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Hauenstein family announces multi-million dollar gift to three West Michigan institutions

Grand Valley State University

Ralph D. Hauenstein, the son of philanthropist Ralph W. Hauenstein carried out his late father’s wishes Monday announcing financial gifts to three West Michigan institutions.

“I think his life was exemplary of where he’s placed his fortune. Represented here are the mind, the body and the soul and the health of all three,” said Brian Hauenstein, the Grandson of philanthropist Colonel Ralph W. Hauenstein who passed away in January 2016.

Monday, a financial gift of $3.5 million dollars was equally divided among Aquinas College's Grace Hauenstein Library and expansion of the Albertus Magnus Hall of Science, Mercy Health Hauenstein Neurosciences Center and Grand Valley's Hauenstein Center for Presidential Studies. Gleaves Whitney is director of the Hauenstein Center.

“Ralph Hauenstein was an American hero, and we honor him in all we do at the Hauenstein Center. 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.”

In 2009 the Mercy Health Hauenstein Neurosciences Center opened. Dr. Philip Gorelick is its director. He explains the dollars will continue care for Parkinson's patients and discovering a cure.

“The gift is one that truly keeps giving because the impact is on thousands of patients and families and trainees.”

Sister Damien Marie Savino is dean of science and sustainability at Aquinas College. She says Hauenstein’s gift will support the $32 million dollar new construction of the Albertus Magnus Hall of Science.

“As a Catholic liberal arts institution we really feel it’s important to train our students on getting to know the world around us and learning how to deal with some of the complexities of the problems that we are faced with today.”

Ralph D. Hauenstein says he’s just proud of his father.

“For me it was a wonderful experience, number one. Number two, a real opportunity to represent my father and everything he’s done.”

And Hauenstein says there are a few more gifts to come.

Patrick Center, WGVU News.

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