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Known for hosting the “Wheel of Fortune” game shown, Pat Sajak, vice chairman of Hillsdale’s board of trustees, will serve as the next chairman after Chairman William Brodbeck ’66 steps down. External Affairs

After decades of faithful service to Hillsdale College as its Chairman of the Board of Trustees, William Brodbeck ’66 is stepping down and will be replaced by Vice Chairman Pat Sajak.

Unlike Brodbeck, Sajak — who is famous for running the TV show “Wheel of Fortune” — did not attend Hillsdale, though he’s served as Vice Chairman of the Board for 15 years. But Brodbeck said Sajak’s lack of a degree won’t hamper him at all.

“Pat is a bril­liant mind. He brings a sound knowledge of the school,” Brodbeck said. “He can dra­mat­i­cally move Hillsdale forward, both on campus and around the country.”

And that’s what Sajak plans to do: He intends to keep Hillsdale on the path shaped by Brodbeck, Arnn, and the rest of the board, improving the “physical plant” of the school through ren­o­va­tions, and mon­i­toring the aca­demic stan­dards it has set.

Sajak said he would like to see Hillsdale’s national reach con­tinue to expand.

“Our funding comes from people who have never stepped foot on campus,” he said. “And that’s the chal­lenge: the out­reach.”

As Brodbeck pru­dently led the Board of Trustees for many years, Arnn said Sajak will do the same, with, perhaps, one dif­ference: he’ll bring his wits.

“Pat is a man of calm and steady judgment, pos­sessed also of a wicked wit. He is a man of selfless service, famous and yet not inter­ested in celebrity, hilarious and yet serious. He knows the pur­poses of the college and is devoted to them,” Arnn said.

Brodbeck said he decided to step down from the chair­manship because he felt his time had come.

“I don’t want to be in the way,” he said. “It’s time for me to go and let Pat have this oppor­tunity. And I can do it knowing he will fulfill his duty well.”

Brodbeck’s service to Hillsdale is one of ines­timable worth, Arnn said.

“I have dis­couraged this suc­cess­fully for a couple of years, but now he says, ‘It is time,’” Arnn said. “Of course he has lost his sight. In the face of that sore trial, he has been the brave and cheerful man, the high-minded and self-dep­re­cating man, that I have known these 19 years. I think he makes but one mistake about his blindness, which is to think that it causes others incon­ve­nience. It does not. Rather it gives others oppor­tunity to repay in some small way the large kind­nesses he spreads about himself wherever he goes.”

Sajak said he is thankful Brodbeck will con­tinue to serve on the board, adding that he will con­tinue to look to him for “wisdom and guidance.” Brodbeck said he isn’t planning on going any­where, noting that he and his wife, Jan, will still live in Hillsdale and con­tribute what they can to the school.

“Our intent is to stay here as long as we’re useful,” he said. “We deeply adore this place.”

This tran­sition has been about a year in the making, according to Sajak, who has spent more time on campus, sitting down with staff and stu­dents, to get a “closer look” at the school and better under­stand its “daily ins-and-outs.”

Since returning to Hillsdale to serve on the board in 1996, Brodbeck said he has seen the school grow and transform in tremendous ways. When former Pres­ident George Roche III stepped down, Brodbeck spear­headed the effort to bring Larry Arnn, then the pres­ident of the Claremont Institute, to Hillsdale. Brodbeck guided the school through the tran­sition and has since been apart of major changes on campus and around the country.

Under Brodbeck’s direction — though he credits the board’s action and Arnn’s vision — Hillsdale has ren­o­vated and built dozens of buildings on campus, developed the Wash­ington D.C. Kirby Center, expanded the school’s online courses as well as Imprimis’ reach, which now arrives in the homes of nearly 6 million people nationwide.

“There’s no aspect of the school that hasn’t improved under their watch — under the vision of Arnn and the passion of Bill,” Sajak said.

Arnn recalled the day Brodbeck called him to ask if he’d come to Hillsdale, and said he wouldn’t have accepted if anyone else had asked.

“It matters very much to my life that he was the one who called me about this job,” Arnn said during his remarks at an event hon­oring the Brod­becks. “At a good college with a beau­tiful idea behind it, being the pres­ident is unique. And it would not be so except for the service of Bill Brodbeck.”

