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Museum exhibit on Hauenstein Center namesake opens July 21

  • A crowd previews the Ralph Hauenstein exhibit at the Grand Rapids Public Museum.
  • Brian Hauenstein, Ralph Hauenstein's grandson, welcomes guests to the exhibit.
  • A portion of the exhibit featuring a typewriter is shown.
  • Brian Hauenstein, Ralph Hauenstein's grandson, discusses the exhibit with guests.

Posted on July 20, 2018

A special exhibit at the Grand Rapids Public Museum that focuses on the life of Ralph Hauenstein, the namesake of the Hauenstein Center for Presidential Studies at Grand Valley State University opens to the public on July 21. 

The exhibit was previewed by family and friends at a special showing on July 19.

"I encourage you to piece together his life's journey through the exhibit we've compiled before you this evening," said Brian Hauenstein, Ralph Hauenstein's grandson. "It's currently the best illustration of his life story and a testament for the good he's done for his church, his community and his country."

The exhibit is called "Ralph W. Hauenstein: A Life of Leadership" and will focus on Hauenstein's extraordinary life and accomplishments, including his work as a journalist and his role in military intelligence during World War II.

It will also examine Hauenstein's dedication to the Catholic faith, his entrepreneurship, and his philanthropy throughout West Michigan. Visitors will be able to try writing a headline for the newspaper on an antique typewriter as Hauenstein may have done as an editor at the Grand Rapids Herald, or try to crack a secret code, as Hauenstein made possible during his time as an intelligence officer.

The various images in the exhibit were first digitized by the Hauenstein Center for Presidential Studies. Objects are on loan from Ralph W. Hauenstein's grandson Brian Hauenstein unless otherwise stated; some objects on loan from the National Cryptologic Museum, NSA, Washington, D.C.

The exhibit is included in the price of regular admission to the Grand Rapids Public Museum, and will be located on the museum's third floor.

The exhibit will run through January 2019.

For more information, visit grpm.org/rwh and gvsu.edu/hc/ralph-w-hauenstein-12.htm