An estimated 2,600 people are expected to attend the graduation ceremony tonight at Hillsdale College, in Hillsdale, MI, despite Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s executive order limiting gatherings of over 100 people in the state of Michigan. According to a current Hillsdale College student who writes for 100 Percent Fed Up, the school has announced that there will be a surprise speaker at the graduation ceremony. Excitement is swirling around the campus about who the surprise speaker might be, as enhanced security is currently taking place around the school and a number of roads are being blocked off by law enforcement.

The prominent independent liberal arts school is known for offering students a top-notch education while refusing to accept any federal funding.  The college’s refusal to accept money from the government gives them the ability to educate students without having to bow down to the politically correct mob infecting college campuses across America. As part of its core curriculum, Hillsdale College requires each of its students to take a course on the United States Constitution.

According to the Detroit Free Press – Hillsdale College sent almost all of its students home when it closed its campus in mid-April due to the COVID-19 threat. But now, an estimated 2,600 students, family members and guests will descend on Hillsdale this weekend for a large-scale commencement ceremony over the objections of local health officials.

The prominent conservative college’s decision to follow through with its plans to hold an in-person commencement on Saturday has drawn opposition from officials at the Branch-Hillsdale-St. Joseph Community Health Agency.  They say a mass influx of people from various regions of the country coming into Hillsdale risks widespread community exposure.

Hillsdale College originally planned to hold commencement on May 9 but postponed it to Saturday due to the ongoing COVID-19 threat. Admission to Saturday’s commencement ceremony is by ticket only and it is closed to the public and members of the media. Ticketing will be contactless and handled electronically.

In preparing for the rescheduled event, Hillsdale College undertook a number of precautions that “either meet or exceed those recommended by the World Health Organization,” according to a Thursday news release. College officials contacted Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s team more than a month prior to the event and have communicated with the state Attorney General’s Office and local law enforcement and health officials about the planned ceremony, the release states.

The ceremony itself will take place outdoors in pre-positioned seating where social distancing can take place, and if it is moved inside it will be held in a venue large enough to allow adequate spacing between guests, the college says.

Among the many precautions the college is taking, all attendees will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms and have their temperatures checked. Masks will be required in compliance with Whitmer’s executive order, and signage directing mask usage will be prominently displayed. Masks will be provided for those who do not have them. In collaboration with Hillsdale Hospital, health stations will be located on-site and staffed by nurses to help with any health concerns that arise.

Additionally, attendees who have COVID-19 symptoms or who have been in contact with anyone infected have been instructed not to come, as well as individuals who are most susceptible to COVID-19.

In an email obtained by The Detroit News, Hillsdale College President Larry Arnn told students this week that he met with senior class officers about commencement plans and had a spirited discussion about the importance of the ceremony, and outlined how the college would take precautions amid the pandemic.

“Commencement is the most significant event in the life of a college,” Arnn wrote. “As old as the first universities, this milestone represents the conclusion of the College’s labor and also inaugurates an even greater undertaking: each graduate’s commencing to live a good and happy life in accordance with the highest principles, a life for which they have spent four years preparing.”

Ryan Jarvi, press secretary for the Michigan Department of Attorney General Dana Nessel, said organized gatherings of more than 100 people are prohibited in the part of the state where Hillsdale College is located.

Michigan’s radical, far-left Attorney General Dana Nessel

“Such events clearly show a lack of consideration for the dangerous threat this virus presents,” Jarvi said. “Should this event proceed, we trust the local law enforcement agencies to exercise their authority and discretion in their enforcement efforts.”

It’s curious that the press secretary for Michigan’s radical Democrat Attorney General Dana Nessel would call the Hillsdale commencement ceremony “dangerous,” given Democrat Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s participation at a Black Lives Matter march honoring George Floyd with hundreds of protesters on June 4, in Highland Park, MI.

Whitmer can be seen marching here with her “hands up,” while a protester in the background shouts, “Hands up, don’t shoot!” a lie that was debunked in court after multiple witnesses proved criminal Michael Brown did NOT have his ‘hands up’ when he was shot to death by a police officer in Ferguson, MO.

Hillsdale County Sheriff Tim Parker said his office has not enforced any of the governor’s orders during this pandemic and has no intent to do so now.

Hillsdale County Sheriff Tim Parker

“We are really busy here, dealing with a lot of problems in this community,” Parker said. “We are not going to an event like the one at Hillsdale College and go in there … in an effort to enforce that order and issue tickets.

“We just don’t have the manpower, nor is that a top priority of our community.”

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