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Eureka announces major gift from Reagan brotherís estate Read more:
Peoria Journal-Star ^ | 2/6/2014 | Pam Adams

Posted on 02/06/2014 10:15:28 PM PST by iowamark

EUREKA — Neil Reagan’s contributions to Eureka College have often been overshadowed by his younger brother.

Not quite as much Thursday when the college used the 159th anniversary of Eureka’s founding and what would have been Ronald Reagan’s 103rd birthday to announce a $1 million gift from the estate of Neil and Bess Reagan.

Neil Reagan, of course, was the first brother, the only sibling of the country’s 40th president, Ronald Reagan, another Eureka alumni.

“With only 700 students, the size of the gift will have a strong impact,” said John Morris, director of the college’s Ronald Reagan Society. The money will go into Eureka’s roughly $20 million endowment to support various student scholarships.

Neil and Bess Reagan also left more than 100 objects and photographs to the college. Much of it documents bits and pieces of a man who followed his brother to Eureka College, then to California and the entertainment business.

A former advertising executive, Neil “Moon” Reagan died in 1996 at the age of 88. His wife, Bess, died in 2010 at 102.

Neil Reagan graduated from Eureka in 1933, a year after Ronald Reagan graduated from the college. Both majored in economics and sociology and both went on to serve as trustees of the college. The Reagan Physical Education Center on Eureka’s campus was named in honor of the brothers.

Neil Reagan also directed the radio series “Dr. Christian” and directed his brother in the television series “Death Valley Days.”

The college actually received the memorabilia more than a year ago, as sort of a first installment of the bequest, said Tony Glass, archivist and curator of collections at Eureka.

One of the most interesting finds was a scrapbook documenting Neil Reagan’s early efforts to build an acting career, Glass said.

“I wish we could say we had boxes of letters, correspondence and things of that nature,” Glass added. “But it’s hard to assess interest or value until everything has had a chance to age, I guess.”

What, if any, of Ronald Reagan’s estate will end up at the college is an open question while his widow, Nancy, still is alive.

“We don’t know what might come down the pike,” Glass said.

Neil Reagan’s gift merely adds another layer of the Reagan brothers’ legacy to Eureka, Morris said.

“These two guys came from the most humble roots, small-town Illinois, went to this small school — it’s an American story,” Morris said. “It’s the promise of opportunity in America that’s a central theme of Eureka College.”


TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events; US: Illinois
KEYWORDS: eurekacollege; neilreagan; ronaldreagan

Tony Glass, college archivist at Eureka College, has many new items to add to their Reagan collection, courtesy of the estate of Ronald Reagan's brother, Neil, who was also a Eureka graduate. Eureka also received $1 million from Neil and his wife, Bess, for the college endowment on the 159th anniversary of the college's founding and what would have been Ronald Reagan's 103rd birthday.
1 posted on 02/06/2014 10:15:29 PM PST by iowamark
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To: iowamark

Nice to see and hopefully more of Reagan’s legacy will end up here, as he was always true to his roots.


2 posted on 02/06/2014 10:24:45 PM PST by bigbob (The best way to get a bad law repealed is to enforce it strictly. Abraham Lincoln)
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To: bigbob

President Ronald Reagan, we miss you so.


3 posted on 02/06/2014 11:41:41 PM PST by itssme
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To: iowamark
From the aeticle:

. . . Ronald Reagan, another Eureka alumni alumnus.

Had the writer, Pam Adams, the benefit of a classical education typical of a 1930s institution like Eureka College, she would have been an alumna. But I guess she wouldn't know that, from her training as a journalist in today's schools, would she?

4 posted on 02/07/2014 6:18:51 AM PST by imardmd1 (Fiat Lux)
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