WMBD/WYZZ - EUREKA -- President Ronald Reagan's Alma Mater
hosts a world leader today.
Eureka College honors former Soviet Leader Mikhail
Gorbachev with an Honorary Doctorate. Accompanied
by a small entourage, including his daughter, Gorbachev stepped foot on campus
looking relaxed and right at home. It
was the community that gathered in awe.
“This is huge for Eureka College and Central Illinois," Reagan Museum Curator Brian
The 78-year-old former Soviet leader
came to Eureka to promote the College's new Ronald Reagan society. Gorbachev toured the Reagan Museum before spending a few moments
reflecting in the Reagan Peace Garden that includes a five foot piece of
the Berlin Wall. For the students, it was
a real life lesson in history
“To have the connection made between
the person who ended the cold war and the person who encouraged the end of the
cold war is truly a great opportunity,” Student Body President Matthew Cahill
Gorbachev also attended a town hall
meeting, where he received an honorary doctorate and answered a handful of
questions, noting in one response, he now has a degree from the same school as
his partner in peace. And it's a new
badge of honor for this Small Central Illinois School.
“For a place like eureka that most
people can't find on a map, to have Mikail Gorbachev, it gives us some legitimacy
as an institution,” former student Darin Mahlke said.