Republican Party presidential nominee Ronald Reagan waves to the crowd during a visit to Dixon High School in 1980.

EUREKA — A Reagan author and historian will be the keynote speaker on June 5 when Eureka College commemorates the 14th anniversary of the death of its most famous alumnus, President Ronald Reagan.

Gene Kopelson, author of “Reagan's 1968 Dress Rehearsal: Ike, RFK and Reagan's Emergence as a World Statesman,” will speak at the ceremony that begins at 9 a.m. in the Reagan Peace Garden on the college campus.

There is no charge to attend the event, which will be followed by a complimentary breakfast. The college asks that people call 309-467-6319 or email reagan@eureka.edu if they plan to attend.

The Ronald W. Reagan Society at Eureka College is sponsoring the event.

A 1932 graduate of Eureka College, Reagan served as the 40th president of the United States from 1981 to 1989. He also served as California governor and was an actor and former president of the Screen Actors Guild.

Kopelson is president of the New England chapter and trustee of the Theodore Roosevelt Association.

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His book on Reagan tells the story of Reagan's first bid for the presidency in the late 1960s.

Reagan visited his alma mater about a dozen times after his graduation. In 1982, while serving as president, he delivered the commencement address.

A section of the Berlin Wall is part of the Peace Garden, along with a plaque quoting Reagan directing his famous remarks to then Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev: “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall.”

Gorbachev visited Eureka College in 2009 and was awarded an honorary degree.

The Reagan Society supports programs that promote the leadership lessons of Reagan. These programs include a Reagan-related speaker series and scholarships.

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