Ralph Hauenstein Legacy Celebrated After Gifts to Three Institutions

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Aquinas College and two other institutions gathered for a press event to celebrate the legacy of Ralph W. Hauenstein after gifts from his estate will be used to carry on the missions that he supported throughout his life.

Aquinas College, Grand Valley State University and Mercy Health Saint Mary's thanked the family of Ralph W. Hauenstein and celebrated the impact his life and generosity have had on the region. Hauenstein, who died in January 2016, lived his life in service, helping others through his military career and using his success in business to further causes that he supported throughout his life as a generous philanthropist.

His son, Ralph D. Hauenstein, recently presented gifts of more than $1 million to each institution to support the Grace Hauenstein Library and the Albertus Magnus Hall of Science at Aquinas, Grand Valley's Hauenstein Center for Presidential Studies, and the Mercy Health Hauenstein Neurosciences Center.

"I feel elated that I am able to carry out my dad's wishes regarding the important work these places do," said Ralph D. Hauenstein. "My dad believed in the mission of education, health care, and leadership and integrity in all aspects of life. I'm the guy carrying the ball over the finish line, and I'm honored to do so."

The Hauenstein family has had a long commitment to Aquinas for more than 50 years. Grace Hauenstein was president of the Friends of the Aquinas Library, an influential committee that provided much vision and guidance to the library. During the time that the Emeritus Program hosted classes in Florida, Mr. Hauenstein was a popular speaker who shared stories of his time working closely with President Eisenhower. In 1995, Ralph Sr. was granted an honorary Doctor of Letters degree for his many years of leadership and support.

In addition to the Grace Hauenstein Library, the gift to the college will substantially benefit the new addition to the Albertus Magnus Hall of Science that is currently under construction. While the details are still being arranged, there will be an area of the new wing honoring the Ralph and Grace Hauenstein legacy at Aquinas.

“Through their leadership and contributions, there is no question that the Hauenstein family have helped make Aquinas College what it is today,” said Kevin Quinn, president of Aquinas College. “This recent gift shows their continued impact on Aquinas and so many other organizations in West Michigan.”