12/12-Olympia Snowe – Fighting for Common Ground: How to Fix the Stalemate in Congress


December 12, 2013 – 7 PM – Eberhard Center, GVSU

In this timely call to action, Senator Olympia Snowe explored the roots of her belief in principled policy-making and bipartisan compromise. A leading moderate with a reputation for crossing the aisle, she proposed solutions for bridging the partisan divide in Washington, most notably through a citizens’ movement to hold elected officials accountable. Senator Snowe recounted how the tragedies and triumphs of her personal story helped shape her political approach .This event was in partnership with the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation and Library & Museum.


Olympia J. Snowe, born Olympia Jean Bouchles, hails from Augusta, Maine. She attended St. Basil’s Academy and graduated from Edward Little High School in Auburn. In 1969, she earned her degree in political science from the
University of Maine.

Sen. Snowe represented Maine’s Second Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives for sixteen years. Following her 1994 election, Sen. Snowe became the second woman senator to represent Maine. She was reelected twice, and in her third term won with 75 percent of the vote.

She is the fourth woman in history to be elected to both houses of her state legislature. She is also the first woman in history to serve in both houses of state legislature and in
both houses of the United States Congress. When she was elected to Congress, she became the first Greek-­American woman, and the youngest Republican woman, ever to take office. She is known for crossing the aisle with a strong ability to compromise and promote bipartisanship.


12/4-Jason Duncan – John F. Kennedy: The Spirit of Cold War Liberalism


December 4, 2013 – 7 PM – Loosemore Auditorium, GVSU

Fifty years after his death, John F. Kennedy’s legacy is often overshadowed by the shock of his assassination and the revelations concerning his private life. Kennedy governed at a time when political parties were less polarized, the economy was expanding, most Americans recognized the necessity of the Cold War, and trust in the government was at an all-time high. He met that moment in history by encouraging fellow citizens to use the power and wealth of the United States to achieve greatness at home, overseas, and even beyond the limits of the earth. This Hauenstein Center event was in partnership with the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation, Library and Museum. 

Bio: http://www.aquinas.edu/history/duncan.html


11/21-Amity Shlaes – Coolidge


November 21, 2013 – 7 PM – Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library & Museum

Amity Shlaes delivers a brilliant and provocative reexamination of Calvin Coolidge and the decade of unparalleled growth that the nation enjoyed under his leadership. Coolidge restored national trust in Washington and left office with a federal budget smaller than the one he inherited. Renowned as a throwback, Coolidge was in fact strikingly modern—an advocate of women’s suffrage and a radio pioneer. Our 30th president gestures to the country we once were and reminds us of qualities we had forgotten and can use today. This event was in partnership with the Gerald R. Ford Foundation and Museum.


Amity Shlaes is a syndicated columnist and currently writes for Forbes. She also directs the Four Percent Growth Project at the Bush Center, a department that sponsors a national economic presidential debate program. Miss Shlaes is also the Chairman of the Board of the Calvin Coolidge Memorial Foundation.

Miss Shlaes has won several awards and achievements including the Hayek Prize, co-winner of the Frederic Bastiat Prize, and has twice been a finalist for the Loeb Prize in commentary. She is the author of several books including The Forgotten Man (2007), The Greedy Hand (Random House/Harvest paperback), Germany: The Empire Within (Farrar, Straus) and co-author of the contribution to tax philosophy to “Turning Intellect to Influence.”



11/13-Wheelhouse Talks – Michael DeWilde


November 13, 2013

Michael DeWilde – Culture changer, teacher, and philosopher. Director of the Business Ethics Center at the Seidman College of Business. Teaches courses devoted to ethics and philosophy as well as the nationally recognized Community Working Classics program, TEDx on sustainability. Keynote for Northwestern University’s Brady Center for Ethics and Civic Life. Consultant to students, young professionals, and businesses that seek positive change. This event was presented by The Hauenstein Center of Grand Valley State University.

Original Invitation



11/9-The Conservative Mind at 60


November 9, 2013

Published in the same year as ISI’s founding, Kirk’s magnum opus The Conservative Mind traced conservative intellectual thinkers in the English and American tradition from the philosopher Edmund Burke to the poet T.S. Eliot. Originally his doctoral thesis at St. Andrews University in Scotland, Kirk’s history quickly became a popular sensation, even gaining warm praise in Time magazine. It would go on to become perhaps the single most formative book of the conservative movement.

