SHARE
Jordan Peterson speaks in 2018 | Flickr

Jordan B. Peterson will address the class of 2022 at the spring com­mencement ceremony. 

“He teaches things that are just right for the grand cer­emony he will address,” Hillsdale College Pres­ident Larry Arnn said.

A public intel­lectual with a wide fol­lowing on social media, Peterson is a clinical psy­chol­ogist, a pro­fessor of psy­chology at the Uni­versity of Toronto, and the author of three books, including the best­seller “12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos.” 

“Jordan Peterson’s deep knowledge of his field leads him to insights into things that seem far afield but are not,” Arnn said. “How we grow up cannot be sep­a­rated from the pur­poses for which we grow up. Our internal con­dition and our work in the world are sides of a coin.” 

Provost Chris VanOrman, who announced the news in an email to faculty, stu­dents, and staff on Tuesday, said the college looks forward to hosting Peterson in May. 

“Dr. Jordan Peterson’s name has been put forward for many years by both stu­dents and faculty,” VanOrman said. “There is a tremendous amount of interest in Dr. Peterson’s ideas on our campus and I suspect that this will only increase. We are excited to bring him to campus for this important event in the life of the college.”

Senior Class Pres­ident Jacob Hooper said Peterson will provide Hillsdale seniors with “an inspi­ra­tional, enter­taining, and wise message that will res­onate with students.” 

“Not only is Peterson an inter­na­tionally-known figure, but he under­stands what makes Hillsdale an excellent insti­tution,” he said. “I think he will speak to the virtues espoused by the core cur­riculum, which is essential in a message that will send off my class into the pro­fes­sional world.”

Peterson became widely known after he refused to comply with a Canadian law that made refusal to refer to an indi­vidual by their pre­ferred pro­nouns a form of harassment.

“I don’t rec­ognize another person’s right to determine what pro­nouns I use to address them,” Peterson said. “I think they’re con­nected to an under­ground appa­ratus of radical left political moti­va­tions. I think uttering those words makes me a tool of those moti­va­tions. And I’m going to try and be a tool of my own moti­va­tions as clearly as I can artic­ulate them and not the mouth­piece of some mur­derous ideology.”

Senior Natalie Kent said she started watching Peterson’s lec­tures on YouTube as a sophomore in high school. She said she was drawn to Peterson’s “emphasis on per­sonal responsibility.” 

“Since then, I’ve long hoped that he would make it to Hillsdale, as his pod­casts so often remind me of my own classes,” Kent said. “I can’t thank Hillsdale enough for inviting Dr. Peterson to campus and look forward to seeing him (and shaking his hand) as my peers and I cross the stage during commencement!” 

Senior Andy Walker said Peterson is one of his heroes and his top choice for com­mencement speaker. 

“12 Rules for Life was quite lit­erally a life-changing book for me and it’s a dream come true that one of the men who was influ­ential in shaping me into who I am today can come to campus,” Walker said. “I love how the second most uni­fying force on campus right now, after hating Saga, is excitement over having Jordan Peterson as the com­mencement speaker.”

Senior Brennan Nokelby said he is thankful for the oppor­tunity to hear Peterson. 

“I have lis­tened to hours of his pod­casts, lec­tures, and inter­views. It feels poetic that a person who has helped me learn so much is helping cap off my four years at Hillsdale,” he said. “We are very blessed here at Hillsdale.”