Reagan Timeline

Timeline of participation in events at Eureka College from 1941-2007

1941 – He made his first return trip to the campus since entering motion pictures.

1947 – He returned to lead the Pumpkin Festival Parade – photo above.

1955 – He was on campus for the 100th Anniversary of the College, during which he received a Centennial Citation.

1957 -He delivered the commencement address at the 25th anniversary of his graduation, and was awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters by his alma mater.

1967 – As Governor of California, he returned to dedicate the new Melick Library, along with fellow dignitaries Senator Everett Dirksen, Senator Charles Percy, Governor Otto Kemer, U.S. Representative Robert Michel, and others.

1970 – He and his brother Neil, a 1933 graduate of Eureka College, attended the formal opening of Reagan Physical Education Center, named for them.

1977 – He kicked-off a capital campaign for the College.

1979 – He spoke at Honors Day convocation, and chaired the initial meeting of the College’s National Advisory Council.

1980 – Near the end of his first presidential campaign, he spoke at a pep rally on campus.

1982 – He delivered a major foreign policy address at Eureka College Commencement which announced for the first time his goal for a Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) with the Soviet Union. Widely known as “The Eureka Speech,” this signaled “the beginning of the end of the Cold War.”

1982 – The Ronald W. Reagan Leadership Program was established to recognize young men and women of exceptional talent, who have the potential to lead and the desire to serve their society. The Reagan Leadership Program provides a unique opportunity for such fellows, five students in each class, a chance to develop and refine that potential and desire. Mentorships with noted leaders around the globe offer fellows a chance to experience, firsthand, the leadership skills of others.

1984 – He delivered an address on campus to kick off Time’s Distinguished Speakers series in which he reaffirmed his determination to reach agreements with Moscow on reducing the size of the two superpowers’ nuclear arsenals.

1986 – He was the honored dinner guest at the newly renovated Willard Hotel in Washington, D.C., for an event benefitting the College’s Ronald Reagan Leadership Program.

1987 – He hosted a White House reception for the Ronald Reagan Fellows and leading supporters of Eureka College.

1992 – In his farewell visit to his alma mater, he delivered the commencement address at the 60th anniversary of his graduation.

In addition to participation in these college events, President Reagan served three six-year terms on the

College’s Board of Trustees (1947-53, 1967-73, 1974-80).

1999 – Maureen Reagan (1941-2001), President Reagan’s eldest daughter, was elected to a five-year term on the college’s Board of Trustees.

1999 – The Ronald Reagan Peace Garden was dedicated to recognize President Reagan’s contributions toward world peace and specifically his 1982 speech at the college announcing the Strategic Arms Reduction Challenge to the Soviet Union. A bronze bust of Reagan is the centerpiece of the garden. Quotes from the speech are inscribed on the pedestal.

1999 – The Ronald Reagan Trail opened, connecting 11 communities that include historical landmarks that played a role in President Reagan’s life.

2006 – Michael Reagan, son of Ronald is elected for a four-year term on the college’s Board of Trustees.

2008 – Eureka College celebrates the 25th anniversary of the founding of the Ronald Reagan Fellowship program with the first-ever Ronald Reagan day celebrated on campus in February.