GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Several hundred guests from more than 100 different locations will take part in a groundbreaking, live webcast focusing on bipartisanship in government and politics.

The town hall event will use the historical legacy and experience of former Michigan Sen. Arthur Vandenberg to consider the possibilities of bipartisanship today.

“Senator Arthur Vandenberg and the Lost Art of Bipartisan Statesmanship” will be held at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, November 14, at Grand Valley State University’s Loosemore Auditorium on the Pew Grand Rapids Campus, 301 Fulton Street West, Grand Rapids, MI. The town hall will also be streamed live on the Internet at Organizers expect several hundred local guests, with hundreds more viewing the live video stream from World Affairs Councils locations nationwide.

Organized by Grand Valley’s Hauenstein Center for Presidential Studies, in cooperation with the National Endowment for the Humanities and World Affairs Councils of America, the program will bring together four speakers who will discuss bipartisanship, with hopes of encouraging a national dialogue on the possibilities of bipartisanship in Washington today.

“The purpose of this national event is to educate students and the public on Senator Vandenberg’s achievements in crafting U.S. foreign policy, and to draw attention to the senator’s importance as a model for bipartisan cooperation and leadership,” said Gleaves Whitney, director of the Hauenstein Center. “We hope the lessons from Senator Vandenberg’s legacy can inspire a new era of cooperation among today’s politicians.”

The speakers will present on various topics related to bipartisanship:

—Hank Meijer, the authoritative biographer of Arthur Vandenberg, will provide an overview of Vandenberg’s life and significant examples of bipartisanship in Vandenberg’s career.
—Richard Norton Smith, presidential historian at George Mason University, will discuss the high-water mark of bipartisan cooperation in the 1940s as well as the breakdown of our formerly cooperative party system since Vandenberg’s time.
—H.W. Brands, historian at the University of Texas, Austin, will provide significant historical examples of bipartisanship from the Constitutional Convention of 1787 to the 1940s.
—Kiron Skinner, political scientist at Carnegie-Mellon University, will share examples of bipartisanship since Vandenberg’s time, including cooperation between Republicans and Democrats during the Reagan administration.

The program will be moderated by Hauenstein Center director and presidential scholar Gleaves Whitney, who will also facilitate an interactive question-and-answer period where the panelists will take questions from the audience.

The entire webcast will also be permanently archived and easily accessible online after the conclusion of the event.

For more information, visit or call (616) 331-2770.

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