It is not often that one associates feminist and conservative values, but at Northwood University, where faculty and staff reflected on the recent passing of Ladies for Liberty author John Blundell, the two are quite cohesive.
“John’s influence greatly impacted what we do here at Northwood University, especially in reinforcing our belief in the power and abilities of women leaders,” stated Keith Pretty, president & CEO of Northwood University. “He helped us deepen and broaden our appreciation for the role they have always played in securing better lives for all.”
The role of women in the freedom movement was not Blundell’s only specialty. A respected economist and historian, he was a leading architect of the libertarian movement both in England and the United States. He played a key role in everything from the Thatcher revolution to the rise and development of several noteworthy organizations in Europe and the United States, including the Charles G. Koch and Claude R. Lambe charitable foundations, the Institute for Humane Studies and the Atlas Network.
Along the way, he was introduced to Northwood University through long-time friend and University trustee-emeritus Jerry Fullinwider and the rest, as the adage goes, was history.
By all accounts, Blundell had a lasting impact at a university known not only for its specialty business degrees but also for its cutting-edge outreach efforts, such as its annual Distinguished Women Gala, which recognizes and honors leading women in the business, public policy and non-profit sectors.
“All of us at Northwood, especially our students, learned a great deal from John. But perhaps more than anything else he galvanized our belief that the essence of true feminism lies in the recognition that women are every bit as capable, intelligent, and talented as their male counterparts,” explained Pretty. “He will be sorely missed.”
In addition to visits and lectures on Northwood University’s Florida, Michigan, and Texas campuses, Blundell was a regular at the school’s annual Freedom Seminar and, in 2011, he spoke about Margaret Thatcher and other “ladies for liberty” in conjunction with Midland Center for the Art’s VOICES: Extraordinary Women of Midland County exhibit.
“John loved Northwood and Northwood loved him,” remarked Tim Nash, vice president for strategic and corporate alliances and the David E. Fry chair in free market economics who recently published a memorial regarding Blundell, “Northwood University Remembers a Friend & Giant, which can be found at https://www.northwood.edu/media/free-market-library.aspx.
“His place and value to the freedom movement, and life in general, was rivaled only by his warm and down-to-earth personality,” Nash added. “We are grateful for having known him and we are going to miss him very much.”