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Matthew Spalding — asso­ciate vice pres­ident and director of the Allan P. Kirby Center Jr. for Con­sti­tu­tional Studies and Cit­i­zenship in Wash­ington, D.C. — tes­tifies before Con­gress Sept. 17, 2015, on the Dodd-Frank Act. Col­legian

Matthew Spalding, asso­ciate vice pres­ident and director of the Allan P. Kirby Jr. Center for Con­sti­tu­tional Studies and Cit­i­zenship in Wash­ington, D.C., was named the center’s first endowed chair this month.

Hillsdale College Provost David Whalen said the college rec­og­nized Spalding with the position of Allan P. Kirby Jr. endowed chair for his excel­lence as a public face of the college in the capital.

“The Kirby Center is Hillsdale’s campus in Wash­ington, and as such, teaching is its primary purpose. The endowed chair is designed to promote and facil­itate this central function,” Whalen said. “Dr. Spalding’s expe­rience, keen under­standing, and ded­i­cation equip him per­fectly for his role at the Kirby Center and to be its first endowed chair.”

Spalding thanked Kirby for his support of the college in a news release.

“The work of sup­porting and com­mu­ni­cating the ideas and pur­poses of con­sti­tu­tional self-gov­ernment is needed now more than ever, throughout our country but espe­cially in the nation’s capital,” Spalding said. “This endowment will allow Hillsdale to have that voice per­ma­nently.”

Senior Jacob Thackston, a former student in the Wash­ington-Hillsdale Internship Program, said although he never had Spalding as a pro­fessor, the Kirby Center director always reached out to help him make deci­sions about his future.

“He intro­duced me to Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas at daily mass once,” he said. “It was just a casual thing — the two struck up a con­ver­sation after mass and he said, ‘Hey, here’s one of my stu­dents.’”

Junior Noah Weinrich, a current WHIP student, said he appre­ciates the way Spalding con­ducts his classroom.

“I like the fact that he really chal­lenges his stu­dents in class,” he said. “He’s the most socratic pro­fessor I’ve had — he tries to make us come to con­clu­sions our­selves.”

Weinrich also said although he has not known Spalding as a pro­fessor for very long, he rec­og­nizes his impor­tance to the college.

“Dr. Spalding bridges the gap between the the­o­retical world of Hillsdale and the down and dirty world of D.C.,” he said.