Hillsdale College is Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee's partner for 'informed patriotism' in education

A kindergarten class at Atlanta Classical Academy, part of Hillsdale College's charter school network, on March 16, 2022. Hillsdale College is building a national, publicly funded charter school network — and fighting what it calls leftist teaching. (David Walter Banks/The New York Times)
photo A seventh-grade history class at Atlanta Classical, whose students have some of the highest scores among schools in Georgia, on March 16, 2022. Hillsdale College is building a national, publicly funded charter school network — and fighting what it calls leftist teaching. (David Walter Banks/The New York Times)

With only 1,500 students on a small-town campus in southern Michigan, Hillsdale College is far from the power corridors of government and top-ranked universities.

But it has outsize influence in the conservative world, with strong ties to the Washington elite. Republican leaders frequently visit, and Justice Clarence Thomas delivered the 2016 commencement address, calling Hillsdale a "shining city on a hill" for its devotion to "liberty as an antecedent of government, not a benefit from government."

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