The number of chairmen at Hillsdale College, in its 175 years, has been small, and Sajak said it is the honor of a lifetime to be among them.

“I’m in an industry where we’re always patting each other on the backs for dif­ferent awards we’ve won,” he said, “but this one is at the top of my list.”

 

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Kaylee McGhee
Kaylee McGhee is a senior at Hillsdale College, majoring in Politics with a minor in Journalism. This is her fourth year writing for the Collegian and she serves as the paper's Opinions Editor. Kaylee worked in Washington D.C. last year and wrote for the Weekly Standard. Her work has also appeared in the Detroit News and the Orange County Register. Follow her on Twitter: @KayleeDMcGhee email: kmcghee@hillsdale.edu
  • Jen­nifer Melfi

    Are they going to make Mr. Sajak present on his vision for the school? or is this just another rubber stamp like the pre­vious guy was for Arnn’s revi­sionist history and fake reli­giosity?

    • Jerry Tabac

      As always, neg­ative com­ments. Thanks for your support of the school, NOT.

      • Jen­nifer Melfi

        Great Borat joke. I def­i­nitely support the school and have hired more hillsdale grads than Mr. Sajak has. I think my question is a fair one, espe­cially given the recent tra­jectory. In hillsdale I learned that free speech and free inquiry is the hallmark of liberty- nec­essary for a healthy insti­tution to inter­rogate the lead­ership on these matters. Sorry that you accept every­thing you hear from your favorite mouth­pieces, you must be very gullible. Hope­fully no one has taken you for a sucker too badly yet.

        • Jerry Tabac

          You don’t know any­thing about me, my views or what I accept or don’t accept. I’ve noted that your igno­rance about persons hasn’t sup­pressed your desire to attack them per­sonally in these com­ments. Such hate filled rhetoric, you must be a very unhappy person.

          • Jen­nifer Melfi

            I’m quite happy. ful­filled even. I do know about you based on how you present yourself in these forums: reac­tionary, overly-sen­sitive, slow and simple-minded. forgive me if I assume this is how you must be in real-life. How about this — you tell me why Mr. Sajak would be a good person for this role?

          • Jerry Tabac

            We can see how you are “happy” and “ful­filled” by the bile you show in all your posts. You probably think Joy Behar is the epitome of civility. Are woman of your age always this cranky?

          • Jen­nifer Melfi

            There’s the sexism I was expecting to see. Thanks for trotting that out. Next will we get to see some of your racism?

          • Jerry Tabac

            Ok, now I’m sexist woman. Think about what you just said and rec­ognize the fool­ishness in it.

  • Alexan­derYp­si­lantis

    I can’t think of a better Chairman for our board, Pat Sajak has all the right strengths. It’s going to be enjoyable watching him guide Hillsdale College in the coming years, he knows where we need to go.

    • Rogue A.I.

      He knows where we need to go? How? What has he stated to give this indi­cation?

    • Rogue A.I.

      And how can you say “we” when you aren’t even an alumnus of the college?

      • Jerry Tabac

        How do you know he is not an alumnus of the college? Are you Karnak the Great? How do we know if you are an alumnus of the college? Alumni usually show more civility than you have here.

        • Jen­nifer Melfi

          Ypsi­lantis has stated on comment threads on col­legian articles before that he is not an alumnus of hillsdale college. He sup­ports an idea of hillsdale college not grounded in reality, but the wet dream of a certain type of older person at this point in our history that lusts after Lim­baugh and has strong affinity for the really unpalatable alt right stuff that has been popping up recently

          • Jerry Tabac

            Simply a mean-spirited per­sonal attack. Such things are sup­posed to be pro­hibited by the papers terms of service, I’ll have to remind the editors.

          • Jen­nifer Melfi

            What is per­sonal about it? I think you don’t under­stand this word. I find it inter­esting that in the forum of a school that used to “educate for liberty” we have adults saying they are going to run and tattle because they can’t handle some (non-offensive) ter­mi­nology… truly sir, you are a snowflake.

    • Jen­nifer Melfi

      He has the right strengths? You mean spinning a game show wheel and saying “vannah, they would like to buy an A”. Its another sense in which the con­ser­v­ative party is celebrity driven and uncritical in their worldview. How do you think we got a con-man reality tv per­son­ality as the pres­ident of our nation?

