The Hillsdale College Board of Trustees initiated three new members, Kurt Grindstaff, Mark Hamlin, and Alice Hanley, on June 16. The new board members replaced William Atherton, Stephen Barney, and David Belew, all of whom moved to emeritus status.
“These trustees were picked because of their commitment to the pillars of the college: faith, freedom, higher learning, sound learning, and the development of high moral character,” Chief Administrative Officer Rich Péwé said. “They all have a steadfast commitment to independence, independent education, and the liberal arts curriculum, and we know that they in their lives were devoted to those things and want to continue to do that.”
Grindstaff is currently the chief financial officer of Dbh Global, an insurance and brokerage agency, and serves as treasurer for the board of directors of the South Carolina Ports Authority.
Grindstaff said he first heard about Hillsdale College in 2001 when he met the Brodbeck family. Since then, he has become an avid supporter. He and his wife donated the funds for the Abraham Lincoln statue on the campus Liberty Walk and “talk about Hillsdale with pretty much everyone we know,” Grindstaff said.
Grindstaff added that he views his nomination to the Board of Trustees as a great opportunity to get involved in Hillsdale’s leadership.
“I feel quite honored that I was nominated and elected,” Grindstaff said, “and to the extent that we can reach more people and get Hillsdale’s message to the rest of the country, this is something I want to do.”
Hamlin began his career as a real estate lending officer after graduating from Colgate University with a degree in economics and getting his master’s degree from Dartmouth. He is now the president, CEO, and co-founder of a private equity firm called The Reserve Group.
Hanley acquired a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and economics from Skidmore College and is now president of Hanley Petroleum and HCR, a family owned holding company.
Grindstaff, Hamlin, and Hanley attended their first board meeting June 16, and will continue to serve on the general board for a year, after which they may elect to join specific committees and projects of interest.
“These trustees support the kind of education we have been producing for 170 years,” Péwé said. “They all support those things and they fight for those things. They are people in their communities who have stood up for things that are important to education in this country.”