Published on: September 28th, 2020

Faculty Profile: Matthew Spalding

Dr. Matthew C. Spalding is the Vice President for Washington Operations and Dean of the Steve and Amy Van Andel Graduate School of Government.  He oversees all operations and educational programs at Hillsdale College’s Washington, D.C. campus, located on Capitol Hill.

Dr. Spalding was instrumental in launching the new graduate school at the Washington, DC campus, which aims to educate graduate students in the first principles of politics and how they can be applied to restore constitutional self-government in the United States.

The Kirby Professor in Constitutional Government, Dr. Spalding has been invited to testify before congress on several occasions.  On one such occasion he testified before the Committee on Financial Services regarding the rule of law and the rise of bureaucratic government in the United States.  More recently Dr. Spalding testified before the House Rules Committee regarding “Constitutional Perspectives on the Responsibility and Authority of the Legislative Branch.” You can read more about that testimony here.

Graduate student Joshua Holdenried described his recent course with Dr. Spalding:

“[The course] ultimately reveals that many of the debates we are having today, such as those over individual rights versus group rights, are in many ways the same debates that defined figures such as Daniel Webster and John C. Calhoun…and what remains at stake as we continue our experiment in self-government.”

 Dr. Spalding is a prolific writer and has written and edited several books.  His bestselling book, We Still Hold These Truths: Rediscovering Our Principles, Reclaiming Our Future, is widely used to introduce students to America’s core principles and how they are under assault today by modern liberalism.

He is also a George Washington scholar and has published extensively on his life and presidency, including A Sacred Union of Citizens: Washington’s Farewell Address and the American Character and Patriot Sage: George Washington and the American Political Tradition.  Both explore important themes in the first president’s life and the effects of Washington’s character on the new republic.

Prior to working for Hillsdale College, Dr. Spalding was vice president of American Studies at the Heritage Foundation and founding director of its B. Kenneth Simon Center for Principles and Politics.  In this role he also was the executive editor of The Heritage Guide to the Constitution, which is a line-by-line analysis explaining every clause of America's founding charter and its contemporary meaning.

Dr. Spalding is a graduate of Claremont McKenna College and earned a doctorate in government from the Claremont Graduate School, concentrating in political philosophy and early American political thought.

Dr. Spalding currently lives in Arlington, Virginia with his wife (and Hillsdale grad) who is also a professor.  Their son is a student at Catholic University of America and their daughter is a freshman at Hillsdale College.

About Hillsdale in D.C.

Hillsdale in D.C. is an extension of the teaching mission of Hillsdale College to Washington, D.C. Its purpose is to teach the Constitution and the principles that give it meaning. Through the study of original source documents from American history—and of older books that formed the education of America’s founders—it seeks to inspire students, teachers, citizens, and policymakers to return the America’s principles to their central place in the political life of the nation.

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 5.7 million. For more information, visit