Gleaves Whitney

Gleaves Whitney, a writer, lecturer, and historian, was named the first permanent Senior Fellow of the Russell Kirk Center for Cultural Renewal in 1995.

Currently Mr. Whitney is director of the Hauenstein Center for Presidential Studies at Grand Valley State University in southwestern Michigan. Before his appointment to the Hauenstein Center, he was senior speechwriter and historian for Michigan Governor John Engler. He is also a Senior Scholar at the Center for the American Idea in Houston.

A graduate of Colorado State University, where he was a Fulbright Scholar, Mr. Whitney has done graduate work at the Universität Konstanz (Germany), the University of Oxford, and the University of Michigan.

In 1993 he served on Governor Engler’s task force on education, whose work led to the enactment of far-reaching reforms that the New York Times called “the most dramatic in the nation.” In 2001, he helped establish the new Michigan Department of History, Arts and Libraries. He currently serves on the Michigan Humanities Council and the State Historical Records Advisory Board. In addition to his work in politics and history, he is gaining a reputation as a leading authority on Catholic humanists in the twentieth century.

Mr. Whitney has written, edited, or contributed to several books, including John Engler: The Man, the Leader & the Legacy (2002), American Presidents: Farewell Messages to the Nation (2002), and the revised edition of Russell Kirk’s The American Cause (2003). He is currently writing a companion volume to Dr. Kirk’s The Roots of American Order, on which he frequently lectures, as well as a book on the historian Christopher Dawson. His op-ed pieces have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The Detroit News, The New York Times, National Review, the Christian Science Monitor, Policy Review, Imprimis, and many others.

Photo courtesy of the Hauenstein Center.

All great systems, ethical or political, attain their ascendency over the minds of men by virtue of their appeal to the imagination; and when they cease to touch the chords of wonder and mystery and hope, their power is lost, and men look elsewhere for some set of principles by which they may be guided.

Russell Kirk

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Highlights

Budziszewski Lecture in Grand Rapids

The Society for Law and Culture is joining with the Christian Legal Society in sponsoring a lecture by J. Budziszewski titled “Natural Law: Why and So What?” The event will be held at Cooley Law School in Grand Rapids, MI, on Thursday, November 2, 2017, beginning at 5:30 p.m. A professor of government and philosophy at the University of Texas, Prof. Budziszewski is an engaging speaker, perceptive social critic, and prolific author on natural law and other topics. Download the event flier for more details and contact information.

Oct 2017

Historical Marker Project

Thank you! In preparation for the upcoming centennial of the birth of Russell Kirk, friends have successfully funded a historical marker for his birthplace of Plymouth, Michigan. We are grateful to all who participated. Here is a video of Annette Kirk and Andrea Kirk Assaf celebrating the end of the campaign. For more details, visit the GoFundMe campaign site. The project is being coordinated by Bart Smith, a former Wilbur Fellow.

Sep 2017

Kirk’s ongoing influence

We recently updated our page tracking people’s responses to the life and thought of Russell Kirk. In 2015, then-Governor Mike Pence noted that he hasn’t “taken a vacation in the last 25 years without a Russell Kirk book under my arm.” Seems like a good idea. (If you have other links to recommend for that page, please contact us.)

Jul 2017