Gleaves Whitney, director of the Hauenstein Center for Presidential Studies at Grand Valley State University, spoke at the opening retreat of the Center's Peter Cook Leadership Academy. He walked this year's class of leadership fellows through an exercise focused on Plato's story of the Ring of Geiges.Peter Cook Leadership AcademyEffective, virtuous leadership benefits from an academic foundation and practical guidance. The Hauenstein Center's Peter Cook Leadership Academy, a leadership development program for aspiring public servants, combines insight from scholars with training from professionals. Leadership fellows gather monthly over lunch to meet with national, state, and local leaders and to discuss leadership principles. A syllabus of readings -- mining the best leadership studies and presidential biographies -- enriches discussion and advances understanding.Cook leadership fellows who take part in the Center's activities encounter a rich array of opportunities. In the past three years, they have been face-to-face with three U.S. presidents, one vice president, three secretaries of state, several senators and members of Congress, two Michigan governors, multiple Pulitzer Prize winners and finalists, one Grammy Award winner, one national championship basketball coach, and the world's most decorated academic -- holder of 150 honorary degrees.
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