      • Jerry Tabac

        Once again, Mr. Ypsi­lantis reads the article and com­ments on it. You comment on Mr. Ypsi­lantis. I can see why he blocked you, you’re just unpleasant to be around.

        • Jen­nifer Melfi

          Blocked? I comment back and forth with him all of the time. I am very inter­ested in his com­ments as a senior citizen who did not attend hillsdale college who has become enamored with how the school now markets itself.… a truly fas­ci­nating sub­culture he rep­re­sents!

          • Jerry Tabac

            Mr. Ypsi­lantis noted in another post that he had blocked com­menters “when it was apparent they had nothing of value to add to the dis­cussion.”. Since that describes your com­ments pre­cisely, I assumed you were included in that group.

            Since you and your echo chamber have claimed several times that Mr. Ypsi­lantis has stated in his com­ments he did not attend Hillsdale College, perhaps you could ref­erence where he said that? I have never read that in any of his com­ments and doubt it exists. Either post that now, or offer a public apology for your mean spirited per­sonal attacks. That would be the mature thing to do.

          • Jen­nifer Melfi

            Here is a good thread where the question was put to him point-blank and he responded, yet declined to say that he was an alumnus: https://disqus.com/home/discussion/hillsdalecollegian/class_of_2022_sets_new_records/#comment-4093466119

            I think you owe the public apology at this point — but I will accept that you just slink away because you are wrong.

          • Jen­nifer Melfi

            And also — I comment with Ypsi­lantis all the time. He isn’t a bad dude, just mis­un­der­standing of what Hillsdale was, has become, and what it stands for to people who actually attended there. We argue because he is wrong about many things related to the college, but we have many inter­esting civil con­ver­sa­tions as well. The other guys go pretty hard on him for claiming Hillsdale after doing the online classes, but he hasn’t blocked me.

          • Jerry Tabac

            The other guys go pretty hard on him because he thinks when he posts and that’s a rare com­modity in today’s world. I have no idea if he did or did not attend Hillsdale College, but his con­tri­bu­tions are shared in a pos­itive light. That’s enough for me.

          • Jen­nifer Melfi

            You see that is the issue though, you want every­thing to be pos­itive, but real alumni know that the gilded story that is bei ng put out covers some­thing rotten under­neath. We want the truth, not pos­i­tivity

          • Jerry Tabac
          • Jerry Tabac

            I saw nothing other than Mr. Ypsi­lantis making a fool of another poster. You know what they say about ASSUMING?

          • Jen­nifer Melfi

            Ok. Now you are just a troll. Someone asked point blank and he didnt answer…

          • Jerry Tabac

            I asked you for evi­dence to support your-and other’s-comments he is not an alumni. You posted nothing of the sort, just more inference from you. That wouldn’t stand up in Court or with any thinking person. Obvi­ously you have no such evi­dence, even though you pro­fessed to have it. I’ll take that apology now, or you can sneer in my direction-that’s probably as close to an apology as I’m going to get.

            By the way, in past posts Mr. Ypsi­lantis noted he attends Hillsdale College football games and invited you to meet him at a game for a drink and a sandwich. You responded that you would instead be attending a UM contest in Ann Arbor since you support Nebraska. Who’s the Hillsdale College alumnus and who isn’t? Very curious.

  • Jen­nifer Melfi

    Worth pointing out that Sajak has admitted that he was often blasted on the set of Wheel Of Fortune — is this the lead­ership the college wants to uphold: https://jezebel.com/pat-sajak-admits-he-and-vanna-white-were-often-plastere-5879762

    • Jerry Tabac

      Let he/she who is without sin cast the first stone.

      Oh, I forgot-you get offended regarding any­thing having to do with religion. One must take your sen­si­bil­ities into account when cor­recting you.

      • Jen­nifer Melfi

        funny you should bring this up — you are referring to John 8:7 — the woman caught in adultery. In this story, the reli­gious leaders are trying to trick Jesus and per­secute a woman. A great story, but I don’t see what it has to do with this. Are you saying that Pat Sajak is a sexual deviant? Is he a per­se­cuted person without power? I think it is fair to question those in power about how they got it and what they are going to do with it. Mr. Sajak has shown us that he likes to go to work while under the influence of alcohol. Is this the person who you want rep­re­senting your alma mater? I don’t.