Board of Trustees

The Hillsdale College Board of Trustees has been in continuous operation since 1844. It has maintained to the current day a remarkable devotion to the principles articulated in the College’s founding document. Hillsdale College’s founders began the school “grateful to God for the inestimable blessings resulting from the prevalence of civil and religious liberty and intelligent piety in the land, and believing that the diffusion of sound learning is essential to the perpetuity of these.”

On July 4th, 1853, the first chairman of the Board, Edmund Fairfield, who was also at the time the president of the College, offered this definition of freedom during his speech to celebrate the laying of the cornerstone for the first college building in Hillsdale:

“Unrestrained freedom is anarchy. Restrained only by force and arms, is despotism; self-restrained is Republicanism. Wherever there is wanting the intelligence and virtue requisite for the latter, Republicanism expires.”

The College’s twenty-three chairmen have been the faithful stewards of Hillsdale’s historical example of freedom. The boards they have chaired have overseen the College’s establishment as the first in the nation to write a non-discrimination clause in its charter, its historic support of the Union army, its contributions to the fighting forces of the First and Second World Wars, its resistance to the rebellious spirit of the 1960s, and its commitment to independence and resistance to government coercion in the modern era.

Fairfield’s Fourth of July speech closes with his anticipatory prayer, “May the walls reared upon this foundation stand for ages to come, sacred as well to freedom, humanity, philanthropy, and true patriotism, as to sound science, pure morality, and true religion.”

The men and women of the Board of Trustees remain dedicated and committed to Hillsdale’s longstanding tradition of institutional independence and academic excellence as articulated by President Fairfield over 150 years ago.

Current Board

  • Patrick L. Sajak, Chairman
  • Stephen A. Van Andel, ’78, Vice Chairman
  • Larry P. Arnn (ex-officio)
  • Christopher F. Bachelder
  • William J. Brodbeck, ’66, Emeritus Chairman
  • Tobias W. Buck
  • Chris Chocola, ’84
  • Jeffrey H. Coors
  • Cleves R. Delp, ’86
  • David A. Durell
  • Donna R. Ecton
  • Jessica A. Faubert
  • Patrick H. Flannery (ex-officio, treasurer)
  • William L. Fraim
  • Kurt D. Grindstaff
  • R. Mark Hamlin Jr.
  • Alice H. Hanley
  • David R. Hough
  • Richard E. Hunter
  • Mark L. Johnson
  • Thomas N. Jordan Jr.
  • Gunnar Klarr, ’75
  • Charles S. McIntyre III
  • James J. Meeks
  • Nena C. Moss
  • Nersi Nazari
  • Wayne R. Nelson
  • Ronald C. Nolan
  • William A. Nolan ’82
  • Daniel S. Peters
  • Richard P. Péwé Jr., ’88 (ex-officio, secretary)
  • Ronald D. Robson
  • Bruce C. Sanborn
  • Gregory C. Schuler
  • Thomas C. Shafer ’81

Trustees Emeriti

  • William S. Atherton
  • Stephen M. Barney
  • David L. Belew
  • William C. Killgallon
  • Charles J. Luellen
  • Kay A. Orr
  • John E. Pearson
  • Lawrence O. Selhorst
  • D. Curtis Shaneour
  • Ronald E. Trzcinski