Thomas Jefferson statue in the Jefferson Memorial.

Hillsdale College

Founded in 1844, Hillsdale College is an independent institution of higher learning in Hillsdale, Michigan, dedicated to the tradition of the liberal arts. The College is convinced that these arts are the best preparation for meeting the challenges of modern life and that they offer to all people of all backgrounds not only an important body of knowledge, but also timeless truths about the human condition.

The College was established by men and women who declared themselves “grateful to God for the inestimable blessings resulting from the prevalence of civil and religious liberty and intelligent piety in the land” and who believed that “the diffusion of sound learning is essential to the perpetuity of these blessings.” Hillsdale was the first American college to prohibit in its charter any discrimination based on race, religion, or sex, and it became an early force for the abolition of slavery. Holding to its core policy of nondiscrimination, Hillsdale College rejects federally funded grants and loans and instead supports its students with privately funded grants, loans, and scholarships.

Hillsdale College considers itself a trustee of our Western philosophical and theological inheritance. The College traces that heritage back to Athens and Jerusalem, and forward to its clearest expression in the American experiment of self-government under law. As part of its core curriculum, Hillsdale College requires each of its students to take a course on the United States Constitution.

Hillsdale continues to carry out its original mission today, both in the classroom and nationwide, through its many outreach programs around the country; its Barney Charter School Initiative, which has helped to establish 19 classical charter schools nationwide to date; its online courses, which have been taken by over two million people; and Imprimis, which reaches more than four million readers every month.

Exterior of the Kirby Center in Washington D.C.

Hillsdale in D.C.

Hillsdale College’s presence in Washington, D.C., extends the College’s teaching mission: Hillsdale in D.C. seeks to teach and promote the principles and practice of American constitutionalism in order to shape citizens, practitioners, and statesmen worthy of the blessings of liberty.

Since the late 1970s, the College has been sending its undergraduate students to study in Washington, D.C., through the Washington-Hillsdale Internship Program. On September 17, 2010, the College opened a permanent facility in Washington, D.C.—the Allan P. Kirby, Jr. Center for Constitutional Studies and Citizenship—which hosts public lectures, educational seminars, and congressional briefings. The College has sponsored an annual Constitution Day dinner and conference since that time.

Hillsdale also sponsors the James Madison Fellows Program, an intellectual community for mid- to senior-level working professionals to engage in the study of constitutional principles and to consider seriously the actions necessary to perpetuate free government.

In order to extend further its formal teaching mission, Hillsdale College is launching a new and unique graduate school of government in Washington, D.C., for the purpose of teaching politics and statecraft to those who work in the midst of government.