COL Ralph W Hauenstein Fellowship Award

This award was created in 2010 in anticipation of the 50th anniversary of the founding of Grand Valley State University. The Fellowship honors distinguished individuals whose leadership and public service have profoundly influenced the course of our nation and even the world.

The Fellowship recognizes COL Ralph W. Hauenstein’s extraordinary life, which exemplified the service and leadership that Grand Valley State University seeks to inspire in its students and graduates. Below, see the thirteen recipients of the award to date. 

COL Ralph W. Hauenstein Fellowship Award May 2019 - Recipient Ambassador Nikki R. Haley

Grand Valley State University, through its Hauenstein Center for Presidential Studies, is proud to confer the Center’s most prestigious honor, the COL Ralph W. Hauenstein Fellowship, upon Ambassador Nikki R. Haley.

Ambassador Nikki R. Haley is the former United States Permanent Representative to the United Nations. She served as a member of President Donald Trump’s Cabinet and the National Security Council. At the United Nations, Ambassador Haley championed human rights. She challenged human rights violations across the globe, standing up to oppressive regimes in Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Cuba and Russia. During U.S. leadership of the U.N. Security Council, she hosted the first-ever session devoted solely to promoting human rights.

Ambassador Haley ensured that the American people saw value for their investment in the United Nations, introducing reforms that made the organization more efficient, transparent, and accountable. In a two-year period, she negotiated more than $1.3 billion in savings, including rightsizing U.N. peacekeeping missions to make them more effective and targeted, while improving their ability to protect civilians.

Prior to becoming the twenty-ninth U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Haley was elected in 2010 as the first female and the first minority Governor of South Carolina. Reelected in 2014, she served as Governor until confirmed by the U.S. Senate as the U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations.

Ambassador Haley is a shining exemplar of service to our nation and the world, and Grand Valley State University is proud to bestow upon her the thirteenth COL Ralph W. Hauenstein Fellowship.

Nikki R. Haley


COL Ralph W. Hauenstein Fellowship Award March 2019 - Recipient General Wesley K. Clark

Grand Valley State University, through its Hauenstein Center for Presidential Studies, is proud to have confer the Center’s most prestigious honor, the COL Ralph W. Hauenstein Fellowship, upon General Wesley K. Clark. The Fellowship, which honors distinguished individuals whose leadership and public service have significantly influenced the course of our nation and even our world, is inspired by COL Hauenstein’s extraordinary life. A valedictorian at West Point and later a Rhodes Scholar, Wesley Clark retired as a four-star general after 38 years in the United States Army, having served as Supreme Allied Commander, Europe, during Operation Allied Force. He helped write and negotiate significant portions of the 1995 Dayton Peace Agreement. We honored Ralph’s legacy on a special evening that included a Common Ground Initiative presentation by General Clark on the challenges of overcoming polarization in America today.


COL Ralph W. Hauenstein Fellowship Award June 2018 - Recipient Secretary Robert Gates

Former Secretary of Defense and Central Intelligence Agency Director Robert Gates was presented with the eleventh Col. Ralph W. Hauenstein Fellowship Medal by President Emeritus Thomas J. Haas on June 18. 

 Secretary Gates was awarded the medal prior to his keynote lecture for the Economic Club of Grand Rapids Annual Dinner, at the DeVos Place.

Secretary Robert Gates served as the 22nd United States Secretary of Defense from 2006 to 2011.  He is the only defense secretary in American history to be asked to remain in office by a newly elected president. President Barack Obama was the eighth president Secretary Gates served.  He previously served in the position under President George W. Bush, demonstrating his commitment to keeping the country safe through dedicated public service across partisan lines.

Earlier, Secretary Gates joined the Central Intelligence Agency in 1966 and spent nearly 27 years as an intelligence professional.  In 1967, he was commissioned a second lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force and served as an intelligence officer at Whitman Air Force Base in Missouri.

