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 below.

May 29, 2020, Prepare for the Roaring Twenties

While things will never truly return to normal, today's feature argues that once we see a decline to COVID-19, the need for human interaction will prevail just like it has in the past.

"No one can say how long the acute phase of this pandemic will last. But what is virtually certain is that its impact on the extent of human sociability will prove to be temporary. Five or 10 years from now, there will be about as many mass gatherings as there were before the coronavirus. Because we’re human."

May 28, 2020, Facebook Executives Shut Down Efforts to Make the Site Less Divisive

The Wall Street Journal posted an interesting read on the scrapped efforts to make the site less divisive. In a time of clickbait and trolls, why do you think Facebook made this decision?

"A Facebook Inc. team had a blunt message for senior executives. The company’s algorithms weren’t bringing people together. They were driving people apart."

May 27, 2020, Jonathan Haidt Is Trying to Heal America’s Divisions

Having hosted Jonathan Haidt a few years back, we wanted to share his incredible work during these trying times for today's feature article.

"The psychologist shares his thoughts on the pandemic, polarization, and politics"

May 26, 2020, The Coronavirus Is Deadliest Where Democrats Live

Today's feature article is a look into the Blue-Red divide of COVID-19.

"It is not just that Democrats and Republicans disagree on how to reopen businesses, schools and the country as a whole. Beyond perception, beyond ideology, there are starkly different realities for red and blue America right now."

May 22, 2020, Scratch - An illustrated column about money — and the people who deal with it.

We chose to feature a fun series of illustrations to brighten up your Friday for today's feature. Enjoy the long weekend!

May 21, 2020, The End of ‘Who Me? For V.P.?’ Politics

Is 2020 going to change how the V.P. is selected in future races? Today's feature article discusses this question.

"But that custom is fading in this strange lockdown of a veepstakes season. Prospective running mates appear more and more to be shedding their fake reluctance — or not bothering to shroud their ambition in faux nonchalance."

May 20, 2020, We Need Tuition-Free College. For Adults.

Grand Valleys own professor Miller-Adams in the Political Science department, was recently published in the New York Times and is today's feature article!

"Much as the G.I. Bill served to power the postwar American economy, a federal guarantee of education for workers could accelerate an economic recovery now."

May 19, 2020, The Mrs. Files

Today's article features a series of stories that look to the past seeking to understand why Mrs Husbands Name became the standard practice of reference.

"The Mrs. Files looks at history through a contemporary lens to see what the honorific “Mrs.” means to women and their identity."

May 18, 2020, Pandemic won’t pause ArtPrize 11, but changes coming

ArtPrize has announced in today's feature article that they are still planing to hold the event in the fall with some changes for the communities safety.

"Buist says ArtPrize has worked with its board of directors and city leaders over the last several weeks to determine how to hold an event that’s safe and delivers on ArtPrize’s mission."

May 15, 2020, Michigan’s mask mandate highlights political fault lines in coronavirus crisis

Why has the mask mandate caused such a debate across the line? Today's article seeks to understand the polarization of masks.

"Three weeks after Michigan mandated mask use in enclosed public spaces, support for the rule has become a political and cultural divide as the state continues to battle the COVID-19 pandemic."

May 14, 2020, Americans remain concerned that states will lift restrictions too quickly, but partisan differences widen

Today's feature comes from the Pew Research Center. They have released some interesting data about the number of Americans that are ready for things to open back up and how everyone is viewing the restrictions currently in place.

May 13, 2020, To recover from Covid-19, let's build on US history of citizen-led service

Today's feature discusses how in order to reopen, we need thousands of volunteers to help. The proposed solution is citizen-led response teams. A featured guest on  Lunch & Learn with Gleaves, Nate Gillespie, touched on this topic and discussed his local civilian lead team.

May 12, 2020, Regional strategies work best during times of disaster, GVSU researcher says

Today's feature article comes from Grand Valley's Davia Downey, a professor of public, nonprofit and health administration. Downey reflects and provides her views on the COVID-19 response.

May 11, 2020, Why Coronavirus Hit Michigan’s Economy Harder, Longer

Today's article discusses why our dependence on manufacturing could be the reason our economy in Michigan was hit so hard due to COVID-19.

"The growing economic crisis triggered by the pandemic is expected to last longer and hit harder in Michigan than in most places, as the state deals with the fallout of a severe coronavirus outbreak and ongoing dependence on manufacturing."

May 8, 2020, The devastation of World War II in Europe ended 75 years ago

Our benefactor and friend, Ralph Hauenstein, was among the first Americans let into liberated Paris. To find out more about Ralph's life and role in the war view the article here. With today's article we celebrate the anniversary and remember all that were lost.

