Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Love Reagan? Study at Eureka


This is the website for Reagan’s former college – Eureka –in Illinois. This part of the college
website celebrates the anniversary of what would have been his 100th birthday in 2011 and quite clearly looks to cash in on the most famous of their former students in an effort to attract new ones.

There is the suggestion that all of the activities that Reagan was involved in whilst at Eureka, such as football and acting, contributed to his skill as a leader, but as politics was not his first choice of career, that is debatable. It seems more likely that they prepared him for his careers as a sports announcer and an actor rather than for the Presidency of the United States. They would also fulfil his need for approval and applause. What the video suggests is that he fitted in with everyone he came into contact with and this does tie in with his political image of someone that the American public could relate to – delivering his speeches in a relaxed and informal style which appealed to the voters. They also refer to his major achievement, the ending of the Cold War by including a clip of a speech given in front of the Berlin Wall.

This website is a shrine to Reagan and his life and suggests itself as “a living legacy” to the former president. It uses every opportunity to reinforce the College’s links with Reagan, listing his visits and donations and has even given Nancy Reagan an honorary doctorate. I am sure
that as now Reagan is rated highly amongst the rankings of Presidents, with one site listing him as high as 11th – mainly in recognition of his ending of the Cold War – Eureka College is able to attract students keen to emulate Reagan’s success, probably though, more Republican students than Democrat.

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