The Hauenstein Center is prepared to transition back to in-person events as soon as we are able to safely gather. In the meantime, check out our digital initiatives, including new interviews with guests such as H.W. Brands, Richard Norton Smith, and Hank Meijer!


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

What do we do? We support Grand Valley students and their leadership development. 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.


Announcement Regarding Gleaves Whitney Departure

Director of Grand Valley State University’s Hauenstein Center for Presidential Studies to take over new role on Sept. 1, 2020

It is with a sad heart, but one full of pride, that we announce the retirement of our director, Gleaves Whitney. After 17 years of building the Hauenstein Center into a nationally recognized presidential studies center, Gleaves has been chosen to fill the role of executive director of the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation (GRFPF), effective Sept. 1, 2020.

For more information please use the link provided here.

How the Hauenstein Center is Staying in Touch With You

Lunch & Learn with Gleaves

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

Journeys with Gleaves

Journeys is a series of longform video-essays on a variety of engaging subjects: historical, literary, philosophical, religious, leadership, and governing. During the quarantine, we may not be able to journey much beyond our homes, but that should not stop us from journeying beyond our minds. Stay tuned on the Journeys page as we expand upon the series every week in long form.

Beyond Aporia

Beyond Aporia

The Hauenstein Center has developed a first-rate podcast. Aporia is a Greek word that conveys the expression of skepticism and doubt. It leads to further and better questions around the toughest challenges we face. Click on the image for access to all Beyond Aporia episodes.


Wait a Minute!

Wait a Minute! The Hauenstein Center has a new shortform series. Join our director Gleaves Whitney as he reacts to current events, interesting topics, or anything that crosses his mind. View all previous Wait a Minute! videos here.

Hauenstein Herald

Hauenstein Herald

Introducing our inaugural edition of The Hauenstein Herald. Drawing inspiration from Ralph's time with the Grand Rapids Herald, we are pleased to present the Hauenstein Center's newsletter which will feature past events and lectures, current events at the center, and feature the Cook Leadership Academy fellows and Alumni. 

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.

Past Events

Listen to our podcast

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

Sign up for our mailing list

Past Events

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