Hillsdale College Names Pat Sajak to Lead Board of Trustees

April 29, 2019 Updated: April 29, 2019

Longtime “Wheel of Fortune” host Pat Sajak has been named chairman of the board of trustees of Hillsdale College, a small liberal arts school in southern Michigan that is renowned for its emphasis on teaching American civic virtue and the nation’s Greco-Roman-Judeo-Christian roots, as well as for resisting political correctness in the academy.

Founded in 1844, Hillsdale is known for its principled refusal to accept federal or state taxpayer subsidies, even indirectly in the form of student grants or loans.

The move to appoint Sajak, who was already vice chairman and a board member for more than a decade, had been in the works for months. He replaces Chairman William Brodbeck, a 1966 Hillsdale graduate, who will stay on as chairman emeritus. The new vice chairman will be Steve Van Andel, a 1978 graduate of the college who is co-chairman of Amway and a former chairman of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Pat Sajak. (Courtesy Hillsdale College)

“Our Board of Trustees is a group of dedicated men and women who honor and uphold Hillsdale’s historic mission. We are thrilled to have Pat take up the mantle of leadership as a dedicated friend of the College,” said Chief Administrative Officer Rich Péwé. “Chairman Brodbeck has provided years of wise guidance and strong leadership for the board and the College. We have full confidence that Pat will continue that legacy and help lead the College into the future.”

Hillsdale President Larry Arnn said Sajak has “calm and steady judgment” and a “wicked wit.”

An outspoken supporter of the Republican Party and a cultural critic, Sajak’s wit surfaces as he frequently speaks out on current affairs. He has written articles for conservative publications such as Human Events, taking aim at the Left and establishment media.

He has tweeted his disgust at the domination of Hollywood awards ceremonies by politics:

“Here’s a quick fix for the Academy Awards show: expand it to two nights. On the first night, give out awards, and celebrate the history and wonder of movies. On the second night, hold your political rally.”

Sajak rejects the idea that Americans should listen to famous people simply because they are famous.

“One of the (many) odd conceits of celebrityhood is the notion that the ability to sing or tell jokes or portray other characters somehow qualifies one to tell others how to vote. Not sure electricians or truckers or sales associates feel that way about themselves.”

As President Donald Trump labeled the cable TV network CNN purveyors of “fake news,” Sajak tweeted, “Easy fix for CNN: change name to Current Narrative Network. My work here is done.”

After The Washington Post, which has pushed the discredited conspiracy theory that the Trump campaign colluded with the Russian government, adopted the tag line “Democracy dies in darkness” to criticize the president, Sajak mocked the newspaper, tweeting “Journalism dies in darkness.”

Sajak owns a television production company, two radio stations, a music publishing company, and a record label, and has been a member of the board of Salem Eagle, a diversified media company, since 2003. He is also a member of the advisory boards of the Claremont Institute and the American Cinema Foundation. Sajak has won three Emmy awards, a People’s Choice Award, and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

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