Secretary Gates served as Director of Central Intelligence from 1991 until 1993.  He is the only career officer in the history of the CIA to rise from entry-level employee to director.  

A lifelong scholar, he holds a Ph.D. in history from Georgetown University, and currently serves as Chancellor of the College of William & Mary, his alma mater. He served as President of Texas A&M University from 2002 to 2006.

The Hauenstein Fellowship Medal recognizes the extraordinary life of the center's namesake, Ralph Hauenstein, and is intended to honor distinguished individuals who exemplify the service and leadership that Grand Valley State University seeks to inspire in its students and graduates.

Previous recipients of the Col. Ralph W. Hauenstein Fellowship Medal include: President Gerald R. Ford (posthumously), Lieutenant General Brent Scowcroft, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, Secretary of State James A. Baker, Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen, Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill, Ambassador John Beyrle, President of Palau Tommy Remengesau, Admiral James M. Loy, and Secretary of Housing and Urban Development and U.S. Trade Representative Carla Hills.

Robert Gates Photo


COL Ralph W. Hauenstein Fellowship Award July 2017 - Recipient Ambassador Carla A. Hills

 The Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation, Library, and Museum hosted the 2017 William E. Simon Lecture in Public Affairs and the 2017 COL Ralph W. Hauenstein Fellowship presentation on July 13, 2017 at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum. Former Ambassador Carla A. Hills presented a lecture entitled “Why Trade Matters” which coincided with the 104th birthday anniversary of President Gerald R. Ford.

Grand Valley State University Hauenstein Center Director Gleaves Whitney presented Hills with the 2017 COL Ralph W. Hauenstein Fellowship. Whitney read the citation noting the “historic career of Ambassador Hills offers a shining example of service to our nation and the world and Grand Valley State University is proud to bestow upon her the COL Ralph W. Hauenstein Fellowship.” The award was created in 2010 in anticipation of the 50th anniversary of the founding of Grand Valley State University and honors distinguished individuals whose leadership and public service have profoundly influenced the course of our nation and world.


COL Ralph W. Hauenstein Fellowship Award March 2017 - Recipient Tommy E. Remengesau Jr., President of Palau

In March, President Emeritus Thomas J. Haas led a small Grand Valley delegation to Palau to present Remengesau with the Col. Ralph W. Hauenstein Fellowship medal, the Center’s most prestigious honor.

Mark Schaub, chief international officer, said more than 10 people from Palau have graduated from Grand Valley, and two students are currently enrolled. Schaub also traveled to Palau in March and gave presentations about Grand Valley to students from the country’s six high schools.

“There is one community college in Palau, and a handful of students from there have also enrolled in Grand Valley,” Schaub said.

Remengesau was the speaker at Grand Valley’s fall commencement ceremony in 2002.

COL RALPH W. HAUENSTEIN FELLOWSHIP AWARD MARCH 2017 - RECIPIENT TOMMY E. REMENGESAU JR., PRESIDENT OF PALAU


COL Ralph W. Hauenstein Fellowship Award April 2016 - Recipient ADM James M. Loy

The spring 2016 COL Ralph W. Hauenstein Fellowship Recipient, ADM James M. Loy, served as Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard from 1998 to 2002. During this time he improved the effectiveness of the service by sharpening its readiness and ensuring it was prepared for the transition to modern ships and technology. In response to the terrorist attacks of 9/11, ADM Loy helped the nation defend itself by dedicating more of the Coast Guard’s resources to port security, allowing the United States to focus on recovery. His success as Commandant led to appointments in the Department of Transportation, first as Deputy Under Secretary for Security and Chief Operating Officer of the Transportation Security Administration, and then as Under Secretary for Security. ADM Loy later served as the Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security from 2003 to 2005, culminating a 45-year career in public service


COL Ralph W. Hauenstein Fellowship Award February 2016 - Recipient John Beyrle

John Beyrle served as an American diplomat for three decades, in foreign postings and domestic assignments focused on Central and Eastern Europe, the Soviet Union, and Russia. After his appointment to Bulgaria (2005-’08), he was appointed as ambassador to Russia (2008-’12). During the latter assignment he helped implement policies that led to improved US-Russian relations, highlighted by the signing of the START nuclear arms reduction treaty, Russia’s accession to the World Trade Organization, and liberalized visa and travel protocols.