But is it still? Does The Conservative Mind maintain its relevance in our own age, when the word “conservative” connotes talk radio and Tea Parties more than a defense of tradition and order?

Watch this enlightening conference in partnership with the Hauenstein Center at Grand Valley State University, Intercollegiate Studies Institute, and the Russell Kirk Center for Cultural Renewal.

Speakers include Gerald Russello, Prof. Bruce Frohnen, Prof. Gleaves Whitney, and special keynote by Annette Kirk.



11/5-Coffee House Debates – What Good is Government Anyway?


Tuesday, November 5, 2013

The recent government shutdown reopened a debate as old as 1776: What is the proper size and scope of government? Conservatives believe Big Government is the problem, especially at the federal level. Liberals counter that the nation’s social and economic challenges have become too unwieldy for market mechanisms alone to handle. Both sides agree that there is waste, fraud, and abuse, and both sides agree that the aim of public policy is human flourishing. But is that where consensus ends? To debate the size and scope of the federal government, the Hauenstein Center hosted a forum featuring Mark Hoffman and Donijo Robbins, both professors in GVSU’s School of Public, Nonprofit & Health Administration. These two lively disputants not only aired their differences, but they also explored the possibilities of principled compromise and actionable common ground between liberals and conservatives. What Good is Government Anyway was the Hauenstein Center’s inaugural Coffee House Debate which was a part of the Common Ground Initiative.




10/28-Cook Leadership Academy – Leader Lens Fall 2013


October 28, 2013
In this innovative series of leadership seminars three Cook Leadership Academy fellows explore the connections between leadership and community. These presentations give the fellows an opportunity to gain valuable public speaking experience while also giving other fellows an understanding of how their peers are applying leadership skills in their own lives. Following the reflections of our fellows, Hauenstein Center Director, Gleaves Whitney, shares the history of George Washington’s leadership and fortitude in forming our country toward the end of the American Revolution.



10/22-American Conversations – Jonathan Haidt: The Righteous Mind


The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion
October 22, 2013
– 7 PM – L.V. Eberhard Center, Grand Valley State Unviersity

Why can’t our political leaders work together as threats loom and problems mount? Why do people so readily assume the worst about the motives of their fellow citizens? In The Righteous Mind, social psychologist Jonathan Haidt explored the origins of our divisions and points the way forward to mutual understanding.

His starting point was moral intuition—the nearly instantaneous perceptions we all have about other people and the things they do. These intuitions feel like self-evident truths, making us righteously certain that those who see things differently are wrong. Haidt showed us how these intuitions differ across cultures, including the cultures of the political left and right. He blended his own research findings with those of anthropologists, historians, and other psychologists to draw a map of the moral domain, and he explained why conservatives can navigate that map more skillfully than can liberals. He then examined the origins of morality, overturning the view that evolution made us fundamentally selfish creatures. But rather than arguing that we are innately altruistic, he maked a more subtle claim—that we are fundamentally groupish. It is our groupishness, he explained, that leads to our greatest joys, our religious divisions, and our political affiliations. In a stunning final chapter on ideology and civility, Haidt showed what each side is right about, and why we need the insights of liberals, conservatives, and libertarians to flourish as a nation.

The Hauenstein Center was proud to partner with the GVSU’s Business Ethics Center for this event.


Jonathan Haidt joined New York University Stern School of Business in July 2011. He is the Thomas Cooley Professor of Ethical Leadership, based in the Business and Society Program Area.

Professor Haidt is a social psychologist whose research examines the intuitive foundations of morality. His most recent book is the New York Times bestseller The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion. In that book Haidt offers an account of the origins of the human moral sense, and he shows how variations in moral intuitions can help explain the American culture war between left and right. At Stern he is applying his research on moral psychology to rethink the way business ethics is studied and is integrated into the curriculum. His goal is to draw on the best behavioral science research to create organizations that function as ethical systems, with only minimal need for directly training people to behave ethically – “something nobody has yet found a way to do.”

Before coming to Stern, Professor Haidt taught for 16 years at the University of Virginia, where he was given three awards for outstanding teaching, including the Virginia Outstanding Faculty Award, conferred by Governor Mark Warner. His first book was The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom. His writings appear frequently in The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal.

Professor Haidt received a B.A. in philosophy from Yale University, and an M.A. and Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Pennsylvania.

