The health and safety of our community continue to be of the utmost importance to the Hauenstein Center for Presidential Studies and Grand Valley State University. The recent outbreaks of COVID-19 require us to adhere to best practices to get through this pandemic. The CDC is calling on all organizations to cancel all group events for several weeks. Although we have made the difficult decision to cancel our live events through the end of May, we will continue to provide you with new content that you can access digitally on our website, Facebook, and Twitter. Grand Valley State University will be continually monitoring CDC guidelines and working with local health agencies. Our commitment is to the health of the community during this difficult time. Thank you for your patience and understanding. Please visit for updates from GVSU. How is the Hauenstein Center staying active during COVID-19? Please read a message from our director.


Welcome to the Hauenstein Center for Presidential Studies at Grand Valley State University.

What do we do? We work to advance knowledge and build community in three key areas:

We are a PRESIDENTIAL STUDIES CENTER. Our director, Gleaves Whitney, is a presidential scholar and author who is regularly consulted by national media. Our special collection of works authored by American presidents has been called “a uniquely valuable resource” by the Library of Congress.  Read more about the Presidential Studies Center.

We focus on LEADERSHIP in keeping with the vision of our founder and benefactor, COL Ralph W. Hauenstein. Our primary mission is to foster ethical, effective leadership for the 21st century, and our Peter C. Cook Leadership Academy is at the core of that charge. Read more about Leadership.

We strive to prepare a new generation of leaders to deal effectively with diverse ideas and cultures through our COMMON GROUND INITIATIVE, a program unique in higher education. You can read more about our guest speakers, conferences, and other events, all free and open to the public.


How the Hauenstein Center is Staying Active During COVID-19

Stay Engaged Digitally -- Daily Updates to Spark Discussion

The Hauenstein Center is pleased to introduce a new way for our audience to stay engaged digitally. Starting March 25, we will be sharing daily updates to spark discussion for the duration of the pandemic. We will share the topics on our social channels and keep a running list of previously shared items on our page Daily Updates to Spark Discussion.


Journeys is a series of short, pre-taped videos on a variety of engaging subjects: historical, literary, philosophical, religious, leadership, and governing. During the quarantine, we may not be able to journey much outside our homes, but that should not stop us from journeying outside our minds. Stay tuned on the Journeys page as we expand upon the series every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

Lunch & Learn with Gleaves

As we stay home and stay safe, we are pleased to launch our new webinar series that will be broadcast live each Tuesday and Thursday. Lunch & Learn with Gleaves will be offered beginning March 31, 2020, at 1 PM. Join Gleaves and a special guest for a brief video conversation that explores a provocative topic. Links to connect are available here

Past Events

Listen To Our Podcast

Common Ground Podcast

#85: Amity Shlaes

March 16, 2020

#84: Steve Luxenberg

February 05, 2020

#83: David Roll

January 04, 2020

#82: Danielle Allen

January 04, 2020

#81: Jeffrey Rosen

January 04, 2020

#80: Lynne Olson

January 04, 2020

Ethical, Effective Leaders


Escaping the Echo Chambers

Cg Intro

Finding The Lost Region

Midwest Intro

Ask Gleaves

Ask Gleaves

Sign up For Our Mailing List

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Past Events

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