Published on: May 23rd, 2024

Hillsdale College Hosts 172nd Annual Commencement Ceremony, Welcomes Keynote Speaker Pat Sajak

The annual ceremony recognized graduating class of 2024, top academic honors, outstanding seniors, retiring faculty, and Professor of the Year

HILLSDALE, Mich. — Hillsdale College celebrated its 172nd Commencement on Saturday, May 11. Pat Sajak, television game show host and chairman of the College’s Board of Trustees, delivered the keynote address, and the College conferred honorary degrees and recognized top academic graduates.
In his address, Sajak spoke to the graduating students about civility.
“I am always reluctant to get into the ‘world is falling apart’ mode because people my age have always felt the world is falling apart… but there does seem to be something more insidious going on this time in our politics and social media, COVID, in our education establishment, or whichever you think the guilty entity might be. But it does seem to be a growth in animosity between and among individuals,” said Sajak. “Those of you graduating today have so much to offer the world, whether it is in business, health care, education, raising a family, or a hundred other ways. Your Hillsdale education and the values you learned here will make this country and this world a better place. But, I humbly ask that you also strive to practice civility in everything you do.”
Sajak has been the host of Wheel of Fortune longer than anyone has hosted any program in the history of American television. Sajak also has served on Hillsdale’s Board of Trustees since 2002. He was the vice chairman from 2003 to 2019 and was named chairman in 2019.
“He is retiring after an unprecedentedly long career at the top. There have been huge changes in the media, and his show is a constant — he has been a constant,” said Hillsdale College President Larry P. Arnn. “Above all, what is important to him — his family, his work, his achievements, his life — he is trying to be a good fellow and take care of those he loves and do a good job at his job. I should say, on behalf of the College, that it is grateful, as it has profound reason to be. Thank you, Pat.”
Three-hundred and thirty-two undergraduates from the Class of 2024 received their degrees. Forty-one graduate students received their degrees, and eleven of those graduate students were from Hillsdale in D.C.’s Graduate School of Government.

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