Director Megan Rydecki introduces speaker at a Hauenstein Center event.

Events at Hauenstein Center focused on empowered citizenship

The Hauenstein Center for Presidential Studies begins its 23rd year of programming with a series of panels and discussions examining the role of citizenship on national and global scales. 

Focusing on the theme of “empowered citizenship,” the Hauenstein Center welcomes nationally respected authors, lecturers and scholars to address the responsibilities of citizenship and what it means to be a citizen in today’s society, said Megan Rydecki, director of the Hauenstein Center. 

“Leadership begins with how each of us chooses to show up in the world on a daily basis, and our choices should be informed by continuous exploration of what it means to be a citizen in contemporary times,” Rydecki said.

The center’s first event of its fall calendar presents Eric Liu, CEO of Citizen University, and Victor Davis Hanson, author, historian and visiting professor at Hillsdale College, for a bipartisan discussion on overcoming the barriers to becoming an empowered citizen.

The discussion, “Citizenship in Crisis: Re-Empowering the American Citizen,” is scheduled for 7 p.m. on September 7 at the Eberhard Center on the Pew Grand Rapids Campus.

Liu will also lead a lunch workshop, beginning at noon on September 7, exploring the cultural milestones, historical events and civic skills that construct a foundation for being an effective American citizen.

The center will honor Constitution Day with a lecture by Vincent Phillip Muñoz, founding director of the Center for Citizenship & Constitutional Government at the University of Notre Dame. Muñoz will speak at 6 p.m. on September 19 at the DeVos Center, Loosemore Auditorium on the Pew Grand Rapids Campus.

The Hauenstein Center and GVSU’s Frederik Meijer Honors College have partnered to host Faye Richardson-Green, the new Meijer Endowed Chair in Entrepreneurship and Innovation, as she opens the 2023-2024 Wheelhouse Talks series on September 29. Each year during the series, community leaders share their leadership philosophy and experience with students in GVSU’s Peter C. Cook Leadership Academy.

Christopher McKnight Nichols, professor of history at Ohio State University, will lead a discussion, “Citizens of the World: Global Citizenship and U.S. Foreign Relations,” on October 12, examining how we can balance our ethics and shared humanity on a global scale with the nation’s interest and security. 

“Through study of the presidency, our nation’s history and current civic landscape, we look forward to further understanding what it means to be a citizen, the rights and responsibilities it entails, and how we can all unite to foster progress and greater understanding,” Rydecki said.

For more details on these and other Hauenstein Center events on “empowered citizenship” this fall, visit the center’s events webpage.


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