Ralph Hauenstein

May 7, 2020, How Remote Working Is Reshaping A Future New World Of Work

Today's article is a great piece that teases some of the material in our planned November panel on our "New Normal".

"Our eventual transition back to the office presents an opportunity for us to better support one another, anticipate the needs of our teams, and pave the way for a more empathetic and human workplace.”

May 6, 2020, If the Great Depression Is Any Indication, Things Won’t Just Go Back to ‘Normal’ After the Coronavirus Pandemic Ends

Today's article provides a lesson in history.

"While the history of crises past seems to assure us that, one way or another, today’s will eventually recede, that history just as surely cautions us against assuming we can anticipate what the world may look like when it does."

May 5, 2020, Why We Should All Be Keeping Coronavirus Journals

When selecting today's daily feature, our Director noted, if you write anything off a computer, in other words, using paper and pen, historians will hunger for it in the future because so few people do so. This Times article touches on that point.

May 4, 2020, Calvin University student creates business to help homeless

We could not be more proud of one of our Cook Leadership Academy lead fellows! Today's article is about Freshta Tori Jan’s initiative to help the homeless population during this time and how you can help.

May 1, 2020, Congress should look to the Harding administration for a playbook on ending recessions

An interesting opinion piece in the Washington Times 

"If history is any indicator, we need fewer instances of the federal government picking winners and losers during a crisis, and more instances of them getting out of the way."

April 30, 2020, The Govenor and the Protester

We wanted to share a different medium for the daily featured article today. Listen to an interview with Governor Whitmer, and a (separate) interview with one of her protesters on the podcast The Daily, of the New York Times. Podcasts can be just as informative and easily accessible as any featured article. Check out the Hauenstein Center's own podcast, Beyond Aporia, available here.

April 29, 2020, America’s Elections Won’t Be the Same After 2020

Curious what we have in store for upcoming programming? Today's feature article, from The Atlantic, teases one topic we will be discussing this fall!

April 28, 2020, Video Kills the Teaching Star

As GVSU made the decision to postpone all in-person classes until June 15 (with extensions as needed), the Hauenstein Center is here to support both professors and students during this time. Today's article is written by Jonathan Zimmerman, a history professor at the University of Pennsylvania, who misses his students and the personal connections he had with them.

"I’m teaching two 15-student seminars this term, so I was able to get to know my students before the coronavirus crisis began. But the move to online has placed a wedge between us, nevertheless. We can’t experience the same warmth or humor or group bonding. We see each other, but only through a window."


April 27, 2020, What Each Side of the COVID-19 Debate Should Understand About the Other

As we start another week, we wanted to share a great piece on finding common ground among the "Openers" and "Closers".

"Both Closers and Openers, though, have a combination of reasons, theories, guesses, and value judgments of a sort many sane people have always made, that make their respective positions make sense to them. Neither side should be blithely written off as either idiotic or sinister or not thinking, in their own way, of human well-being."

Apirl 25, 2020, The bold, necessary step Trump should take now

Danielle Allen, a recent speaker hosted at the Hauenstein Center, and this month's feature article in the Hauenstein Herald, writes about what she believes is the next step in fighting COVID-19 in today's feature article.

April 24, 2020, Hamilton Would Not Have Stood for Trump’s New Constitutional Theory

Today's feature is an exciting read comparing the thoughts of Alexander Hamilton to the announcement recently made by the President. If you are looking for more reviews on the Federalist Papers, check out our own newsletter, The Hauenstein Herald, where we discuss Federalist #70.

April 23, 2020, We’re Not ‘All in It Together’

A recent piece by Eric Liu, a speaker who joined the Hauenstein Center in 2018, was recently published in the Atlantic. Today's feature article discusses civic character and the attitude toward it during these challenging times.

"Perhaps a more apt slogan comes from the nonprofit Facing History and Ourselves, which teaches young people about moments of moral decision like the Holocaust and the civil-rights movement: “People make choices. Choices make history.”"

April 22, 2020, Could the Pandemic Wind Up Fixing What’s Broken About Work in America?

Global events, such as pandemics, have a way of changing society forever. What do you think this pandemic will change how we work or the type of work we do? Today's feature gives us an attempt at an answer.

April 21, 2020, It’s Time for Radical Reorganization

How might this pandemic effect Universities in the future? Today's topic from The Chronicle of Higher Education, is one that hits close to home here at the Hauenstein Center.

