2015

 

9/11-The Wheelhouse Talks: Charles Pazdernik


September 11, 2015

Title: The Wheelhouse Talks: Charles Pazdernik
3:30-4:30. Richard M. DeVos Center, Charles W. Loosemore Auditorium
401 Fulton St W, Grand Rapids, MI 49504

A graduate of Cornell, Oxford, and Princeton, GVSU Classics Professor Charles Pazdernik has been recognized for his teaching, scholarship, and university leadership. Dedicated to his students’ growth, he instills in them the wisdom of the past and encourages them to “Plan Big.” Prof. Pazdernik’s own plans, however, were upended when he sustained a permanently disabling spinal cord injury last year. As he makes his return to his students and colleagues, he reflects upon what the ancient Greeks and Romans can tell us about overcoming obstacles.

9/17-Screening of Best of Enemies

Title: Free Screening of Best of Enemies
7 PM, Celebration! Cinema Grand Rapids Woodland
3195 28th Street SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49512

At the height of the civic unrest in 1968, television news changed forever. During the Democratic and Republican national conventions, two towering public intellectuals—William F. Buckley, the intellectual leader and firebrand of the new conservative movement; and Gore Vidal, a novelist and polemicist of the left —debated live on ABC.

The new documentary, Best of Enemies, explores the debate and its fallout. The Hauenstein Center’s Common Ground Initiative will launch this academic year’s events at Celebration! Cinema Woodland with a screening of the documentary. Join GVSU commentators Toni Perrine, Benjamin Lockerd, and Paul Murphy for the free screening and discussion of Best of Enemies.

9/24-Bruce Frohnen: The Constitution and Religion: Allies, Adversaries, or Something Else?


Title: Bruce Frohnen: The Constitution and Religion: Allies, Adversaries, or Something Else?
7 PM, Charles W. Loosemore Auditorium, Richard M. DeVos Center
401 Fulton St W, Grand Rapids, MI 49504

Contemporary debates about the Constitution often center on one question: whether our Constitution requires a “wall of separation between church and state” or was written by and for a Christian people with Christian values. Bruce Frohnen will ask whether the drama of this debate has made us lose sight of a deeper truth: that perhaps our Constitution leaves room for communities to make their own decisions about fundamental moral issues.

10/2-The Wheelhouse Talks: Megan Sall

Title: The Wheelhouse Talks: Megan Sall
3:30-4:30 PM, Charles W. Loosemore Auditorium, Richard M. DeVos Center
401 Fulton St W, Grand Rapids, MI 49504

Megan Sall was appointed to the Grand Valley State University Board of Trustees in 2015. She currently serves on the Finance and Audit Committee. Sall is Business Development Manager for The Right Place. Sall holds a bachelor of arts degree from Grand Valley State University and a master’s degree in Public Administration from Grand Valley State University.

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10/8-Helen Fisher: The Biology of Leadership

October 8, 2015

Title: Helen Fisher: The Biology of Leadership
7 PM. Richard M. DeVos Center, Charles W. Loosemore Auditorium
401 Fulton St W, Grand Rapids, MI 49504

Does Barack Obama think like Abraham Lincoln? What do George Washington and Colin Powell have in common? According to Dr. Helen Fisher, biological anthropologist at the Kinsey Institute and Chief Scientific Advisor to Match.com, approximately 50% of who we are stems from our temperament and individual biology. Using data collected from questionnaire studies of 10 million people in 40 countries, as well as her expertise in genetics and neurochemistry, Fisher will discuss four essential styles of leadership and how they differ. How do we spot each kind of leader? Are men and women “soft-wired” to have different leadership styles? Are some leaders better at helping us find common ground? Join us for a conversation about the biology of leadership with Dr. Helen Fisher.

10/22-Evan Thomas: Being Nixon: A Man Divided

Title: Evan Thomas: Being Nixon: A Man Divided
7 PM, the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum Auditorium.
303 Pearl St NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504

In Being Nixon, Evan Thomas peels away the layers of the complex, confounding figure who became America’s thirty-seventh president. The son of devout Quakers, Richard Nixon (not unlike his rival John F. Kennedy) grew up in the shadow of an older, favored brother and thrived on conflict and opposition. Through high school and college, in the navy and in politics, he was constantly leading crusades and fighting off enemies real and imagined. As maudlin as he was Machiavellian, Nixon possessed the plainspoken eloquence to reduce American television audiences to tears with his career-saving “Checkers” speech; meanwhile, his darker half hatched schemes designed to take down his political foes, earning him the notorious nickname “Tricky Dick.”

Drawing on a wide range of historical accounts, Thomas reveals the contradictions of a leader whose vision and foresight led him to achieve détente with the Soviet Union and reestablish relations with communist China, but whose underhanded political tactics tainted his reputation long before the Watergate scandal. One of the principal architects of the modern Republican Party and its “silent majority” of disaffected whites and conservative ex-Dixiecrats, Nixon was also deemed a liberal in some quarters for his efforts to desegregate Southern schools, create the Environmental Protection Agency, and end the draft.

A deeply insightful character study as well as a brilliant political biography, Being Nixon offers a surprising look at a man capable of great bravery and extraordinary deviousness—a balanced portrait of a president too often reduced to caricature.

In collaboration with the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation, Library, & Museum, we welcome Evan Thomas to speak in reference to his latest book, Being Nixon: A Man Divided.

