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Welcome to the second edition of Students in Defense of Freedom

December 7, 2023

President MacDonald discusses collection of student essays

Northwood University unapologetically endorses freedom and all of its corollaries: individualism, moral law, personal responsibility, private property, free markets, limited government, and business enterprise.

This publication reflects how Northwood students think critically and seriously embrace individual responsibility and self-determination. Each article provides the reader with insights and lessons from the perspective of a current Northwood student. I encourage you to read each article to better understand how our students reflect the values of The Northwood Idea, our University’s guiding philosophy that stresses freedom and personal responsibility.

In Students of Defense of Freedom, you will be introduced to Kristin Tokarev, who graduated from our DeVos Graduate School in May and now resides in New York where she works with John Stossel, a high-profile American libertarian television presenter, author and pundit. In her piece, Kristin channels former U.S. President Ronald Raegan in making the case for a system that rewards hard work, not one that punishes success.

In his essay, Students in Defense of Freedom student editor Andrew Reder discusses the threat of cancel culture in the financial industry. Andrew’s alignment with The Northwood Idea and passion for leading and mentoring fellow students has aided him in leading several student initiatives such as this publication and in securing a position as a tutor for Northwood’s Timberwolf Learning Center.

Other essays in this publication discuss anarcho-capitalism, markets and morality, the effectiveness of school closures, the stability of the U.S. dollar, and the U.S. Constitution.

At Northwood University, we have a strong commitment to personal freedom, rule of law, limited government and free enterprise. Our values reflect a belief that in every human heart is a natural yearning to be free. In this publication, our students demonstrate their ability to think critically and independently about issues impacting their world. Further, it reflects their commitment to The Northwood Idea.

This publication should serve as an inspiration for every new student who joins us at this distinctive and important university. I am hopeful it will be read in its entirety by all those who cherish freedom.

In a world that is becoming overwhelmed by socialist idealogy, these students give us hope.

Dedications & Acknowledgement

By Student Editor Andrew Reder

This edition of Students in Defense of Freedom is dedicated to the late Sheriff John S. Reder for his leadership in the Midland community and special interest in the wellbeing and success of Northwood University students, which continues to live on today in countless aspects and especially in the Sheriff John S. Reder Scholarship. 

For the second year, Students in Defense of Freedom has given students the chance to express their thoughts and showcase their writing abilities at Northwood University. As the founding editor of this publication, I would like to acknowledge the following individuals who have provided invaluable support and sponsorship of this student-driven project.

To Dr. Kent MacDonald, for his continued support of this project and many other student initiatives. Throughout his tenure as the president of our university, my fellow students and I have benefitted greatly from his active involvement, mentorship, and genuine interest in our success. 

To Dr. Timothy Nash, whose lifelong commitment to Northwood University is still a driver of our success every day. In his roles as vice president emeritus of the university and director of our great McNair Center for the Advancement of Free Enterprise and Entrepreneurship, Dr. Nash has been a key benefactor to all students through his support and encouragement of scholarly projects such as this. 

To Vice President Murray Kyte, Senior Marketing and Communications Officer Rachel Valdiserri and Kate Hessling, executive director of communications and public relations, whose direct involvement in the publication process and promotion have made this project possible.

To Dr. Dale Matcheck, Dr. Glenn Moots, Professor Ben Fortin, and all our faculty and staff whose treasured advice and guidance fuels our student’s academic professional success. 

To our donors and alumni who have supported the scholarships and academic programs that allow Northwood University students to build upon The Northwood Idea.

We are grateful to you all.


Dr. Kent MacDonald is a highly regarded leader in the North American higher education sector. He has completed graduate degrees in education and business, and his doctoral dissertation explored leadership within high-performing colleges. With over thirty years of experience in higher education and private business, Dr. MacDonald was named the sixth president of Northwood University in 2019. He is married to Dr. Mary-Ellen MacPhee, also a lifelong educator. They have four children who reside in cities across North America. Dr. MacDonald is an unabashed champion for The Northwood Idea. He firmly believes in Liberty and Business for All.

Andrew Reder is an honors BBA/MBA student who studies in the Economics and Management programs. Andrew’s alignment with The Northwood Idea and his passion for mentoring fellow students has encouraged him to lead several initiatives, including this publication and tutoring at the Northwood Timberwolf Learning Center. Andrew also holds a position as research scholar for the Robert C. and Janice S. McNair Center for the Advancement of Free Enterprise and Entrepreneurship, where he participates in invaluable research projects manifesting the importance of The Northwood Idea to the success of the economy and human flourishing. Andrew lives in Larkin Township, Michigan, with his parents and five siblings. Besides his campus leadership activities, he is heavily involved in his local township, where he serves on the Board of Review. When he has free time, he enjoys reading, fiction writing, and spending time with his family.

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