Founding Documents and Resolutions

Hillsdale College Declaration of Independence

WHEREAS, Hillsdale College was conceived as an independent educational institution and dedicated to an educational philosophy embracing America’s basic ideals; and

WHEREAS, since 1844 it has remained steadfastly faithful to these concepts; and

WHEREAS, the thousands of young men and young women who have studied here have been taught some fundamental truths; among these is that the freedom guaranteed them as citizens of this great country is the freedom to dream and aspire without limit and the freedom to fulfill their dreams and aspirations without interference; that our country’s greatness is the result not of government benevolence but rather of individual initiative and enterprise; that responsibility is the counterpart of independence; and

WHEREAS, we hold these views to be as valid today as they were in 1844 despite the appearance and growth of a contrary philosophy based on government paternalism; and

WHEREAS, it is our conviction that this contrary philosophy is negatory to the traditional beliefs and teachings of Hillsdale College and is to be deplored as harmful to the continued development of our country both morally and economically; Now

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, That it be the decision of the Board of Trustees of Hillsdale College to reaffirm its historic independence and to resist subsidization of its affairs by the Federal government. Acknowledging that the possibility of failure is a concomitant of independence, the Trustees place their trust in God and in the dedication and generosity of students, alumni and friends who share their views. With this help, and through their own continuing efforts, they are confident that the principles to which the College is dedicated will continue to be available to young men and young women seeking independent higher education.