The Grand Rapids Public Museum (GRPM) is opening an exciting new exhibition this summer, titled: Ralph W. Hauenstein: A Life of Leadership. The exhibition will open on July 21, and run through January 2019.

A Life of Leadership will explore the extraordinary life of Grand Rapidian Ralph W. Hauenstein. COL Hauenstein was a leader in the West Michigan community, remembered for his role as a journalist, his military and intelligence service, his dedication to the Catholic faith, his entrepreneurship, and his philanthropy in Grand Rapids. What a fascinating life he led. Not many people know that after WWII, he returned to Grand Rapids and became an entrepreneur in international trade and food equipment manufacturing, designing equipment to make Goldfish Crackers.

The exhibition will highlight Ralph’s extraordinary life, his contributions to our nation and community, and his legacy of leadership. Interactives will allow visitors to test out writing a headline for the newspaper on an antique typewriter and try their hand at cracking a secret code. Photography from around the world bring visitors face-to-face with Ralph’s impact globally.


Ralph W. Hauenstein: A Life of Leadership will be included with general admission to the Museum, and will be located on the Museum’s third floor.

This exhibition is made possible through the generous support of: The Hauenstein Family and The Hauenstein Center for Presidential Studies at Grand Valley State University. Images and objects on loan courtesy of Brian Hauenstein unless otherwise stated. The images in this exhibition were first digitized for public display by the Hauenstein Center for Presidential Studies at Grand Valley State University. Thank you also to the National Cryptologic Museum, NSA, Washington D.C.

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