About the Freedom Seminar

The Northwood University Freedom Seminar is an annual three and one-half day symposium on the free enterprise system led by distinguished academic and business leaders. The purpose of the Freedom Seminar is to investigate current business and economic topics of utmost interest to the academic and business communities. The theme for this year is "The Inclusive Economy," and the focus is on the future of the American Dream and engaging all citizens in the economy. The seminar offers a unique active learning environment in which students will be learning from and interacting with internationally recognized leaders in industry, academia, and government. Students will learn how the precepts of The Northwood Idea are applied to the problems of today.


The Freedom Seminar begins on Thursday, May 16 at 7pm and concludes on Sunday, May 19 at 5pm. Following the Thursday evening session in Griswold Lecture Hall, all further sessions will be held in the Doan Building.

Northwood University

4000 Whiting Drive
Midland, MI 48640

Directions & Campus Map

Keynote Speakers

Colonel Allen West

Allen West has largely spent his life in the service of America. Formerly, he was a US Army lieutenant colonel, and a Republican member for the US House of Representatives. He was elected from the 22nd congressional district of Florida in 2010. He ran for the US House from the 18th district of Florida in 2012, and won nomination for the Republican ticket. He was the first black Republican to be elected from Florida since reconstruction.

Allen will speak on Thursday, May 16, from 7:30 – 9 p.m. at the Griswold Lecture hall on campus.

Michael Tanner

Is the American Dream within reach of all Americans? How can we respond in to concerns about rising inequality and economic insecurity? On Friday May 17, noted economist and author Michael Tanner will provide a hopeful answer to these questions in a presentation entitled: “The Inclusive Economy: How to Bring Wealth to America’s Poor.” The presentation is scheduled from 10:00 to 11:45 at the Doan Center on the campus of Northwood University in Midland, Michigan.

Mr. Tanner is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute, and author of many books and articles on economics and public policy. His writings have appeared in nearly every major American newspaper, including the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today. In his presentation Mr. Tanner will describe the roots of poverty and inequality in America and propose a number of innovative solutions for increasing wealth, incomes, and opportunity. Tanner urges both conservatives and liberals to re-examine their assumptions and work together to consider a new approach that will give the poor more control over their future.


Thursday, May 16

7:30-9:00 p.m.
"Defending America’s Inclusive Opportunity Society: A Personal Testimony" - Colonel Allen West

Friday, May 17

10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
"The Inclusive Economy: How to Bring Wealth to America’s Poor" - Michael Tanner, Senior Fellow, The Cato Institute

1:00-3:00 p.m.
"Rich States, Poor States: How Tax Policy Drives Economic Competitiveness" - Jonathan Williams, Chief Economist and Vice President, Center for State Fiscal Reform, American Legislative Exchange Council

3:00-5:00 p.m.
"Economic Mobility and the Myth of Inequality" - Daniel J. Smith, Middle Tennessee State University

7:00-8:00 p.m.
"Individual Rights and Human Progress" - Richard Ebeling, The Citadel

Saturday, May 18

10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
Workshop Part 1: "Ethical Leadership" - David Bazzetta

1:00-3:00 p.m.
Workshop Part 2: "Ethical Leadership" - David Bazzetta

3:00-5:00 p.m.
"Civil Society" - Sharon Mortenson, President, Midland Area Community Foundation

7:00-8:00 p.m.
"Freedom in Education" Panel - Ben DeGrow, Mackinac Center for Public Policy Studies (more TBD)

Sunday, May 19

10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
"Crime and Punishment" - Kahryn Riley, John Cooper (Safe & Just Michigan), Heather Garretson (ACLU), Annie Patnaude (Americans for Prosperity)

1:00-3:00 p.m.
"The Future of the American Dream" - Timothy G. Nash, Northwood University

3:00-5:00 p.m.
"It’s Getting Better All the Time: The Case for Economic Optimism" (Screening "Don’t Panic") - Dale Matcheck, Northwood University

Contact us now!

Student registration/fees

View Registration Info on My.Northwood

Please see an academic advisor for more information.

Ellen Iwanow, LPC
Director of Academic Advising

(989) 837-4216

Derrick Moorehead-English
Academic Advisor and International Student Advisor
(989) 837-4165 moorehed@northwood.edu

Academic Requirements

Professor Dale Matcheck
(989) 837-4256