Gleaves Whitney, MA, LHD
GVSU’s Hauenstein Center for Presidential Studies Director
Named the first full-time director of Grand Valley State University’s Hauenstein Center for Presidential Studies in 2003, Dr. Whitney has been the architect of more than 400 public programs. He has overseen the tremendous growth of the Hauenstein Center’s website, which has been visited more than 30 million times; its original programs have been viewed a cumulative 27 years. He’s also premiered a popular web column called Ask Gleaves — the first presidential Q & A column in the nation — and created a leadership academy for students and young professionals committed to public service.
Under his direction, the Hauenstein Center’s Peter C. Cook Leadership Academy has emerged as a preeminent center of leadership excellence in the Midwest. Prior to his arrival at Grand Valley, Gleaves worked 11 years in Michigan Governor John Engler’s administration, serving as senior writer, chief speechwriter, and historian.
In addition to his public-sector service and work, Gleaves is a scholar who writes and lectures nationally on a variety of historical topics. He is author or editor of 15 books, including To Heal a Nation: The Story of Gerald R. Ford, and (with Mark Rozell) Testing the Limits: George W. Bush and the Imperial Presidency. Other books include Religion and the Presidency (with Mark Rozell), American Presidents: Farewell Addresses to the Nation, 1796-2001; John Engler: The Man, the Leader & the Legacy; and 6 volumes of Messages of the Governors of Michigan. He even has a children’s book to his credit, B is for Buckaroo: A Cowboy Alphabet (with Louise Whitney), and has contributed chapters to half-dozen books and written entries in two encyclopedias.
Dr. Whitney has won numerous awards, served on several federal and state committees, and is a senior scholar at the Free Enterprise Institute and the Imaginative Conservative; the first senior fellow at the Russell Kirk Center for Cultural Renewal in Mecosta, Michigan; and a member of the College of Fellows at the Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology in Berkeley, California. He graduated with honors from Colorado State University (1980), was elected into the Phi Beta Kappa honor society (1980), and was a Fulbright scholar to then-West Germany (1984-85). His master’s degree and doctoral candidacy were at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, where he was a Richard M. Weaver fellow (1987-88) and an H. B. Earhart Fellow (1988-91). He has taught at the University of Michigan, Colorado State University, Droste-Hülshof Gymnasium, Aquinas College, and Grand Valley State University. Born and raised in Houston, Texas, Dr. Whitney now makes his home in Grand Rapids, Michigan, with his wife, Mary Eilleen.