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Help us help the people of Ukraine – including one of our own

March 1, 2022

Iryna Trystan, Northwood University senior and student-athlete

Northwood University today is announcing an effort to raise funds for the people of Ukraine, starting with one of their own: Iryna Trystan.

The university currently is helping Trystan, a Northwood senior and member of the Women’s Tennis Team, as she applies for asylum.

“I consider Northwood to be my second home, and I’m grateful for everyone’s support and help,” Trystan said. “As a Ukrainian, I value freedom and democracy, and I deeply hope my home country will remain free and independent like the U.S.”

Northwood President Kent MacDonald announced the initiative to help Trystan and others in Ukraine during a press conference Tuesday afternoon at the McNair Center for the Advancement of Free Enterprise and Entrepreneurship on the university’s Midland campus.

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Announcement video for our efforts to support Ukrainian freedom

“Northwood University stands with and for a free and independent Ukraine that has embraced free markets, enterprise, and democracy. Our thoughts and prayers are with our current and former students from Ukraine, including Iryna, who embodies grace and fortitude, like so many of her family and fellow compatriots are demonstrating in Ukraine,” stated MacDonald. “But the resolve the world has seen this week from the Ukrainian people — both men and women — deserves a rally for support, and Northwood University is announcing a major effort to raise funds for Ukraine.”

Northwood Board of Trustees Chairwoman Dr. Jennifer T. Panning noted Northwood students and alumni from Ukraine know the tenets of The Northwood idea.

“We ask that you support Iryna, current and future students, who share our values which drive and enhance personal and economic freedom leading us all to a brighter future! May God Bless the United States of America, Northwood University, and the people of Ukraine,” she added.

MacDonald called on all friends of the University, alumni, donors, free-market partners and anyone who aspires to defend and support freedom in Ukraine to make a donation to the effort.


The University is presenting two options to show support:

  1. Freedom through The Aspire Fund – Your donation to The Aspire Fund will support Ukrainian students, like Iryna, right here in the United States who seek the life-changing gift of an education at Northwood, America’s Free Enterprise University. To support this effort, please visit our “Northwood University Stands with Ukraine” page.

  2. Freedom through Choice – You may desire to support the acute needs of those in Ukraine. As you may be aware, various organizations endeavor to provide humanitarian relief, and The Human Rights Foundation offers a list of Ukrainian organizations that aim to help. A free society encourages your ability to support such options and to conduct an appropriate amount of due diligence to ensure your funds are used as intended. At Northwood, we believe in free markets, personal responsibility, limited government, the rule of law, and, of course, freedom. All are fundamental tenets to democracy and human progress. Right now is when we commit to a free Ukraine and liberty worldwide.

Kent MacDonald, Northwood University President

“We know Ukraine’s needs are great, as Russian troops continue to advance on Kyiv,” MacDonald said. “And even though they may have the military advantage, Russian invaders grossly lack Ukraine’s steadfast belief in democracy — and desire to remain a free country.”

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