COL Ralph W. Hauenstein Fellowship Award July 2015 - Recipient Paul O'Neill

On September 11, 2001, just months after O'Neill was appointed Treasury Secretary, the country faced the most horrific terrorist attacks in its history. The events surrounding 9/11 precipitated a sudden downturn in U.S. economic growth, closely tied to economic uncertainty worldwide. Secretary O'Neill helped restore confidence in the economy by vowing to eliminate the funding sources of terrorist attacks that continually threatened America's peace and prosperity. After one year of servant leadership, Secretary Paul O'Neill resigned from the Treasury Department on December 6, 2002.


COL Ralph W. Hauenstein Fellowship Award January 2015 - Recipient William S. Cohen

Grand Valley State University, through its Hauenstein Center for Presidential Studies, was proud to present the Center's most prestigious award, the COL Ralph W. Hauenstein Fellowship, to Former Secretary of Defense, William S. Cohen on Monday, January 19th, 2015.


COL Ralph W. Hauenstein Fellowship Award 2014 - Recipient James A. Baker

The Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation and the Hauenstein Center for Presidential Studies at Grand Valley State University hosted the annual Wreath Laying Ceremony in celebration of President Ford’s 101st Birthday. The 61st Secretary of State, James A. Baker III, was the the William E. Simon Lecturer for the Foundation’s luncheon following the ceremony. Secretary Baker was joined by special guest Susan Ford Bales, daughter of President Gerald R. Ford.


COL Ralph W. Hauenstein Fellowship Award 2013 - Recipient Madeleine Albright

The Hauenstein Center for Presidential Studies presents the 2013 COL Ralph W. Hauenstein Fellowship to former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. Albright will also speak on her new book, Read my Pins—a book that would never have been written if not for Saddam Hussein. When U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Madeleine Albright criticized the dictator, his poet-in-residence responded by calling her "an unparalleled serpent." Shortly thereafter, while preparing to meet with Iraqi officials, Albright pondered: What to wear? She decided to make a bold statement by choosing a snake pin. Although her method of communication was unconventional, her message was as old as the American Revolution—Don't Tread on Me.

"I am very grateful to have received the Ralph W. Hauenstein Fellowship. What an amazing person Ralph Hauenstein must be!"

~Madeleine Albright


COL Ralph W. Hauenstein Fellowship Award 2012 - Recipient General Brent Scowcroft

Grand Valley State University, through its Hauenstein Center for Presidential Studies, is proud to offer the Center’s most prestigious honor – the COL Ralph W. Hauenstein Fellowship, to Lieutenant General Brent Scowcroft, USAF (Ret.), one of the nation’s preeminent authorities on international policy.

For all his accomplishments, the Hauenstein Center for Presidential Studies is proud formally to recognize General Scowcroft with this fellowship.
Established in 2010 in conjunction with the fiftieth anniversary of Grand Valley State University, the Hauenstein Fellowship honors distinguished
individuals who have helped shape the policies that have profoundly influenced the course of our nation and world, and whose leadership and public service are in keeping with the life and values of COL Ralph W. Hauenstein.


COL Ralph W. Hauenstein Fellowship Award 2011 - Recipient President Gerald Ford

Grand Valley State University, through its Hauenstein Center for Presidential Studies, is proud to present the Center's most prestigious award - the COL Ralph W. Hauenstein Fellowship.

This fellowship was created in recognition of COL Hauenstein's extraordinary life, which exemplifies the service and leadership that Grand Valley State University seeks to inspire in its graduates. In 2011, the first fellowship was awarded posthumously to President Gerald R. Ford, COL Hauenstein's good friend



Page last modified July 2, 2019