The President’s Club Mission & History
The President’s Club of Hillsdale College is organized to meet the current and long-range financial needs and challenges of a truly private and independent institution of higher learning.
First and foremost, The President’s Club seeks to encourage a pattern of strong annual support from alumni, parents, businesses, and friends, who by their generosity set an example for others.
Second, The President’s Club recognizes those whose exemplary leadership and support enable the continued independence and excellence of the College and its programs.
Third, The President’s Club Office aspires to be a conduit for the exchange of ideas and information between the College and its major benefactors.
Finally, it is the goal of The President’s Club to encourage and provide opportunities for members to visit the Hillsdale campus and to participate in College programs and activities.
The President’s Club of Hillsdale College, launched in 1969, encourages, recognizes, and appreciates the support of our most substantial and committed financial partners. This partnership has been tested and found to be true and enduring.
In the summer of 1975, the federal government notified Hillsdale and all other American colleges and universities that the definition of “federal recipient” had changed, Any school whose students accepted federal taxpayer loans or grants was now to be classified as a federal recipient and, therefore, subject to an endless list of federal mandates, quotas, and guidelines.
Hillsdale College, not itself a federal recipient, objected to being labeled and shackled as such because of the personal loans and grants received by students. A long court battle ensued, which the College ultimately lost in 1984 when the Supreme Court upheld the new definition. In response, Hillsdale’s trustees made a bold decision to notify students that they no longer could accept federal taxpayer aid to attend Hillsdale. Simultaneously, they committed to replacing the lost federal taxpayer dollars with private ones, so that no qualified Hillsdale student would be turned away, or forced to go elsewhere, for lack of financial assistance.
For over forty years, members of The President’s Club have provided exemplary leadership in giving to support Hillsdale’s students, independence, and excellence. And it is only with their support that Hillsdale remains a trustee of the free man’s intellectual and spiritual heritage.