Returning to her alma mater, William Woods University in Fulton, Missouri, as the 2015 commencement speaker, Dr. Gina Loudon – author, columnist, television commentator and talk show host – is addressing graduates and their families at 10 a.m. in the school's Cutlip Auditorium May 9.
"I see it as a huge open door from God to talk about freedom," Loudon told WND. "We are really at a crossroads in our history. People alive today have more of an opportunity to make history than ever before."
She added: "The next year and a half will determine the course of the free world, and to be at your jumping-off point at this moment in history is a huge opportunity for these graduates. I'm so thankful to talk to tomorrow's leaders about how they can be involved in the struggle to defend freedom."
Along with Morgan Brittany and Ann-Marie Murrell, Loudon is the author of "What Women Really Want." And as she will tell graduates, she believes it is critically important at this historic time for every person to fulfill their "civic duty" of political involvement – including women.
"Ten years ago, if you were a mother, you could stay at home and 'raise an army,' as some people put it to me. But today, by the time your children grow up, the war will already have been lost. As mothers, grandmothers and aunts, we no longer have the luxury of being uninvolved. You can bring your children with you on campaigns, and if you can't leave the house, you can work to promote freedom online or through social media."
Loudon follows her own advice, serving as a regular guest on Fox News, writing a weekly column for WND, and working as a national speaker and analyst while homeschooling her five children, including an adopted son with Down Syndrome.
Her previous book is "Ladies and Gentlemen: Why the Survival of Our Republic Depends on the Revival of Honor." Part of preserving a free society and changing the course of history, she says, is to recognize the importance and worth of those you meet during your life's journey.
Recalling her own days in college, Loudon laughs, saying, "When I look back at how I was in college, I feel I was as dumb as a box of blocks. I had knowledge and information, but no wisdom. Wisdom comes from who God sets in your path." She cites Phyllis Schlafly as one key figure, "as I live my political life right underneath her." She also points to Bill Federer and WND CEO Joseph Farah as two people who dramatically impacted her writing career.
Finally, Loudon credits Holocaust survivor Kitty Werthmann for inspiring her with a sense of urgency. She remembers Werthmann telling her how all the investments Werthmann's own mother had made in her own future were undone when the Nazis took over her native Austria.
The lesson, says Loudon, is that mothers must always remain involved in the larger world in order to preserve freedom. As she phrased it poignantly in "What Women Really Want," "What did Kitty Werthmann's mother do to prevent the horrors of the Holocaust generation?"
Commenting on those she's encountered, she notes, "Originally, I didn't want anything to do with politics, thinking it a dirty business." Crediting her husband, former Missouri State Sen. John Loudon, with convincing her it is a civic duty in a free society to "take responsibility for the fragility of freedom." Loudon comments: "I think Ronald Reagan said it best. Freedom is always one generation away from extinction."
Her core message to the class of 2015? "Man or woman, you have to be that person 'in the arena' Teddy Roosevelt talks about. If you are not putting yourself in uncomfortable positions, you are not actually progressing."