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HomeUS NewsPat Sajak's Hillsdale College a Hub for Catholic Converts

Pat Sajak’s Hillsdale College a Hub for Catholic Converts

TV game show host Pat Sajak chairs the board of trustees at a small Christian, classical liberal arts school often branded as being “conservative.”

Hillsdale College, located in southern Michigan, has been described as being “at the heart of the culture wars,” Catholic News Agency (CNA) reported.

The school, which has a thriving Catholic community of students and faculty, has become something of a hub for converts to the Catholic faith, CNA reported.

The local St. Anthony Catholic Church ministers to the students. Church staff member Kelly Cole told CNA that an average of about 15 Hillsdale students convert to Catholicism each year.

While the “great majority” of Hillsdale’s faculty and students are not Catholic, longtime English professor David Whalen said the Catholic community flourishes on a campus atmosphere that is “highly collegial.”

“There are enough Catholic students, faculty, and staff to sustain a quite vibrant Catholic community and, at the same time, integrate with the campus as a whole,” Whalen said, CNA reported. “This makes the college attractive to Catholic students, as does its traditional curriculum and strong academics.”

Sajak, 76, longtime “Wheel of Fortune” host, has been serving as chair of the board for the school since 2019. He previously served as the vice chair of the board of trustees beginning in 2003.

Although he declined CNA’s interview request, Sajak once told the Hoover Institution that his association with Hillsdale began as a result of knowing the school’s president, Larry Arnn, whom Sajak met when he served on the board of the Claremont Institute, a conservative think tank based in Upland, California.

Sajak also told the Hoover Institution that Hillsdale did not accept government funding.

In June, Sajak chose to remain chair of the Hillsdale board despite announcing his retirement from “Wheel of Fortune,” effective next year.

Hillsdale College, which defines itself as “nonsectarian Christian,” was founded by Freewill Baptist slavery abolitionists in 1844.

Hillsdale College was included in the Princeton Review’s 2024 edition of the nation’s best colleges, earning a No. 3 ranking of “most conservative students,” a No. 2 ranking of “most religious students,” and a No. 2 ranking of having the “friendliest students,” CNA reported.

Sajak, a Chicago native and Vietnam veteran, received an annulment from the Catholic Church for his marriage to Sherril Sajak, the Los Angeles Times reported.

He has been married to Lesly Brown for more than 30 years, according to Hollywood Life.

Charlie McCarthy

Charlie McCarthy, a writer/editor at Newsmax, has nearly 40 years of experience covering news, sports, and politics.

© 2023 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

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