OC hosts Ronald Reagan author Feb. 20 Author and former executive assistant to speak to OC's College Republicans

Feb 20, 2018

*You can hear Grande's talk here from the OC College Republicans' Facebook page. 

Former President Ronald Reagan is famous for his accomplishments during eight years in office. What is less known is the grace and wisdom he offered to those who visited him in California after his second term. Oklahoma Christian University will offer a snapshot of Reagan’s later years when it hosts his former executive assistant, Peggy Grande, Feb. 20. Her talk is free to the public. Last year, Grande published a book about her time with the president called “The President Will See You Now.”

As a student at Pepperdine University, Grande interned at Reagan’s California office. When he returned after his second term, she was hired as his executive assistant, a role she held for more than 10 years.

“In my book, I wanted to share my behind-the-scenes look into the life, leadership and legacy of this iconic man,” Grande said. “I want people to experience what it was like to be out in public with the president, watching people respond to him with enthusiasm and respect.”

Former OC President Mike O’Neal worked at Pepperdine when Grande was a student, and he is also a family friend. She expressed a desire to speak at OC, and the faculty sponsor of the College Republicans, Gary Lindsey, invited her.

“Grande will talk about Reagan as a person, not as a politician,” Lindsey said. “She’ll speak about the man he was, her daily life working for him, her book, her experiences with the Reagans and the people she saw coming into their office, people like Mikhail Gorbachev and Mother Teresa.”

Sophomore education major Justin McLeckie is the president of OC’s College Republicans. He hopes the event will be the catalyst for others like it in the future.

“This is a great opportunity for OC students to hear about the life of one of the nation’s most impactful presidents,” McLeckie said. “By the time [most of today’s college students] were born, Reagan was out of the public eye. While plenty has been written about his presidency, little is documented about his time after office.”

The free lecture and Q&A session begin at 7 p.m. in OC’s Adams Recital Hall.