The Center is launching a new season of our premiere series around the themes of leadership and civic engagement. We host world-class talks, debates, seminars, and conferences to inform citizens who seek to understand how other peoples and generations have confronted the challenges they have faced. Partnering with organizations at Grand Valley and around the state and nation, we create programs that equip leaders, and apprentice-leaders to tackle today’s challenges.

2014 – 2015 Speakers

Donald Markle:
The Fox and the Hound: The Birth of American Spying

8/22/13, 7 pm, Grand Haven High School Auditorium

Most books about espionage in the American Revolution tend to focus on General George Washington, but as noted historian Donald E. Markle explores in this fascinating account, there was an entire system of intelligence communication independent of his direction. General Washington and British General Charles Cornwallis were engaged in constant battle, but Cornwallis always seemed one step behind. As the war progressed, both sides slowly learned one another’s tactics, and in the hunt between the American fox (Washington) and the British hound (Cornwallis), there could only be one winner.

This event is in partnership with the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library & Museum, and Foundation.

Discussion Panel with Don Markle, Gleaves Whitney, Jon White, and Becca Bride

9/16/14, 11:30 am, Cook DeWitt Center, GVSU Allendale Campus

The Hauenstein Center will host a follow-up discussion panel with Donald Markle, author of The Fox and the Hound: The Birth of American Spying. The discussion panel will feature Donald Markle, Becca McBride professor of political science at Calvin College, Gleaves Whitney, director of the Hauenstein Center, and Jonathan White, an expert on Middle Eastern extremism and professor in the GVSU Honors College.

This program is part of Grand Valley’s campus-wide recognition of Constitution Day.

Herb Meyer:
What in the World Is Going On? A Global Intelligence Briefing

10/7/14, 7 pm, Eberhard Center, GVSU

Look beyond today’s headlines, and you will see a world that is more prosperous and more peaceful than most people are expecting. In this global overview, Herb Meyer – the Reagan Administration intelligence official who first predicted the Soviet Union’s collapse – will explain what really lies behind the current Middle East turmoil and why today so many countries are emerging from poverty and creating stable middle-class societies. Above all, he will outline the great challenges – and the great opportunities – that await students as they complete their education and head out into the world. In this return visit to Grand Rapids, Meyer will draw on his expertise to share insights into the world’s constantly changing geopolitical landscape.

Francis Fukuyama:
Political Order and Political Decay

11/21/13, 7 pm, Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum 

Francis Fukuyama follows the story from the French Revolution to the so-called Arab Spring and the deep dysfunctions of contemporary American politics. He examines the effects of corruption on governance, and why some societies successfully rooted it out. He explores the different legacies of colonialism in Latin America, Africa, and Asia, and offers a clear-eyed account of why some regions have thrived and developed more quickly than others. And he boldly reckons with the future of democracy in the face of a rising global middle class and entrenched political paralysis in the West. A sweeping, masterful account of the struggle to create a well-functioning modern state, “Political Order and Political Decay” is an essential American conversation.

This event is in partnership with the Koeze Business Ethics Initiative.

H.W. Brands:
The Prez: Machiavelli Visits the White House

12/10/14, 7 PM – L.V. Eberhard Center, GVSU

For centuries the name Machiavelli has been synonymous with amoral calculation in politics. No American president would ever want to be described as Machiavellian. Yet should the canny Florentine return to life and visit twenty-first century America, he would have some useful and surprising advice for America’s chief executive – advice that would say as much about America as about the country’s highest office.

This event is in partnership with the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library & Museum, and Foundation.

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