Wednesday, January 4, 2017


Larry P. Arnn, the President of Hillsdale College, is  a brilliant man with impeccable academic credentials and a national reputation as an expert on the United States Constitution.

He is also an energetic and indefatigable fund raiser.

In March of 2016, President Arnn sent Polly and me a solicitation letter which contained – visible through a window – a one dollar bill. It’s a not uncommon strategy to get folks to open letters asking for money.

I replied as follows:

March 6, 2016

President Larry P. Arnn
Hillsdale College
Hillsdale, Michigan

Dear Larry:
Polly and I have supported Hillsdale and will continue to do so. No need to send money. We have always been impressed with the mission and tradition of Hillsdale. Certainly the American people need to be reminded of the precious gift of constitutional government that has been our birthright, and your national educational campaign is necessary and timely.

There is, however, a dimension in the field of constitutional study that, I believe, has not been adequately addressed by any American college or university: the Article V amendatory constitutional convention.

Currently, there are at least seven active initiatives seeking a convention call.
At the same time, there are a number of voices, both from the Left and the Right, expressing opposition to an Article V convention for any reason.

I am writing to urge you to consider hosting a debate on Article V. In this season of political debates, I think such an offering would garner a large audience and could well produce substantial revenue for the sponsor.

I would very much appreciate the opportunity to sit down with you and discuss this idea.


Thomas E. Brennan
cc: Chris Chocola
Encl: $100

That letter was never answered or acknowledged, but I can’t say it wasn’t noticed. Indeed it seems to have induced President Arnn’s staff to achieve new heights of solicitation.

As the year 2016 came to a close, a virtual crescendo of emails from Larry Arnn exploded on my computer screen. No fewer than eleven requests for money: On December 3, 8, 17, 24, 28, 29, 30, 30, 31, 31, 31.

The other day, my son, Tom, Jr. wrote to encourage me to read Larry Arnn’s speech printed in Hillsdale’s magazine, Imprimus. I did, and found it interesting. Indeed worthy of comment. 

I would welcome a vigorous exchange with President Arnn on various Constitutional issues. Maybe I should send him a dollar.


  1. I hope Arnn sees this and reacts, since any reaction would be a step in the right direction. I know that as president of TMC for 30 years, you responded to every person who took the time to write you. Too bad some in positions of consequence don't respect people enough to see the need to do so.

  2. I studied several on-line courses thru Hillsdale College and found them fascinating. And I know Prof. Arnn is a Director? of the Heritage Foundation. Which is pretty exciting to have his influence at that conservative think tank. I support both and have for many years. And yes, I received many of those solicitations also, including the dollar bill. Happy New Year!

  3. Your Honor
    To whom do we solicit for a Constitutionsl Convention?

  4. Your Honour,
    Signing up for Dr. Larry Arnn's Hillsdale College Introduction to the Constitution 09 2011 Youtube presentation here at the 2:28 minute mark Dr. Arnn erroneously quoted the very foundation of our Constitution inalienable NOT correct UNalienable `
    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain UNALIENABLE (my emphasis) Rights, that among these are Life...(abortion UNconstitutional) Leading to difference Understanding Unalienable Rights ~
    Why do we use the term unalienable instead of inalienable? Inalienable rights are subject to changes in the law such as when property rights are given a back seat to emerging environmental law or free speech rights give way to political correctness. Whereas under the original doctrine of unalienable rights, these rights cannot be abridged. Freedom Advocates 09-08-2009 Michael Shaw
    Leading to sending notice to Dr. Arnn of his error with no reply or correction. Leading to going elsewhere for Constitutional understanding. Dr. Arnn's lack of response mirrors his lack of character.
    Thank you for your efforts. I intend to keep,defend and protect our Constitution.