Erik Prince, founder of Blackwater and author of Civilian Warriors, graduated from Hillsdale College, writes Nathan Prigmore. Prince suggested in his book that the Pentagon’s budget could be cut by 40%. After working with the U.S. government on over one hundred thousand missions, Prince and Blackwater were scapegoated for failures of the Iraq war. Prigmore writes (abridged):
Erik Prince graduated from Hillsdale College in 1992, and after college, he joined the Navy and the U.S. Navy SEALs.
After his service, he founded Blackwater, one of the most successful private security contractor organizations in history, and today he continues to pursue similar work across the globe.
Prince began his higher education with a brief tri-semester stint at the Naval Academy, but after his freshman year He decided to transfer to Hillsdale College, and he attributes much of his business and personal success to what he learned after transferring to Hillsdale.
“The economic and business education, even the politics side, gave me the ability to analyze economies, trends, and societies, to figure out what makes people upset, and what people will fight for,” Prince said.
The College’s celebration of free-market principles appealed to Prince, culminating in an Economics major and Political Science minor. He enjoyed reading about the Austrians and their passion for limited government intervention.
Prince took the Foundations of the American Government course, similar to the Constitution 101 course that the college currently offers. “He knew a lot about politics coming in,” politics professor Mickey Craig said, who had Prince as a student. “Erik had a good sense of humor, but a serious purpose in life.”
Former Hillsdale College professor Alexander Stromas inspired Prince after he learned that Stromas was a Lithuanian exile during the Cold War. Stromas appealed even more to Prince after he learned that he also went to law school with Mikhail Gorbachev.
Read more here.