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11/13-The Wheelhouse Talks: Mike Jandernoa

Title: The Wheelhouse Talks: Mike Jandernoa
3:30-4:30 PM, Charles W. Loosemore Auditorium, Richard M. DeVos Center
401 Fulton St W, Grand Rapids, MI 49504

Mike Jandernoa was CEO of Perrigo Company from 1988 to 2000, Chairman of the Board from 1991 to 2003, and continues to serve on the Board of Directors. Perrigo is a leading global healthcare supplier that develops, manufactures, and distributes over-the-counter (OTC) and generic prescription (Rx) pharmaceuticals.

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11/7-Character and the Presidency with Keynote with Richard Norton Smith

November 17, 2015

Title: Character and the Presidency with keynote by Richard Norton Smith
Afternoon through evening, schedule details TBA.
Richard M. DeVos Center, Charles W. Loosemore Auditorium
401 Fulton St W, Grand Rapids, MI 49504

You’re invited to join us as we launch an exciting multi-year series on Character and the Presidency, an annual event that will explore an area in which both Democrats and Republicans have a stake in finding common ground.

This year, historian and presidential biographer Richard Norton Smith will speak on the character of President Gerald R. Ford.

The event will also include a panel discussion featuring a growing list of scholars including Hendrik Booraem, Jason Duncan, Grand Valley’s own Donald Zinman, and others.

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12/10-Louis Menand: The Marketplace of Ideas

Title: Louis Menand: The Marketplace of Ideas
7 PM, Charles W. Loosemore Auditorium, Richard M. DeVos Center
401 Fulton St W, Grand Rapids, MI 49504

The publication of The Marketplace of Ideas has precipitated a lively debate about the future of the American university system: what makes it so hard for colleges to decide which subjects are required? Why are so many academics against the concept of interdisciplinary studies? From his position at the heart of academe, Harvard professor Louis Menand thinks he’s found the answer. Despite the vast social changes and technological advancements that have revolutionized the society at large, general principles of scholarly organization, curriculum, and philosophy have remained remarkably static. Sparking a long-overdue debate about the future of American education, The Marketplace of Ideas argues that twenty-first-century professors and students are essentially trying to function in a nineteenth-century system, and that the resulting conflict threatens to overshadow the basic pursuit of knowledge and truth.

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2016

1/14-Common Ground in Secondary Education

Title: Common Ground in Secondary Education
7 PM, Charles W. Loosemore Auditorium, Richard M. DeVos Center
401 Fulton St W, Grand Rapids, MI 49504

High schools are often the first places students think of themselves as engaged citizens of a democracy. How, then, can high schools educate in a way that promotes common ground between diverse communities? Do the liberal arts and the humanities have any role to play?

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1/22-The Wheelhouse Talks: State Senator Rebekah Warren

Title: The Wheelhouse Talks: State Senator Rebekah Warren
3:30-4:00, Charles W. Loosemore Auditorium, Richard M. DeVos Center
401 Fulton St W, Grand Rapids, MI 49504

A long-time resident of Ann Arbor, Rebekah was first elected to the Michigan House of Representatives in 2006, where she represented the 53rd District for four years. Now in her second term as State Senator for the 18th District, she is proud to serve the majority of Washtenaw County, an area known for world-class higher education, a vital artistic community, a diverse and engaged citizenry, and so much more.

Prior to her work as a lawmaker, Rebekah served as executive director of a statewide women’s healthcare non-profit for seven years. She remains dedicated to these issues, consistently serving as a key sponsor of the Prevention First package to increase access to reproductive health care and family planning services, and to promote comprehensive, medically accurate, sexuality education. She has also played a role in advancing health care parity laws, shepherding the passage of legislation to require health insurance providers to cover the diagnosis and treatment of autism spectrum disorders, and introducing a bill to establish a licensure program for the practice of applied behavioral analysis.

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2/12-The Wheelhouse Talks: Brian Flanagan

Title: The Wheelhouse Talks: Brian Flanagan
3:30-4:00, Charles W. Loosemore Auditorium, Richard M. DeVos Center
401 Fulton St W, Grand Rapids, MI 49504

Brian Flanagan is managing director of the Sanger Leadership Center in the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business. Sanger’s mission is to develop leaders who make a positive difference in the world. It achieves its mission through thought leadership and high-impact, experience-based learning initiatives that serve Michigan alumni and more than 3,000 students across ten academic programs.

Immediately prior to joining Michigan Ross, Brian served at Grand Valley State University as associate director of the Hauenstein Center for Presidential Studies and adjunct professor in the School of Public, Nonprofit, and Health Administration. During his nine years at Grand Valley, Brian co-founded the Cook Leadership Academy, the Wheelhouse Talks, and Leadership University, an online forum where students plan, synthesize, and showcase their self-development efforts.

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2/18-H.W. Brands: Reagan: The Life

Title: H.W. Brands: Reagan: The Life
7 PM, Charles W. Loosemore Auditorium, Richard M. DeVos Center
401 Fulton St W, Grand Rapids, MI 49504

In Reagan: The Life, H.W. Brands chronicles the life of Ronald Reagan from humble beginnings in small-town Illinois to fame on the silver screen and power in the Oval Office. Employing archival sources not available to previous biographers, Brands provides a richly detailed and fascinating narrative of Reagan’s presidency, which ushered in a new presidential age—the age of Reagan—whose effects are still powerfully felt today.

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3/18-The Wheelhouse Talks: Kate Pew Wolters

Title: The Wheelhouse Talks: Kate Pew Wolters
3:30-4:00, Charles W. Loosemore Auditorium, Richard M. DeVos Center
401 Fulton St W, Grand Rapids, MI 49504

Check back soon for RSVP capability.

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