Relevent Bibliography

Of Freedom and Fairness. Democracy Journal, Spring 2013. Gives analysis of the new front line in the American culture war. Now that progressives have decisively won the old culture war over social issues, the new front lines are over economic issues, which are really matters of fairness and liberty.

Moral values and the fiscal cliff. Washington Post, 11/16/12. With Hal Movius, an expert on negotiation. Offers advice on how to negotiate when sacred values make compromise much more difficult.

We need a little fear. New York Times, Op-Ed, 11/7/12. Published on the day after election day. Presents the “asteroids” metaphor, and the claim that each side sees some of the threats facing America but is blind to many of the others.

Romney, Obama, and the new culture war over fairness. Time Magazine, 10/8/12. A close analysis of the “you didn’t build that” and “47%” speeches.

Reasons matter (when intuitions don’t object). New York Times, 10/7/12. This is a response to two essays from philosophers – Michael Lynch and Gary Gutting–critiquing claims about reason and philosophy.

Look how far we’ve come apart. New York Times, 9/18/12, an explanation of why America is getting so much more polarized.

America’s Painful Divide. Saturday Evening Post, Sept 2012. This is a condensed version of ch. 12.

Born this way? Nature, nurture, narratives, and the making of our political personalities. Cover story in Reason Magazine, May 2012. It’s a modified excerpt from Ch. 12.

Why we love to lose ourselves in religion. CNN.com, 4/1/12.

Forget the money, follow the sacredness. New York Times, 3/19/12.

How to get the rich to share the marbles. New York Times, 2/20/12.

The moral foundations of Occupy Wall Street. Reason Magazine, 10/20/11.

Why we celebrate a killing. New York Times, Op-Ed, 5/7/2011, on the death of Bin Laden.

What the Tea Partiers really want. Wall St. Journal, 10/16/10.


10/9-Wheelhouse Talks – Ann Vidro & Menda Wright


October 9, 2013

Ann Vidro & Menda Wright – Vibrant, energetic founders of Creative Studio Promotions, a promotional materials business in Grand Rapids. Finalists in GR Business Journal’s 2013 “Top Women-Owned Businesses.” Through their designs and branding, they connect local organizations to the community. They are advocates of wellness, sustainability, and creativity. Clients: Priority Health, Nurture by Steelcase, Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, Grand Rapids Triathlon.



10/2-Paul Woodruff: The Ajax Dilemma


October 2, 2013

How should we distribute rewards and public recognition without damaging the social fabric? How should we honor those whose behavior and achievement is essential to our overall success? Is it fair or right to lavish rewards on the superstar at the expense of the hardworking rank-and-file? How do we distinguish an impartial fairness from what is truly just?

Prof. Paul Woodruff builds his answer to these questions around the ancient conflict between Ajax and Odysseus over the armor of the slain warrior Achilles.

* * *

Paul Woodruff has taught philosophy and classics at the University of Texas at Austin since 1973. His books include Reverence: Renewing a Forgotten Virtue (2001. Second Edition, expanded, 2014), First Democracy: The Challenge of an Ancient Idea (2005), The Necessity of Theater (2008) and (most recently) The Ajax Dilemma (2011), which concerns justice and the disparity of rewards. He has also written plays, poetry, short fiction, and opera libretti, as well as translations from the Greek of Plato, Sophocles, and Thucydides.

Prof. Woodruff was born in New Jersey, raised in western Pennsylvania, and educated at Princeton and Oxford Universities. He served as a junior officer in the United States Army with MACV at Chau Doc in the Delta of Vietnam from June 1969 to June 1970.

The New York Times writes: “The timing is excellent for The Ajax Dilemma…this little book makes a worthy contribution to the issue of how to distribute rewards in both government and business. In this age, the story of Ajax is sure to resonate with many.”



9/11-Wheelhouse Talks – Mary Buikema


September 11, 2013

Mary Buikema – Seeker of the meaning of home. Driven by the moving and life-changing experiences of creating affordable home ownership opportunities for families. Executive Director at Habitat for Humanity of Kent County. Core values: hope, integrity, collaboration, faith in action, and sustainability. Chicago native turned West Michigander while getting her BSA from Calvin.



9/9-American Conversations – Is Common Ground Possible?


