Gerald R. Ford

Gerald R. Ford, 38th President of the United States

"I am pleased with the extremely successful partnership between the Ford Presidential Library and Museum, the Ford Foundation, and the Hauenstein Center for Presidential Studies. The Hauenstein Center is making its mark with creative programs that help Americans see beyond the headlines. I'm delighted with the work Gleaves Whitney and his dedicated staff are doing to increase our understanding of courageous, effective leadership. It is especially rewarding to work with a presidential leadership center so closely associated with my good friend, Ralph Hauenstein, who is an inspiring example of a life well lived." 

Olympia Snowe

Olympia Snowe, Former US Senator and author of Fighting for Common Ground: How We Can Fix the Stalemate in Congress

"I want to express how grateful I was for the opportunity to speak at Grand Valley State University, and to see firsthand the phenomenal leadership you are providing at the Hauenstein Center. I was incredibly impressed, and the Center's work is truly inspirational! I have profound admiration and appreciation for the extraordinary leadership Gleaves is providing to find 'common ground for the common good.' He is making a difference in shaping the future course of our nation!"


Cornel West, Professor of Philosophy and Christian Practice at Union Theological Seminary and author of over twenty books, including Race Matters and Democracy Matters

"I am so blessed to be here. It's a very special institution and a very special center. My dear brother, Professor Gleaves Whitney, has done a magnificent job."


Richard Norton Smith, distinguished scholar of the American presidency and author of Patriarch: George Washington and the New American Nation

"The Hauenstein Center is a jewel in the crown of Michigan. Gleaves Whitney and his energetic team at the Hauenstein Center have become, in a remarkably short time, a force to reckon with-and learn from-in the presidential leadership field. With imagination to match their scholarship, they are making the nation's highest office accessible to countless web users, and to a large and lucky audience exposed in person to the premier historians, biographers, andon occasion-controversialists of our time. Their programs are lively, intensely topical, and, in the best sense, intellectually provocative ... What a marvelous legacy for Ralph Hauenstein, who has spent a lifetime leading by example:'


H. W. Brands, distinguished scholar of the American presidency and author of sixteen books, including Reagan:The Life.

“I value every opportunity to speak in connection with the Hauenstein Center. Gleaves Whitney is a real treasure for those of us who do presidential studies and that work in the field of presidential history. He’s also one of the most effective entrepreneurs in the business of higher education. You can tell this by the growth in the Hauenstein Center over the years that he’s been the director…. In a remarkably brief time, the Hauenstein Center has become one of the leading institutions for research and education on the American presidency. Its facilities, speaker series, and website are absolutely first-rate. It has something for every student of the presidency, from the dedicated scholar to the concerned citizen. The Hauenstein Center has really put Grand Valley on the map beyond Michigan.”


Danielle Allen, Director of the Edmund J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University and author of the book Our Declaration.

"Thank you, Gleaves, so much for a wonderful visit to the Hauenstein Center. From the moment I arrived, it was clear that I had entered into a community with a strong sense of purpose, a dedication to leadership and the common good. This made for an uncommonly good context for genuine reflection and thought. I am grateful for the chance to have joined you!"


Robert George, Founding Director of the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions at Princeton University

“We want to support what is going on in the Hauenstein Center. It is critically important not only to the cause of higher education in this country—to which we ourselves are very deeply committed—but also to our civic world. The kinds of discussions that are being promoted and held here at the Hauenstein Center are really needed not only in our universities, but across the country. We want to congratulate Gleaves and everyone who is involved in the Center. We want to congratulate the financial supporters of the Hauenstein Center and to thank them for making this possible for your students and everyone else….You make possible the kind of work they do here…about real learning, serious intellectual engagement that doesn’t boil down to partisanship and demagoguery and just having one side up on a high horse preaching, but genuine intellectual engagement in the common goal of pursuing truth.”


Deborah Mower, Professor of Philosophy and Religious Studies at Youngstown State University and editor of Civility in Politics and Education

"I can't tell you how impressed I am with the Hauenstein Center. I have never seen a center like this at any other university. So on behalf of universities everywhere, we would like to say thank you for having a center like this and for supporting it so strongly, because the work that you do in developing students is absolutely crucial. As someone who cares about moral education, it is very near and dear to my heart."


Louis Menand, Anne T. and Robert M. Bass, Professor of English at Harvard University

"Think how rare it actually is that people who have different views on subjects have an opportunity to come together to talk about them in a nonconfrontational way. An opportunity to have a dialogue, an actual exchange of ideas-to do what my colleagues at the Common Ground Initiative are trying to do-is very uncommon, especially at universities where you would expect that kind of thing to go on. But that's what the Hauenstein Center does."


Anna-Lisa Cox

"The Hauenstein Center should be proud of the ways in which its encouragement and hosting of the Midwestern History conference is creating very real results, and furthering the field in exciting ways. I am truly grateful."


Jonathan Haidt, Social scientist and author of The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion

“Gleaves and the Hauenstein Center staff are doing so much to heal divides…. When he was first talking to me about coming here, I read, ‘No other public university in the U.S. is offering a balanced, comprehensive exploration of what it means to be conservative and what it means to be progressive in the 21st century.’ When I read that this is what the Hauenstein Center does – and I hope it’s a big part of life for many of the students here at the university – it’s very, very exciting. This is very hopeful. Given how difficult it is to change anything in Washington, this is what we can do at a more local level.”


Andrew Kaufman, Leo Tolstoy scholar, Lecturer, and Faculty Fellow at the University of Virginia

“It is really a privilege and a pleasure to be speaking under the auspices of the Hauenstein Center. The vision, as Gleaves just laid out, is so important and so humane and, really, quite Tolstoyan. Tolstoy would have been a huge supporter of the Hauenstein Center. You guys have shown me incredible West Michigan hospitality for the past couple of days.”