Florida State University Remembers Ronald Reagan

Most students at Florida State University were born in the 1980s and may be too young to remember firsthand the presidency of Ronald Reagan, but his death this weekend still struck a chord across campus.
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“Ronald Reagan really was the epitome of the Republican and conservative ideology,” said Kirsten Borman, chair of the FSU College Republicans. “And he will be deeply missed. He was a strong president who never wavered on what he believed in. His ideologies and his ideals were strong; they were true and he served his country extremely well.”

Diana Bertrand, assistant director of the Institute for Conservative Studies, said that although her organization has not discussed any definite plans for a memorial service for Reagan, she would like to see something like that happen.

“I would definitely like to bring it up as a possibility,” Bertrand said.

Bertrand said that if there were to be a memorial for the former president, she hopes it would be “something he deserved.”

“I think that Ronald Reagan was one of our greatest presidents and I think that he will be remembered, hopefully, not only as a good president, but as a wonderful family man and an all-around great model American,” she said. “And personally, you know, I definitely look up to him as more than just a president, as I think all presidents should be.”

Borman expressed similar feelings about a possible memorial, but said that a service sponsored by her group is unlikely because the majority of its membership is away for the summer.

“We probably won’t be doing anything, although we will fully support any memorial activities that the Leon County Republicans decide to do,” she said. “I haven’t heard anything from them specifically, but it could happen.”

Memorial services or not, Borman and Bertrand both said they hope students at FSU will honor the late president and learn about him — if they haven’t already.

“Unfortunately, I think that because Ronald Reagan was president from, you know, ’81 to ’89, that a lot of students who aren’t politically active might feel out of touch with who he was and what he represented,” Borman said.

Bertrand said she hopes “that if there are some students who aren’t aware of the things that Ronald Reagan did as a president and as a man in his life, that maybe they’ll learn something from all of the memorials and the remembrance of him.”

“I just hope that the student body takes something positive from his life in remembering him,” she said.

Borman said she thinks students need to realize what a strong leader Reagan was.

“Especially with the time that we are in, with the war in Iraq, and with the elections coming up, and the D-Day memorial (Sunday), it gives us a chance to really think back and remember how important strong leadership is in our country,” she said. “Reagan was a strong leader who provided us with a sound economic recovery, strong leadership and strong foreign policy for his full eight years. Like I said, he epitomizes pretty much all that the Republican and conservative ideology stands for.”