White House

White House Appoints Arnn and Spalding to lead 1776 Commission

Commission to Advise President about America’s Founding Principles

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Hillsdale, Mich. – Today at the White House, President Donald Trump announced that Dr. Larry P. Arnn, Hillsdale College president, will be appointed to serve as chairman of the President’s Advisory 1776 Commission. Dr. Matthew Spalding, vice president for the College’s Washington, D.C. operations and dean of the Van Andel Graduate School of Government, has been appointed executive director of the Commission.

“The 1776 Committee was formed to advise the President about the core principles of the American founding and how to protect those principles by promoting patriotic education,” said Dr. Spalding. “The path to a renewed and confident national unity is through a rediscovery of our shared identity rooted in those principles. It is an honor to be entrusted to direct the Commission.”

The Commission was created by executive order in November 2020 to advise the President about teaching future generations about the history and principles of the founding of the United States in 1776 and correcting the rising tide of anti-American scholarship that rejects that history and those principles. The Commission will also make recommendations about preparing for the celebration of the 250th anniversary of American Independence.

Dr. Spalding has taken a temporary leave of absence from his duties at Hillsdale for the appointment. During his absence, Dr. Matthew Mehan, director of academic programs, will oversee undergraduate classes and the spring session of the graduate school at Hillsdale’s D.C. campus.

A briefing on the commission’s duties can be found here. A copy of President Trump’s “Executive Order Establishing the President’s Advisory 1776 Commission” can be found here.

About Hillsdale in D.C.

Hillsdale College’s presence in Washington, D.C., extends the College’s educational mission to the nation’s capital by teaching and promoting the principles and practice of American constitutionalism. Hillsdale in D.C. seeks to inspire and form students, citizens, practitioners, and statesmen, who will restore America’s principles and revive self-government in the political life of the nation.

In order to extend its formal teaching mission, Hillsdale College has launched The Van Andel Graduate School of Government, a new and unique graduate program in the nation’s capital, for the purpose of teaching political thought, American political history, and statecraft to young professionals working in Washington, D.C. For more information, visit https://dc.hillsdale.edu/.

About Hillsdale College

Hillsdale College is an independent liberal arts college located in southern Michigan. Founded in 1844, the College has built a national reputation through its classical liberal arts core curriculum and its principled refusal to accept federal or state taxpayer subsidies, even indirectly in the form of student grants or loans. It also conducts an outreach effort promoting civil and religious liberty, including a free monthly speech digest, Imprimis, with a circulation of more than 5.5 million. For more information, visit hillsdale.edu.

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