Hillsdale College – the $6,000,000 Chair

Hillsdale College is a very unusual center of education in a small town in Southern Michigan.  It is odd in a good way–they do not accept government money in any form.  Because of their separation with the government, they are able to make their own rules.  There are no quotas for equal opportunity by race or wealth.  There is no curriculum they have to adhere to or state sponsored beliefs they are required to preach.  They want the best of the best, and they do a fine job of recruiting bright, young, conservative, moral individuals.  There are only about 1200 students at Hillsdale College.  Small class size allows for individual assistance with the learning process and nurturing of the students.  Students can have their government grants and loans replaced by an equal value from Hillsdale College.

We own the Munro House Bed and Breakfast in Jonesville, Michigan.  Being located just 7 – 1/2 minutes from Hillsdale College campus, we get our share of people visiting this famous school.  Most are parents and family visiting students  Some are prospective students, professors, and recruiters.  Then there are the curious folks who do not believe that a school like this could exist in America, or anywhere else.

One of the more fascinating and amusing characters we’ve ever had was a guy named George.  George came knocking on our door one night and told us that no one would put him up for the night because he was traveling with his dog, Tess.  At the time, all of the lodging facilities in the area were not pet friendly.  He was determined to visit Hillsdale College, but he didn’t want to leave the county to find a place to stay just because he was traveling with a dog.  He told us that he was a widower and cancer survivor, and had read an article about Hillsdale College and their “ethics in journalism” course, and he wanted to see the college first hand.  He used to be a newspaper guy, was intrigued, and wanted to visit Hillsdale.  The only obstacle was finding a place to stay that would allow his dog to join him.

He came to our door explained his situation and asked if Tess could spend the night with him.  We have 2 Scottish Terriers.  They have limited access to the house, but an active guest pet could potentially ruin our years of training.  So we told George that we needed to meet Tess in order to make an informed decision.

George went out to his vehicle and brought Tess in with him.  She was a big old red Spaniel that had seen better days.  It was obvious that her arthritis was winning the battle as we watched her hobble up the 2 steps of our front porch.  She hobbled into the parlor where George placed her cushion on the floor.  Tess positioned herself near the pad and basically tipped over and fell on the pillow where she laid motionless until George coaxed her up again.  I knew at this instant, that Tess would be an exception to our “no pets” rule.

My wife, Lori, works at Hillsdale College.  She made the appropriate contacts and arranged for a private tour of campus the next day.  George spent the whole day there, came home, and was later met by a Hillsdale College V.P. who took him out to dinner.

Over breakfast, George explained that he was aware of himself being near the end of his life, so he was traveling around the country providing endowments to places that he believed would lead America into the future.  Hillsdale College was a perfect match for him and he was grateful to us for putting him up.  He left us and continued on his trek around the country with his faithful companion, Tess.

6m-chairA few months later, some folks from Hillsdale College came to the door of our B&B and carried in with them a big black chair with cherry arm rests emblazoned with the Hillsdale College emblem.  They told us it was our gift for taking care of a great benefactor.

Later, we were told that Hillsdale College received a large endowment from George.  It was made possible because we agreed to take care of his dog.  Now, Hillsdale will be able to take care of many students who have an interest in journalism because of George’s generous endowment of $6,000,000.

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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. That is amazing!!!


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