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Liberty + Leadership News: June 30


We hope you enjoy these news stories about TFAS activities, alumni and events this week. Sign up to receive TFAS updates, and visit us on social media for additional up-to-the-moment TFAS news!


Dr. Rachel Ferguson Discusses Classical Liberalism with Young Leaders During Annual Lev Dobriansky Lecture

Students gather around Dr. Ferguson to ask questions following her lecture.

Earlier this month, The Fund for American Studies (TFAS) hosted the annual  Dobriansky Lecture on Political Economy in honor of beloved professor Lev Dobriansky.

Dr. Rachel Ferguson, professor, assistant dean of the College of Business and director of the Free Enterprise Center at Concordia University Chicago, delivered keynote remarks.

Ferguson opened her remarks by defining classical liberalism and the power of social capital. She emphasized that the primary role of government is to protect individual freedom, which consists of private property, contract rights and equal protection of laws. She argued that the problem at hand is one of human dignity and freedom, not a political issue among the left and right.

Read more about this year’s lecture here.

Russia’s Arrest of Gershkovich Threatens Journalism and Democracy

TFAS president Roger Ream ’76 penned an op-ed for The American Spectator this week on the arrest of journalist Evan Gershkovich in Russia in March 2023. Ream explained how this unjust arrest, the first of its kind since the Cold War, threatens free speech.

“Gershkovich’s imprisonment highlights the most pressing matter facing international media today – the stripping of journalistic freedoms and investigative rights at the hands of authoritarian governments, who understand the role journalists play in providing facts and seeking truth on behalf of the public,” he writes.

Ream compared Gershkovich’s arrest to pro-democracy activist and media entrepreneur Jimmy Lai’s arrest in China last fall, calling it a “blatant affront to democratic values,” and suggested that those who want to fight tyranny must view Gershkovich in the same light.

The Fund for American Studies is already taking the initiative to bolster free speech in the U.S. and around the world by training the next generation of courageous leaders in journalism. Through programs like the Novak and Rago Fellowships, the European Journalism Institute and the new Center for Excellence in Journalism, TFAS strives to educate and prepare the next generation of reporters to “preserve this important foundation of our way of life today and in the years to come.”

Read the full article online at The American Spectator.

 TFAS Faculty, Alumni, Supporters in the News

Kristen Campbell ’03, ’04, PPF ’09, discusses the term “civic culture,” what it represents, and why we all play a role in bringing civic culture to life on the Keeping PACE with Kristen podcast. 

TFAS Senior Scholar Dr. Donald Devine wrote about the enormous influence of mainstream media and its consequent effect on cultural decline and societal unhappiness in an op-ed for The American Spectator.

Madeleine Kearns, Novak ’22, wrote a piece for National Review about how a lack of imagination can lead to terrible outcomes.

John McCormack, Novak ’11, writes for National Review that Montana senator Steve Daines, chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee is supporting businessman and former Navy SEAL Tim Sheehy in his home state’s GOP Senate race in 2024.

Sarah Bedford, Novak ’15, has a series on universal basic income in the Washington Examiner.

Anthony Shop ’03 is the executive producer and host of the Chief Influencer podcast, which highlights leaders from diplomacy and public service to business and the arts who stand out for their ability to inspire and influence others.

Kylee Griswold ’17 joined NewsMax’s “Frontline” where she talked about Gen Z, Kamala Harris, and Starbucks.

Tara Isabella Burton’s, Novak ’20, book “Self-Made: Creating Our Identities from Da Vinci to the Kardashians” was reviewed in The New York Times and was also featured as “Book of the Day” by The Guardian.

Benjamin Dierker, PPF ’18, discussed how he transitioned from being an intern to executive director of the Alliance for Innovation and Infrastructure (Aii) in an interview with Canvas Rebel Magazine.

TFAS Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Anne Bradley compiled a list of the best economics books for summer reading for Acton Institute.

Post of the Week

TFAS High School Programs, the Foundation for Teaching Economics (FTE), completed their busiest week of the summer hosting four summer programs simultaneously at Yale, UCLA, UC Berkeley and UC Santa Barbara. This week and throughout the summer, hundreds of students learn how to apply the economic way of thinking about national and international issues.



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