Larry Arnn, president of Hillsdale College, will speak on conservatism and the nation’s founding principles at the Conservative Political Action Conference on Feb. 22.
Arnn will be one of many influential conservative thinkers speaking at the annual conference. He is joining Sen. Ted Cruz, R‑Texas; Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker; Vice President Mike Pence; and many others over the course of three days.
Matthew Spalding, associate vice president and dean of educational programs at the Allan P. Kirby Jr. Center for Constitutional Studies and Citizenship, was also asked to speak at CPAC and will address the conference on Feb. 23. In 2013, Spalding participated in a CPAC panel discussion called “Can Social Conservatives and Libertarians Ever Get Along?”
Spalding said he received the invitation from the American Conservative Union to speak at the conference.
CPAC is the largest annual conservative conference. According to sophomore Kolbe Conger, an officer for Hillsdale College Republicans, it serves to rally conservatives across the nation and encourage them to be vocal.
Hillsdale College Republicans takes students to the conference every year. Last year, 130 students attended the CPAC trip, making Hillsdale the largest organized group in attendance, according to junior Madeline Domalakes, acting president of College Republicans.
“We are thrilled he’s speaking,” Domalakes said. “We are very proud the president of Hillsdale will be following students to CPAC.”
Arnn said he sees this as both a teaching and learning opportunity and hopes to highlight conservatism and its relationship to the principles of the country in his speech. He hopes those who attend CPAC and hear his speech will remember why they must restore the Constitution.
“One of the Constitution’s great features is that it understands that education and such things happen in the minds and hearts of those who want them, and they and those near them should control all such things, especially education,” Arnn said in an email.
Domalakes said she hopes Arnn will touch on what President Donald Trump’s administration can do to restore constitutional principles.
“I hope he lays out a template for how this administration can follow the Constitution,” she said. “That’s what we’ve been missing for the past eight years.”
Domalakes said Arnn is the perfect voice to bring back true conservatism, since he’s one of the foremost intellectual minds in the conservative circle.
“Dr. Arnn will truly educate us on what the Constitution should look like in action,” she said.
Conger said Arnn’s speech will give legitimacy to the college and the mission of CPAC.
“He will bring the academic and intellectual side of conservatism,” he said.
Arnn said he doesn’t believe his speech will bring the college more attention. Regardless, Domalakes and Conger said they believe Arnn is the perfect representative for the college and its mission.
“We couldn’t be happier to have Dr. Arnn showcase his wisdom on constitutionalism,” Conger said, “especially on how it relates to conservatism today.”