Learning center

Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum, DeVos Learning Center offer virtual tours

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – The Grand R. Ford Presidential Museum offers organized virtual tours, as well as a youth-focused program at the museum’s DeVos Learning Center.

The free programs are offered online starting Thursday, April 2, after non-essential businesses shut down due to the COVID-19 crisis.

“As the nation not only experiences the closure of businesses and schools, individuals are also missing out on opportunities to explore cultural places,” said Elaine Didier, director of the Presidential Gerald R. Ford Library and Museum, in a statement. communicated.

She said there is a “vast array of our archival holdings online.”

Don Holloway, the museum’s curator, will provide online visitors with insight into the different stages of the president’s life. This includes his childhood years in Grand Rapids, his stint at the University of Michigan, where he played football, at the Yale School of Law before opening his own law firm in Grand Rapids.

Shortly after, he left his office to enlist in the US Navy. He served 25 years in Congress before replacing Vice President Spiro Agnew. Nine months later, he replaces Richard Nixon as president.

The tour, offering a glimpse into “his life of courage, compassion and leadership,” includes funeral tributes to Ford and his wife, Betty Ford.

Programs are available at presidential museum and learning center.

At DeVos Learning Center, Clare Shubert will lead four storytelling sessions from the cabinet room and Ford’s Oval Office in the museum. Shubert, the director of engagement and programming at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation, will also speak to Holloway about Ford and the 1976 presidential campaign and Holloway’s curatorial role.

Two temporary exhibitions presented at the museum last month will also be presented:

“The Continual Struggle: The American Freedom Movement and the Seeds of Social Change”, by Brian Washington, and “Wounded Warrior Dogs Project & K9 War Stores” by James Mellick.

“Although the doors to the museum and the learning center are closed, it is important to continue to offer programs for adults and children,” Joe Calvaruso, executive director of the foundation, said in the statement.

“We are committed to providing virtual experiences to those interested in learning more about the life of our country’s 38th president. “

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