Larry P. Arnn

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Larry Paul Arnn has served as the twelfth president of Hillsdale College in Hillsdale, Michigan, United States since May 2000.[1][2][3][4][5]

He is a political conservative and a Constitutional scholar in the mold of Leo Strauss and his teacher Harry V. Jaffa.[6]


Born in Pocahontas, Arkansas, Arnn received his B.A. (1974) in Political Science and Accounting from Arkansas State University.[1][3][4] He earned graduate degrees in Government from Claremont Graduate School — an M.A. in 1976 and a Ph.D. in 1985.[1][3][4] Arnn studied in England from 1977 to 1980, at the London School of Economics studying International History and then at Worcester College, Oxford University in Modern History.[3][4] While in England, he worked as Director of Research for Martin Gilbert, the official biographer of Winston Churchill.[1][3]

In 1980, Arnn become an editor for Public Research, Syndicated in the United States.[1] He was one of four founders of the Claremont Institute in Claremont, California, and served as its president from 1985 to 2000.[2][4][5] In 2000, he was named the twelfth president of Hillsdale College.[5] In this capacity, he set the ambitious goal of $400 million for the college's Founders Campaign, beginning in 2001, and under his watch, several new buildings have arisen on the campus.

Arnn has been a trustee of the conservative Heritage Foundation since 2002.[2] In 2012 it offered its presidency to Arnn, who decided to stay in academe instead.[7]

Arnn also sits on the boards of directors of the Henry Salvatori Center for the Study of Individual Freedom in the Modern World at Claremont McKenna College, the Center for Individual Rights, and the Claremont Institute.[1] He is a member of the Mont Pelerin Society, the Churchill Centre, and the Philanthropy Roundtable.[1]

In the course of 2013 testimony before the Michigan State Legislature, Arnn described "a letter he had received from the [Michigan] Department of Education shortly after becoming president at Hillsdale. The letter, he told the committee, said his college 'violated the standards for diversity because we didn't have enough dark ones, I guess, is what they meant.'" In response to the ensuing controversy, the College later issued a statement apologizing for Arnn's remark, while affirming that Arnn reiterated his concern about "state sponsored racism" in the form of affirmative action policies.[8]


  • Liberty and Learning: The Evolution of American Education (2004)
  • The Founders' Key: The Divine and Natural Connection Between the Declaration and the Constitution and What We Risk by Losing It


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Hillsdale College faculty page
  2. ^ a b c Heritage Foundation Board of Trustees
  3. ^ a b c d e Thomas Nelson webpage[dead link]
  4. ^ a b c d e John Locke Foundation webpage
  5. ^ a b c Claremont Institute webpage
  6. ^ Paul E. Gottfried (2011). Leo Strauss and the Conservative Movement in America. Cambridge U.P. p. 59. 
  7. ^ Tim Mak, "Heritage Foundation gets tough: Think tank puts punch behind its conservative ideas," Washington Examiner Sept. 13, 2013
  8. ^ Klein, Rebecca (August 1, 2013). "Hillsdale College President Larry Arnn Under Fire For Calling Minority Students 'Dark Ones'". Huffington Post. 

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