169th Commencement Ceremony Brings Actor Tim Allen to Hillsdale

HILLSDALE, Mich., May 12, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Hillsdale College celebrated its 169th Commencement on Saturday, May 8, at the Margot V….

HILLSDALE, Mich., May 12, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Hillsdale College celebrated its 169th Commencement on Saturday, May 8, at the Margot V. Biermann Athletic Center on its campus. The College has held this ceremony annually since 1860. The ceremony included a keynote address by actor and comedian Tim Allen, and the College conferred honorary degrees and recognized top academic graduates. 

Larry P. Arnn, president of Hillsdale College, thanked faculty, administration, parents, and friends of the College for making the ceremony possible. He discussed the virtue of gratitude and his appreciation to those who were grateful for the College and how it fulfilled its educational mission during a year of many external challenges. 

«Gratitude is a form of justice,» Arnn said. «If you’re grateful, then you acknowledge that you owe, and then you can give back. We remain grateful. We do this together because it is our calling.» 

Arnn introduced Tim Allen and said that much of Allen’s work is a demonstration of the heroic in everyone. 

During his address, Allen received many laughs but also recounted serious moments of his personal history, his struggles with God, and his own ego. He encouraged the graduating class not to be «rudderless,» or without goals, as he once was. 

«The greatest boat of all time has no direction without a rudder,» Allen said. «It’s a very simple thing. The only thing you control in a sailboat is the attitude of the sail, and that comes back to me. I had no direction. I applaud all of you…You’ve got a good start here at Hillsdale College. Humans need each other, and I want to say this to the Class of 2021: Go forth and conquer. You’ve got a world out there that is out of focus. There are substitute teachers and no adults. We need you. You’ve got to save the world. No pressure.» 

Allen closed with a word on the importance of listening, learning, and being a person of integrity. He imitated one of his most beloved movie characters when he said, «One of my best friends in the world will say as I leave here, you guys are headed ‘to infinity…and beyond!'» 

Three hundred fifty-three undergraduates from the Class of 2021 received their degrees. One student from the Class of 2020 also walked, taking advantage of Arnn’s offer to 2020 graduates to feel free to walk in any future Commencement if they were unable to walk last year. Fourteen graduate students received their degrees.  

Arnn recognized eight faculty members who have retired this year: Marie-Claire Morellec, Lucy Moye, David Jones, Michael Jordan, Sandy Puvogel, John Somerville, Kevin Teegarden, and Carmen Wyatt-Hayes. He also recognized the 2021 Professor of the Year, Associate Professor of Management Peter L. Jennings, and this year’s top academic graduates and outstanding seniors.

To view photos of the event, click here. Click here for the video. The transcript is available upon request.  

About Hillsdale College 

Hillsdale College is an independent liberal arts college located in southern Michigan. Founded in 1844, the College has built a national reputation through its classical liberal arts core curriculum and its principled refusal to accept federal or state taxpayer subsidies, even indirectly in the form of student grants or loans. It also conducts an outreach effort promoting civil and religious liberty, including a free monthly speech digest, Imprimis, with a circulation of more than  5.6 million. For more information, visit hillsdale.edu.


Emily Stack Davis 




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SOURCE Hillsdale College