Several Kirby Center event participants conversing with Dr. Larry Arnn.

Message from the Dean, Dr. Matthew C. Spalding

We are pleased to announce our year-long renovation and expansion project to meet the growing needs of our Hillsdale College Washington, D.C. campus!
Since the mid-1970s, the College has been sending its undergraduate students to study and work in Washington, D.C., through the Washington-Hillsdale Internship Program. In 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. In 2019, Hillsdale College founded the Steve and Amy Van Andel Graduate School of Government at the Washington, D.C. campus to teach future statesmen the principles and practice of politics.
Having outgrown our existing building, we are now renovating the Kirby Center and our graduate school, the building immediately adjacent, and the two townhouses beyond. These renovations will provide a beautiful chapel, handsome meeting and study spaces, seminar rooms, and faculty offices, as well as bright and cheerful additional student housing—all to help our faculty, students, staff, and fellows continue to grow and thrive on campus.
The buildings will be interconnected and the space throughout is planned for multiple uses, but always in the use of our renewed campus, we will emphasize our principal work: teaching and learning. The outdoor spaces, from the new front plaza to the rooftop terrace, will allow for more gatherings of students, alumni, and friends of the College.
And from the moment one enters the new entrance lobby and ascends the grand staircase, all will have been done fittingly and beautifully. The designs radiate Hillsdale College’s noble mission in America’s capital city and throughout the nation. When you look at these plans and photos of our renovation’s progress and especially when you finally walk through our new front entrance, I am sure that you will agree, our renovated and expanded D.C. campus is yet another fulfillment of our mission to provide “social instruction”—even our architecture teaches!—that “will best develop the minds and improve the hearts of [our] pupils.”
Please also visit our Latest News webpage for regular renovation updates and images.

DC Campus Renovations

Courtyard_rendering-(1).jpgArchitectural rendering only

First (Ground) Floor

The first-floor entrance area will be renovated to create a more elegant and welcoming central space when arriving to the Hillsdale D.C. campus. Upon entering, a beautiful stained glass window beckons visitors to our campus chapel. It is the heart of the campus and a space for quiet prayer, reflection, religious services, Bible studies, and more.
In the back of the Kirby building will be a newly remodeled seminar room and several staff offices. Stairs to the left of the central foyer lead to the Van Andel School of Government building, the first floor of which will be study areas and flexible meeting space to be used for private study, student advising, and small meetings and, in the back, two new seminar rooms that can also be used for dinners and graduate school events.
Turning right from the central foyer, a grand staircase will lead up into the Kirby Center. For outdoor events, the ground floor of both buildings open on to the newly renovated courtyard space outside the Kirby Center and the Van Andel School of Government.

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Second Floor

The Kirby Center will be lightly renovated to expand the front parlor area and give a more classical design to the Cindy Van Andel Lecture Hall. The lecture hall hosts regular Hillsdale Hostel adult learning seminars, as well as the AWC Family Foundation Lecture Series and many other speeches that are featured in Hillsdale College’s Imprimis publication; it doubles as a space to accommodate larger classes and social events as well.

The second floor of the Van Andel building will provide three new seminar rooms to accommodate the growth of the School of Government. There will also be a lounge and meeting area for the graduate students.

Third Floor

The third floor of the newly renovated campus will provide staff and faculty access between the Kirby and Van Andel buildings. In addition to the existing space in the Kirby Center, there will be eight new faculty and staff offices and several new work areas to accommodate and support the graduate school and the growing work of our Washington, D.C. campus.

Fourth Floor

Although books are shelved throughout the buildings, the primary library of the Washington, D.C. campus is located on the fourth floor.  A formal library room will be added to house our special collections (including our first edition of The Federalist) that may be used for private study, events, classes, or—the graduate student’s fearful triumph—oral examinations. The library area in both buildings will be refreshed and enriched to make the overall space an inspiring place of study and an ennobling location for private salons for students, faculty, alumni, and fellows.
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The Boyle Radio Studio will remain active as an important part of the College’s outreach and student media training. The main library room will open to a completely renovated, top-floor terrace that will provide students and guests a year-round outdoor study and social space.

Please also visit our Latest News webpage for regular renovation updates and images.

Each year, students from around the country—in undergraduate internships, graduate school, and fellows programs—flock to Hillsdale College’s campus in Washington, D.C. Each year, the number of students we serve there grows.

Located on Capitol Hill, the Washington, D.C. campus is a foothold in our nation’s capital—a retreat in which to study first principles in close proximity to the bustle of government activity. In our historic buildings, students experience the urgency of making sound practical judgments, and they pursue the virtues necessary to do so. And like so many of the old buildings in the capital, ours are beautiful works of architecture—dignified buildings that help to shape their inhabitants for the work they undertake. We now aim to make them more beautiful and usable inside, proper for the high learning that will occur there.

 For over ten years, Hillsdale College in D.C. has accomplished this ever urgent work. We intend to build on our successes by renovating and developing these facilities so that our doors in Washington, D.C., remain open and welcoming to all those seeking to learn.

Please join us.
With warmest regards,
Larry P. Arnn
Hillsdale College President