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Nationally known presidential scholar, writer and lecturer to speak on Abraham Lincoln at LDL | Community Spirit

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Nationally known presidential scholar, writer and lecturer to speak on Abraham Lincoln at LDL
Nationally known presidential scholar, writer and lecturer to speak on Abraham Lincoln at LDL

GRAND HAVEN, Mich. -- Why is Abraham Lincoln the most written about American? Some 16,000 books have been written about our 16th president, and he continues to fascinate people around the world.

On August 30 at the Loutit District Library, Gleaves Whitney, director of the Hauenstein Center for Presidential Studies, will try to plumb some of the depths of Lincoln’s life and times. Particular attention will be paid to the obstacles the Rail Splitter had to overcome to become the great historic figure he did. He was a most unlikely leader of a broken nation.

This LDL program commemorates the sesquicentennial of the Civil War.

 Whitney’s program will be held in the Library’s Programs Room A and B beginning at 7:00 p.m. Admission is free but registrations are requested. To register visit the LDL’s Website at www.loutitlibrary.org.

Whitney became director of Grand Valley State University's Hauenstein Center for Presidential Studies in 2003.  During his tenure he has been the architect of more than 275 public programs, including four national conferences covered by C-SPAN, and three internationally web cast debates -- one to more than 3,500 viewers in eighteen countries, and another watched on YouTube by more than 75,000 people in some 30 nations on all six inhabited continents. 

He has overseen tremendous growth of the Hauenstein Center's website, 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.

The Hauenstein Center for Presidential Studies is inspired by Ralph Hauenstein's life of leadership and service. In seven short years, the Hauenstein Center has become one of the leading presidential studies centers in the nation. Award-winning historian Richard Norton Smith called the Center "a jewel in the crown of Michigan." Award-winning biographer H. W. Brands called Whitney "a real treasure for those of us who do presidential studies and that work in the field of presidential history," and observed that Whitney is "one of the most effective entrepreneurs in the business of higher education."

Hauenstein Center leadership fellows have been face-to-face with four U.S. presidents, several presidential candidates, two vice president, four secretaries of state, numerous senators and members of Congress, several U.S. ambassadors, five state governors, and multiple Pulitzer Prize winners and finalists.

Hauenstein Center debates and conferences are among West Michigan's most anticipated events.  Since 2003, the Center has hosted more than 275 programs, many in partnership with the Gerald R. Ford Foundation and Museum. Four programs have been broadcast by C-SPAN to a national audience, three have been web cast internationally, and one has been watched on YouTube by more than 85,000 people in some 30 nations on all six inhabited continents.

Loutit District Library is located at 407 Columbus Avenue in Grand Haven, Michigan. The library serves 35,540 residents of the City of Grand Haven, the City of Ferrysburg, Grand Haven Charter Township, Robinson Township and that part of Port Sheldon Township in the Grand Haven Area Public School District.