Imprimis: A 50th Anniversary Collection
Imprimis is a national speech digest published ten times a year by Hillsdale College. It promotes the principles of individual rights, limited government, free market economics, civic morality, and strong national defense. Launched in 1972 with a circulation of a few thousand, today its circulation is well over six million. It is sent free of charge to anyone who wishes to receive it.
There are two reasons behind the publication of Imprimis, each connected to the unique history of Hillsdale College.
The first is connected to Hillsdale’s recent history, when its refusal to comply with unjust and unconstitutional federal regulations in the 1970s led to a long-fought court case. As a result of losing that case and in order to preserve its independence, the College—which had never itself accepted federal taxpayer funding— informed its students that they could no longer come to Hillsdale using federal student grants or loans, including even GI Bill benefits. Needing to replace that taxpayer-funded student financial aid with aid from private sources, Hillsdale found itself in need of friends. Imprimis proved an effective way of making them.
The second reason for Imprimis is connected to Hillsdale’s older history. In 1844, the College’s founders tied its mission to the founding principles of America: it was to provide “sound learning” of the kind necessary to perpetuate the blessings of “civil and religious liberty and intelligent piety.” This sense of duty to the nation has remained strong at Hillsdale. At a time such as today, when limited government constitutionalism is under attack, Imprimis—along with the College’s other outreach programs—should be understood as requirements of Hillsdale’s original charter.