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Former State Rep­re­sen­tative for the 66th Dis­trict of Michigan House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Aric Nesbitt at the 2017 Alumni Awards Banquet | Doug Coon

Hillsdale College alumni who rep­resent the college in business, a state supreme court, and even in the White House will be pre­sented with awards at the 67th Annual Alumni Award Banquet this weekend.

Three alumni will receive awards at the banquet on Sept. 21: White House speech­writer Brittany Baldwin ’12; Michelle Behrenwald ’88, co-chair and co-owner of AIS Con­struction Equipment; and Will Sellers ’85, appointed as an asso­ciate justice of the Alabama Supreme Court in 2017.

An hon­orary alumni award will also be pre­sented to Pro­fessor of Law Robert Black­stock and Lec­turer in Eco­nomics Jacqueline Black­stock.

Baldwin will receive the “Out­standing Young Alumna Award for Con­spicuous Achievement in Speech­writing” at the banquet.

“As a college student, Brittany Baldwin impressed everyone with her quiet bril­liance and her Texas-sized heart,” said Dedra Birzer, lec­turer of history. “Her career as a speech­writer, first for Sen. Ted Cruz, and now for Pres­ident Trump, allows her to bring her Hillsdale edu­cation in the good, the true, and the beau­tiful to a national podium.”

Baldwin grad­uated magna cum laude from Hillsdale with a Bachelor of Arts in American Studies. She was also voted Out­standing Senior Woman her senior year. Birzer recalled Baldwin’s beau­tiful writing as a student that carried insightful argu­ments and con­veyed wisdom well beyond her years.

“Whenever I hear a par­tic­u­larly visionary and well-written line from a Trump speech, I think, ‘Brittany must have written that!’” Birzer said.

John Miller, director of Hillsdale’s Dow Jour­nalism Program, had Baldwin in his Advanced Writing course his first semester teaching at the college. Miller noted her intel­li­gence and hard working attitude.

“As a student she expressed an interest in speech­writing and she went out and got it,” Miller said. “She deserves this award.”

Behrenwald will receive the “Dis­tin­guished Alumna Award for Out­standing Pro­fes­sional Achievement in Business.”

Behrenwald grad­uated from Hillsdale with an accounting major and German minor. She earned a master’s degree in com­mu­ni­ca­tions from Grand Valley State Uni­versity. Behrenwald is the co-chair and co-owner of AIS Con­struction Equipment Cor­po­ration and serves on the Federal Reserve Board in Chicago. Director of Alumni Rela­tions Grigor Hasted noted Behrenwald’s accom­plish­ments.

“She is a very impressive woman,” Hasted said. “Not only does she lead a sizable and very suc­cessful business here in Michigan, but it’s very rare for a woman to run a heavy equipment company.”

Behrenwald  has a passion for helping people unleash their purpose and potential. She is a member of the President’s Club, and both her and her company have sup­plied equipment for the Hillsdale shooting sports program, including vehicles for the Sporting Clays course.

“She has also been a gen­erous sup­porter of the college,” Hasted said. “She’s very deserving of the Alumni Achievement Award.”

Sellers, who will receive the “Dis­tin­guished Alumnus Award for Out­standing Pro­fes­sional Achievement in Law,” grad­uated magna cum laude with a double major in history and political eco­nomics and a minor in English. Sellers earned a law degree from the Uni­versity of Alabama School of Law and a Master of Laws degree in tax­ation at New York Uni­versity. Sellers was appointed an Asso­ciate Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court in May  2017.

Mark Kalthoff, pro­fessor and chairman of history, and Sellers were stu­dents together at Hillsdale. They lived in in an off-campus house together during Seller’s sophomore year and Kalthoff’s junior year. Kalthoff praised Seller’s dili­gence, hard-working nature, and seri­ousness for both his faith and his aca­d­emics. He noted that Sellers held himself to a certain standard.

“He was the first guy I knew who took his shirts to the cleaners once a week and to get them pressed,” Kalthoff said. “I am not at all sur­prised by his success and accom­plish­ments.”

Though not alumni, the Black­stocks will receive an hon­orary alumni award at the banquet. Robert Black­stock has taught at the college since 1977 and has been honored as Pro­fessor of the Year three times. He has worked for Insti­tu­tional Advancement and Admis­sions and served as the college provost and acting pres­ident.

Jacqueline Black­stock, Robert’s wife, began teaching business sta­tistics at Hillsdale in 1989, and has been heavily involved in the com­munity and local gov­ernment.

“Our time at Hillsdale has been won­derful, filled with so many dear friends and family, and always in that chal­lenging yet sup­portive, caring, warm envi­ronment that makes the College such a very rich home,” Robert Black­stock said in an email. “We have always been proud to be part of the College, and now so very grateful to be honored in this way.”