"Crises spur intense competition among colleges. There’s a better way"

April 20, 2020, How a New College President Views the COVID-19 Crisis

The Hauenstein Center is proud to share this beautiful piece written by Grand Valley State University President Philomena V. Mantella. You make all of us proud to be a #Lakerforalifetime.

President Mantella

April 17, 2020, How Coronavirus Is Eroding Privacy

How do we balance technology use and government overreach during a global pandemic? Today's feature article discusses what other countries, and the United States, are doing to track the spread of COVID using the technology in our pockets.

April 16, 2020, War veteran, 99, raises $6 million by walking laps of his garden

Not necessarily a conversation starter for today's feature, but a little good news never hurt!

"A 99-year-old British war veteran has raised more than £4.8 million ($6 million) for the country's National Health Service (NHS) as he aims to complete 100 laps of his garden, aided by a walking frame."

April 15, 2020, Generation C Has Nowhere to Turn

A new name for the youngest generation is being considered: Generation C. We all will have to navigate a new road after this global pandemic is over, but, will the youngest generation be hit the hardest? This Atlantic article addresses the question.

April 14, 2020, How the Virus Transformed the Way Americans Spend Their Money

How have American citizen spending patterns changed these last few weeks? Today's feature is a neat piece from the New York Times on how Americans are spending their money.

April 13, 2020, Judging the 1918 Election

Today's feature article, Judging the 1918 Election, is a fascinating article about our first election (1918) amid national emergencies (Spanish flu and a world war). We are in a similar election season this year in 2020.

April 9, 2020, Less Pluribus, More Unum: How Can We Form a More Perfect Union in Our Fractious Age? Time for Straight Talk about the Prospects for Finding Common Ground.- Gleaves Whitney

This essay is predicated on a quest and a question. The quest involves the noble but difficult prospects in our democracy of finding common ground for the common good. The question is whether “We the People” are any longer capable of fulfilling the charge in our Constitution to “form a more perfect Union.”

In these hyper-partisan times, we must never forget that what unites us as human beings and as Americans is far more important than what divides us as Democrats and Republicans. But do we really believe that anymore? We certainly don’t act like it. The words we use to describe our feelings toward “the other” are pretty disturbing, and they don’t just have to do with race, ethnicity, or gender. Words like “hate,” “contempt,” and “scorn” also describe what people feel toward those who think and vote differently from the way they do. If people are Trump supporters, if their basic operating system is conservative, then, alas, many of them hate progressives. If people are Sanders supporters, if their basic operating system is progressive, then, unfortunately, many of them hate conservatives. That’s as fundamental a divide as any. Surveys show that about 30 percent of Americans self-identify with the right, and about 30 percent with the left. If true, then the majority of Americans—60 percent—feel a visceral dislike toward a lot of fellow Americans. Given that level of dislike, I ask three questions. 

For the entire essay please click here.

Gleaves Whitney

April 9, 2020, Democrats salivate over Obama coming off sidelines

In Democrats salivate over Obama coming off sidelines, the article raises the question as to what a previous presidents role in elections truly is. What do you believe a former President should do during elections and what role do they play?

April 8, 2020, How Will We Know When It’s Time to Reopen the Nation?

How Will We Know When It’s Time to Reopen the Nation? The title to today's featured article presents a pressing question at the forefront of our minds.

"Everyone wants to know when we are going to be able to leave our homes and reopen the United States. That’s the wrong way to frame it."

April 7, 2020, Danielle Allen White Papers and op-eds.

Today's daily articles to spark conversation come from our featured newsletter speaker, Danielle Allen. Our newsletter will be coming soon featuring her lecture this past November. Here is a link to multiple white papers and op-eds she has composed during this time as we social distance due to COVID-19.

Danielle Allen

April 6, 2020, How South Korea Reined In The Outbreak Without Shutting Everything Down

NPR explains how foreign countries are handling the outbreak in today's article How South Korea Reined In The Outbreak Without Shutting Everything Down.

"The aggressive efforts by Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore and South Korea to investigate and isolate every possible infection is exactly what the World Health Organization has been calling for since January."

April 3, 2020, Is the Current Crisis Really “Unprecedented”?

Gleaves Whitney has once again been published in the Imaginative Conservative. His most recent piece Is the Current Crisis Really “Unprecedented”?, creates a nice trilogy with the other pieces that we have shared to spark discussion.

Gleaves Whitney

April 2, 2020, What Trump can learn from real wartime presidents

Using the term "wartime president" has not been as uncommon as we all think. Today's article What Trump can learn from real wartime presidents, discusses how previous presidents have used this term to signal their full mobilization of American resources to face challenging circumstances.

