December 12, 2017



Introductory remarks by Gleaves Whitney at the press conference announcing Ralph Hauenstsins gift.

“Welcome to Grand Valley State University. I am Gleaves Whitney, director of the Hauenstein Center for Presidential Studies, and I am proud to share this stage with Dr. Philip Gorelick, medical director of St. Mary’s Hauenstein Center; and with Sr. Damien Marie Sorvino, dean of science and sustainability at Aquinas College. As Brian Hauenstein has aptly said, our three institutions represent Ralph Hauenstein’s commitment to the mind, body, and soul of West Michigan.


“Ralph Hauenstein was an American hero, and we honor him in all we do at the Hauenstein Center for Presidential Studies. With Ralph’s most recent, generous gift, the Center that bears his name is able to reach more students than ever before and transform them from learners into leaders.


“When it comes to guiding young leaders in our Peter C. Cook Leadership Academy, named for one of his best friends, Ralph is not only our North Star; he is an entire constellation of enlightenment. Students are amazed to discover all that he achieved in his 103 years, and it’s rewarding to watch them home in on the part of his life that helps them become more ethical, effective leaders. Our history majors are inspired by his heroism in World War II. Our journalism majors relish his role as a watchdog of democracy. Our business majors profit by his entrepreneurial skill at bringing products to market. Our nonprofit majors study the example he set as a philanthropist. Our government majors reflect on his example of public service. Our international students appreciate his talent for working with diverse people across the continents. Our political science majors feel inspired by the courage he showed to promote the dignity of African Americans. Our religion majors learn of the central place of faith in his life. And on and on it goes. Whatever his activities, whatever his accolades, whatever his accomplishments, all of us are the better for Ralph’s gift of friendship – that keen emotional intelligence of his that succeeded again and again in bringing people together to do great things. We are honored to carry on our friend’s legacy.”

Link to Mlive Article here

Link to GVNow article here













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