Eureka College, Peoria Riverfront Museum announce Reagan partnership

President of Peoria Riverfront Museum John Morris has announced a new partnership between Eureka College and the Peoria Riverfront Museum.

The partnership will make Reagan-related objects and other historic artifacts available to the broader public through loans to the museum.

"The Peoria Riverfront Museum has been grateful to previously borrow a section of the Berlin Wall, President Reagan's Golden Globe Award, cowboy boots, and even objects related to Women's Suffrage from the Eureka College collection,” Morris said. “This agreement formalizes the commitment of these two institutions to making this incredible collection accessible to the most people in the public."

“At Eureka College, we are blessed and proud to be surrounded by artifacts and landmarks that tell the story of our history,” Eureka College President Dr. Jamel Wright said. “Our campus serves as an opportunity to learn about not just the history of the College and President Reagan, but also of the country and the world. With this partnership, we are thrilled to be able to share with the greater Peoria area and community some of the historic items that we have collected over the years.”

The ceremony, held last Friday, June 4, was hosted by the Ronald W. Reagan Society at the Ronald W. Reagan Peace Garden, and it commemorated the 17th anniversary of the death of Eureka College’s most famous alumnus.

It featured speeches from Morris, Illinois State Rep. Thomas Bennett and Ronald Reagan’s eldest son, Michael Reagan, among others.

Morris has been the President and CEO of the Peoria Riverfront Museum since 2017. He previously served for ten years as the founding director of the Ronald W. Reagan Society of Eureka College and ten years prior as the vice president for development for PBS-member station, WTVP. He was twice elected as an at-large member of the Peoria City Council and served as mayor pro tem. 

The Ronald W. Reagan Society of Eureka College is dedicated to helping President Reagan’s alma mater study, teach and share the same lessons and values President Reagan learned from Eureka College and used in his lifetime of leadership roles.