April 1, 2020, Spectrum Health Video

Spectrum Health has released a video discussing their models that have the spread of COVID-19 lasting through May.

"We are living in an unprecedented time. As we fight a deadly virus that is rapidly spreading, our economy, our connections and our lives are being challenged in significant ways. Life as we know it has changed. And it will continue to change."

March 31, 2020, Don’t Worry About Supermarket Shelves. Worry About Farmers.

Todays piece,Don’t Worry About Supermarket Shelves. Worry About Farmers., is a great article focusing on how local farmers are handling COVID-19 and the uncertainty that they will be facing during this growing, harvesting, and planting season.

March 30, 2020, Two New Video Series

The poet T. S. Eliot could have been writing about our own time when he mused, almost a century ago, “April is the cruelest month.” American public health experts and elected officials have embraced social distancing and stay-in-place strategies to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic. They have rejected the idea of building herd immunity to fight this virulent strain of flu. Sweden, on the other hand, and the British government until one week ago, early on favored the idea of developing the most natural vaccine of all—i.e., allowing the virus to spread through the population with minimal restrictions so that people could acquire the antibodies to survive it. Both strategies carry huge risks—the former to economic vitality, the latter to public health. For a terrific article that explains the different approaches to fighting the coronavirus, and the moral implications of each, see

As of this writing, it looks as if stay-in-place policies will remain in effect in the U.S. until at least April 30, 2020. Social distancing and stay-in-place orders have been practiced in various states and locales around the U.S. since the week of March 8. For all practical purposes, our nation is under quarantine. The word “quarantine” is derived from the ancient Latin word for “forty days.”

To fight the “cruelest month,” and to keep minds active, I am launching two new video series for friends of the Hauenstein Center:

  • Journeys—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 beyond our homes, but that should not stop us from journeying beyond our minds. My approach in these presentations is to inquire, explore, and share a few things I’ve learned over the years. These videos are available for viewing at the Hauenstein Center’s website,
  • Lunch & Learn with Gleaves. Social distancing does not mean we have to stop speaking to one another. Each Tuesday and Thursday at 1 PM, I will host a guest for a live, videoed conversation, again on a variety of engaging subjects worth exploring. You can join us live via Zoom and ask questions, and/or you can watch the conversations later. They will be archived at

During the quarantine, we at the Hauenstein Center will do all we can to keep April from being the cruelest month. Let’s stay in touch with each other and keep our minds in good shape and our spirits in good repair!

# # #

Gleaves Whitney, Director
Hauenstein Center for Presidential Studies
Grand Valley State University

Journeys: Introduction with Gleaves Whitney

March 29, 2020, The COVID-19 Crisis: The Need to Balance Public Health & Economic Stability

Join us once again in congratulating our director Gleaves Whitney on his recent publication in The Imaginative Conservative. An accompanying piece to Coronavirus Reveals America’s Mood, today's feature article The COVID-19 Crisis: The Need to Balance Public Health & Economic Stability discusses the need to find a balance between public health officials and economists.

"Who’s right, the public health officials or the economists? That’s the question we are tempted to ask. But in this pandemic, it’s the wrong question. Both sides are right."


Image of Gleaves Whitney

March 28, 2020, Climate change happens; now what?

Today's article, Climate change happens;now what?, comes from Jason Hayes, director of environmental policy at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Jason was a panelist in our February debate on the Green New Deal and public v. private sector solutions to climate change.

"Efforts like this Hauenstein Center debate can bring together different groups and challenge us to find answers to difficult policy questions."

Thank you, Jason, for the reminder that we must work together in trying times.

Climate pannel flyer on podium

March 27, 2020, The People Leading When Leaders Do Not

Today's daily article to spark discussion, The People Leading When Leaders Do Not, is an excellent piece on local leaders throughout the country taking the lead on Covid-19 in their communities.

March 26, 2020, Coronavirus Reveals America’s Mood

Join us in congratulating our director Gleaves Whitney on his recent publication in The Imaginative Conservative, and today's featured article, Coronavirus Reveals America’s Mood.

“As coronavirus fatalities multiply these days—as COVID-19 leaves our bodies sick and makes our spirits sick at heart—I find myself asking how similar the mood today is to that of the West during the 1889-1890 flu pandemic.”

Headshot of Gleaves Whitney

March 25, 2020, A New Kind of Corporate Leadership out of COVID-19

Posted on March 20, 2020 by Fred Keller, A New Kind of Corporate Leadership out of COVID-19 provides a discussion of how the COVID-19 pandemic is changing our leadership ideas and styles.