal arts K-12 education, has been asked by the Florida Legislature and Department of Education to advise in their review and release of standards for public school students.

In 2019, the Florida legislature passed Florida House Bill 807. The bill requires state test specifications, instructional materials, and state standards for civics education to be reviewed by the Commissioner of Education in consultation with external education entities. Hillsdale College was among the selected group of education consultants.

Hillsdale College Moves Forward with New Center for Faith and Freedom

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HILLSDALE, Mich. — Hillsdale College has received final approval to use several properties in Somers, Connecticut, to establish the Blake Center for Faith and Freedom. The Somers Zoning Commission agreed with the College that the College is a religious institution and that its plans for the Somers properties constitute religious-institutional uses protected by state, federal, and constitutional law.

Barney Charter School Initiative Opens Three New Schools in Fall 2020

Barney Charter School New Schools

HILLSDALE, Mich. — Three new classical charter schools supported by Hillsdale College through the Barney Charter School Initiative will begin classes this fall. 

A fourth school will join BCSI as an affiliate and receive access to curricular assistance, teacher training opportunities, and educational best practices. 

“We are delighted to welcome these new schools into the BCSI network,” said Dr. Kathleen O’Toole, assistant provost for K-12 Education at Hillsdale College. “More and more American families are discovering the beauty of classical education, and the expanding list of Hillsdale-affiliated schools will help provide this high-quality, proven model to the students who need it.” 

Hillsdale College Professor Helps Discover Precise Center of Solar System

Galactic Center - Milky Way

HILLSDALE, Mich. —Hillsdale College Assistant Professor of Physics Dr. Timothy Dolch co-authored a paper in The Astrophysical Journal that pinpoints the gravitational center of our solar system.

The team used specially designed software called BayesEphem to narrow down the precise location of the solar system’s gravitational center, called the barycenter. 

“We are very excited about these results,” said Dolch. “We now can use pulsars to pinpoint our exact place in the galaxy, information we need in order to find merging supermassive black holes.” 

Hillsdale College Holds 168th Annual Commencement Ceremony

168th Annual Commencement

Hillsdale, Mich. — Hillsdale College celebrated its 168th Commencement on July 18 at Frank “Muddy” Waters Stadium, thus continuing its unbroken tradition of holding Commencement annually. The ceremony, which is normally held on the campus East Lawn or in the Margot V. Biermann Athletic Center, was moved to the stadium to allow for social distancing between graduates and guests due to the COVID-19 epidemic. 

To host Commencement safely and lawfully, Hillsdale College consulted with legal and epidemiological experts, local law enforcement and health officials, and state government officials. 

Hillsdale College’s Benedict Whalen Named Professor of the Year

Benedict Whelen

HILLSDALE, Mich. — Hillsdale College congratulates Benedict Whalen on being named Professor of the Year by Hillsdale’s 2020 graduating class.

Whalen is an associate professor of English, teaching classes in the Great Books in the British and American Tradition, Renaissance British Literature, and Shakespeare, among others. He earned his bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Dallas, and his master’s and doctoral degrees in English from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Whalen has taught at Hillsdale College since 2014.

Hillsdale College Recognizes Top Academic Graduates, Outstanding Seniors

Grads with Dr. Arnn

HILLSDALE, Mich. — As a part of its 168th Commencement in-person activities, Hillsdale College recognized the top five academic graduates of the Class of 2020, as well as the Outstanding Senior Man and Woman, at a special dinner and program on Saturday, July 18. The Outstanding Senior Man and Woman are nominated by the senior class and voted on by the faculty.

Hillsdale College Grants Honorary Degree to Local Health Official

Duke Anderson Dr. Arnn

HILLSDALE, Mich. — At its 168th annual Commencement ceremony held in person on July 18, Hillsdale College awarded an honorary doctor of public service degree to Duke Anderson, recently retired president and chief executive officer of Hillsdale Hospital.

Anderson earned his bachelor’s degree at Michigan State University in 1980, followed by certification as a graduate respiratory therapist at University of Chicago hospitals and clinics. In 1986, Anderson became the Director of Health Promotion Services for the Branch-Hillsdale-St. Joseph Community Health Agency.

Legal Experts: Hillsdale College Commencement Complies with Executive Orders, Is Protected by First Amendment

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“This unique event is deserving of unique legal treatment,” said Robert Norton, Vice President and General Counsel for Hillsdale College. “It is consistent with the governor’s executive orders providing that you can have these outdoor First Amendment expressive events subject to CDC guidelines. The governor took part in one herself (which did not comply with CDC guidelines), and afterwards, her spokesperson said that was an appropriate thing for the governor to do because it had been an expressive First Amendment event. We agree.”

Hillsdale College Hosts Commencement with Guidance from Renowned Epidemiologists

Wide shot of Hillsdale College's campus courtyard.

“Hillsdale College has vigorously planned for many months how to hold its annual Commencement and has taken all practical precautions to ensure a safe event,” said Rich Péwé, Chief Administrative Officer at Hillsdale College. “We are especially grateful to the health experts who have consulted with us throughout our preparations.”

Hillsdale College Honors Master’s Graduate Joshua Lawson with Finn Memorial Award

“Joshua is an outstanding student with a dedication to America’s first principles,” said Ronald J. Pestritto, Dean of the Van Andel Graduate School of Statesmanship at Hillsdale College. “His commitment to scholarship and his enthusiasm for the subject matter will serve him well in his future endeavors.”