Hauenstein Center announces fall events


Courtesy to Hauenstein Center’s Facebook

Zsolt Palmer, Staff Reporter

The Hauenstein Center for Presidential Studies is one of Grand Valley State University’s most revered institutions. Founded in 2003, it is dedicated to help create the next generation of ethical and effective leaders for the 21st century. It is a place for GVSU students to gain a better understanding of the social and political world around them.

Their programs include the Common Ground Initiative, which promote principled civic engagement and civil discourse, and the WheelHouse talks, designed for “thinking leaders and leading thinkers.”

Each year, both their Common Grounds Initiative and Wheelhouse Talks hold special events at the Center. Inviting speakers from a diverse range of political ideologies, the Hauenstein Center seeks to provide deeper discourse over current events, and the speakers they invite reflect that.

For the fall of 2020, the Hauenstein Center continues its tradition with a new lineup of events and speakers. Fall events started Sept. 2, when the Hauenstein Center participated in the ‘Greatest Generation Day’ in Grand Rapids, featuring speakers such as the co-author of “American Sniper” Jim DeFelico, and Fox New’s Chris Wallace.

On Friday, Oct. 9, Dr. Eva Feldman, an accomplished neurologist, will be giving a talk about her experience in the field and sharing lessons in leadership.

On Dec. 10, the Common Ground Initiative will be hosting Kasey S. Pipes, former advisor to President George W. Bush, and former governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to speak about former President Richard Nixon.

These speakers and panelists are each established and leading members of their fields, a strong reflection of the Hauenstein Center’s goal to find speakers whom students will find worth listening to.

“We’re really after people… that have the chops, that have the academic and the scholastic chops to be on the stage, to be on the Zoom call and be talking about what they’re talking about,” said Jacob Bigard, Program Manager of the Common Ground Initiative. “We look for people that can speak from experience, and that their record can back that up.”

Of the events still to come, Bigard highlighted one speaker that he felt would resonate the most with the GVSU student body.

“Our November Panel… ‘Navigating a Global Pandemic,’ we’re going to have four different experts of their field talking about how this pandemic has affected them, and how it has created challenges and opportunities in their sectors,” Bigard said. “I think we’re all just curious to hear about, just what comes next after this pandemic.”

He hopes this panel will help students better understand how this pandemic has affected all aspects of life.

The November Panel will take place on Nov. 19,  featuring Cherry Health President and CEO Tasha Blackmon, GVSU economics professor Paul Isely, 29th District Michigan state senator Winnie Brinks and Hope College political philosophy professor Jeffrey Polet

All fall 2020 events are held online via Zoom call. To connect to one of these events, students are invited to visit gvsu.edu/hc, where they can RSVP for future events.

If you have RSVP’d for an upcoming event, you will receive an email at the appropriate time containing a Zoom link. Alternatively, all events are streamed live through the Hauenstein Center’s Facebook page.

If you miss one of the speakers, edited videos of past events are eventually published to The Hauenstein’s Center’s YouTube page.