Eureka College honored arguably its most famous and influential alum Wednesday, President Ronald Reagan, on the 15th anniversary of his death.
Michael Reagan, his adopted son, says there’s still a hungry audience for stories about his dad.
“It doesn’t matter where I speak people ask, ‘what was it like growing up with Ronald Reagan as your father? How was it?'”
He says he learned a lot from his father, including during one of the most turbulent times of his life. “It wasn’t until I learned to forgive, as my father forgave John Hinkley, that started to grow in my life and become a better husband and father, really a better person.”
President Reagan’s life had many chapters, from protesting on Eureka’s campus after they cut classes following the depression, to acting, to politics. Michael Reagan says his dad remained the same person.
“My father always stayed true to himself,” Reagan said. “He always had a positive attitude. He never looked down on people, he lifted people up. Even people who didn’t support him politically liked him, and people have a tendency to vote for people they like. He was likable, that’s why he won in 1980 and again in 1984. Every year that goes by now he gets more popular, not just here in the United States but around the globe.”
Reagan graduated Eureka College in 1932.