September 9, 2013

Congress is dysfunctional. Citizens are cynical. Soundbite junkies dominate the public square. Is there any hope that the American people and their representatives might find common ground on the tough issues facing our nation? Or do we settle for cable TV-style shouting matches over the issue de jour? Watch Gleaves Whitney, director of the Hauenstein Center for Presidential Studies, give a lively presentation that examines the historic reality of common ground in America’s past, and seeks audience insight into the possibilities of rediscovering common cause in the future. This program was part of Grand Valley’s campus-wide recognition of Constitution Day.

Read Gleaves Whitney’s essay, “Is Common Ground Possible?” here.



8/22-An Evening With Three Presidents


Thursday, August 22 – Grand Haven High School

Gleaves Whitney of the Hauenstein Center moderated what was an entertaining and enlightening conversation with three presidents. Bill Barker first started interpreting Thomas Jefferson in 1984 for an appearance at Independence Hall in Philadelphia. Chuck Chalberg is a seasoned interpreter whose oldest interpretation is of Theodore Roosevelt. Paddy Morrissey has been interpreting Ronald Reagan since 1981 and performed at the 1984 Democratic Convention. The Hauenstein Center was proud to have sponsored this event with the Loutit District Library and the Grand Haven Area Public Schools.



4/15-Why Progressive? Why Conservative? The Debate


April 15, 2013 – Is common ground possible in our polarized political and cultural environment?
Part of the Common Ground Initiative

Panelists: Michael DeWilde, Barbara Elliott, Winston Elliott, Ted McAllister, Paul Murphy, Noreen Myers

Watch this robust exploration of what it means to be a progressive and what it means to be a conservative. Our goal was not to get bogged down in policy wrangling over the issue de jour. Our panelists were interested in the cultural, historic, philosophical, and perhaps religious elements that help explain their commitment to their tradition. The focus and format provided an opportunity for the vivid articulation of first principles and the fruitful exchange of definitions, redefinitions, reasons, and justifications for the panelists believing the way they do.

This event extended the exploration of the theme of bipartisan cooperation in a democratic culture, which we started to explore with Richard Norton Smith, H. W. Brands, Kiron Skinner, Hank Meijer, and Gleaves Whitney during the NEH-funded town hall, America’s Senator: The Unexpected Odyssey of Arthur Vandenberg on November 14, 2012.



3/27-Wheelhouse Talks – Leann Arkema


March 27, 2013 – Empathetic supporter of the sick and grieving, leading solidarity and laughter in Grand Rapids. First president/CEO of Gilda’s Club GR, where she arrived on day one with her own desk in tow. Now serving more than 10,000 visitors per year. Founder of LaughFest, the nation’s first-ever community-wide festival of laughter.



3/7-American Conversations – H.W. Brands: What Makes A President Great?


March 7, 2013

H.W. Brands came back to West Michigan to discuss the idea of presidential greatness. It turns out that America’s greatest presidents served either during war or economic depression. Drawing from his past research on Franklin Roosevelt and his current work on Ronald Reagan, Brands examined what makes a president great – that is, what allows a president to reshape the course of American life. Roosevelt and Reagan espoused decidedly different policies, but their leadership styles revealed some striking similarities. The lessons of their presidencies hold value for all their successors – and for the citizens who choose those successors.

Ronald Reagan Bibliography/


2/13-Wheelhouse Talks – Troy Evans


February 13, 2013 – Transformational pastor, guiding at-risk youth from gangs to faith. Former dropout, gang founder, and crime leader, who fled to change his life. Founder of The Edge Urban Fellowship, reaching the “Hip-Hop Culture for the Kingdom of God,” and author of The Edge of Redemption, telling the story of his own transformation.



1/29-Madeleine Albright


January 29, 2013 – The Gerald R Ford Presidential Library and Museum presented Dr. Madeleine Albright on her history of diplomacy and her collection of world famous pins.



1/29-Reagan’s Most Important Foreign Policy Decision


January 29, 2013

Hauenstien Center Director Gleaves Whitney discussed how President Reagan’s most important foreign policy decision was closer to home than we may have thought.

PBS Documentary The Reagen Presidency – Behind the Scenes



1/16-Wheelhouse Talks – Kerri Reinbold


January 16, 2013 – Entrepreneurial, Baptiste-trained, hot power yoga instructor. Co-founder and owner of the Funky Buddha Yoga Hothouse in Grand Rapids. West Michigan native drawn home from Chicago by friends, family, and the community’s creative energy. Passionate about health, healing, and encouraging her students in all pursuits.



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