Members of Hillsdale College’s faculty and staff have donated nearly $36,000 to political cam­paigns in the last four years, according to public cam­paign records pro­vided through the Federal Election Com­mision. College Pres­ident Larry Arnn con­tributed more than $23,000 by himself.

“I donate to people I like,” Arnn said in an email. He added that most of his political dona­tions are per­sonal and not related to the college. The only college-related dona­tions he makes are to Hillsdale grad­uates running for political office, he said.

Arnn’s most sub­stantial cam­paign donation — nearly $5,500 — have been to Repub­lican Con­gressman Tim Walberg, who rep­re­sents Hillsdale County. Arnn also gave $2,500 to Mitt Romney’s 2012 pres­i­dential cam­paign. He  gave $1,750 to John McCain’s pres­i­dential cam­paign in 2008. Though he made sub­stantial financial con­tri­bu­tions to both GOP pres­i­dential can­di­dates, Arnn was not asked by either cam­paign to endorse its can­didate.

Vice Pres­ident for Strategic Mar­keting Christopher Bachelder, who also con­tributed $2,500 to Romney’s pres­i­dential cam­paign, said that he has been con­tributing less to political cam­paigns in recent years, but that the Romney ticket encouraged him to donate more.

“When Mitt Romney selected Paul Ryan as a running mate, I was very impressed with the choice and wanted to reg­ister my approval, so my wife and I went to the cam­paign website and made dona­tions on that Sat­urday,” Bachelder said.

Other members of the college’s staff try to take a more per­sonal approach to their political dona­tions.

“If I know them, and they ask, I donate money,” said Pro­fessor of Political Economy Gary Wolfram, another top college con­tributor. “I’m more likely to donate time on public policy issues.”

Wolfram went on to say that he holds biennial fundraisers for Michigan Supreme Court jus­tices at his home, but stressed the casual nature of the get-togethers.

“It’s just a low-cost thing, you know, $50 to $75 per person. It’s mainly a gath­ering of friends. If they wanted, they could have made more at a $600-per-person dinner in Oakland County,” Wolfram said. “We try to make it about the cost of a nice night out. It’s going to a good cause, and it’s a reason for everyone to get together, and the jus­tices love it.”

Pro­fessor of Physics Ken Hayes, who gave $250 to Barack Obama’s 2008 pres­i­dential cam­paign, declined to comment on his political donation record, stressing the impor­tance of sep­a­rating his work from his pol­itics.

“My per­sonal political views are irrel­evant to my job as physics pro­fessor, so nothing is to be gained by dis­cussing them,” he said in an email.

Other staff con­trib­utors to political cam­paigns include Asso­ciate Pro­fessor of History David Raney and Pro­fessor of Pol­itics Mickey Craig, who both donated to Walberg; Legal Counsel & Admin­is­trative Director John McFarland, who donated to Romney’s pres­i­dential cam­paign; Academy Head­master Kenneth Calvert, who donated to the Repub­lican National Com­mittee, and former Lec­turer of Edu­cation and English Melinda von­Sydow, who donated to Barack Obama’s 2012 pres­i­dential cam­paign.