About Us

Hauenstein Center for Presidential Studies

Ethical, Effective Leaders for the 21st Century

Inspired by Ralph Hauenstein’s life of leadership and service, the Hauenstein Center for Presidential Studies is dedicated to raising a community of ethical, effective leaders for the twenty-first century.

The Hauenstein Center is built on three cornerstones:

The Cook Leadership Academy serves university students at all levels of their development.  Emerging leaders strive to become more ethical and effective in their community through mentorships and constant engagement with experienced professionals.  The Cook Leadership Academy within the Hauenstein Center has become one of the Midwest’s pre-eminent centers for the exploration and development of leadership excellence.

The Common Ground Initiative provides a rigorous, open forum for leading scholars, writers, and public officials -- progressives and conservatives alike -- to discuss the cultural, intellectual, and political challenges Americans face. The Initiative was founded on the premise that leaders in the 21st century will not just have to identify common ground between diverse communities, but between diverse ideas as well. Partnering with organizations at Grand Valley and around the state and nation, we host world-class talks, debates, seminars, and conferences to promote common ground for the common good.

Inspired by Ralph Hauenstein, we seek to provide a platform for emerging leaders in all three major sectors of public life – business, government, and nonprofit.  We promote civic engagement that (1) honors the Founders’ vision of a constitutional republic; (2) builds on existing democratic institutions that promote justice, freedom, opportunity, sustainable prosperity, and the rule of law; and (3) envisions the possibilities for creating better communities.

Ralph Photo



Page last modified August 7, 2018