Friday, October 23, 2015
Mercyhurst University President Michael T. Victor and his wife, Craige Pepper Victor, hosted a celebration of the 20th Anniversary of the Ridge-Schweiker Administration in Pennsylvania on Thursday, Oct. 22, in Hershey. The event, a cocktail reception and dinner at the Hotel Hershey, supports The Thomas J. & Michele Ridge Collection at Mercyhurst University.
Gov. Ridge and his wife, Michele, and Gov. Schweiker and his wife, Kathy, were guests of honor. Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett and his wife, Susan, were also present. Meanwhile, once opened for research use, The Thomas J. & Michele Ridge Collection at Mercyhurst University will feature more than 1 million pages of documents, 3,000 audio-visual items, 10,000 photographs and 1,500 artifacts. The collection mainly spans 1995 to 2001 and chronicles the significant events of the Ridge-Schweiker Administration. In time, the collection is expected to grow to include materials from Gov. Ridge’s six terms in Congress and as the first director of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
A wealth of significant primary material, such as the Governor and First Lady’s schedules and speeches during their tenure in Harrisburg, is included in the collection. For example, the collection includes Governor Ridge’s final speech to a joint session of the state legislature before departing for Washington in the aftermath of 9/11. The First Lady’s papers provide insight into her numerous public appearances and causes, ranging from the PA Partnership for Children to the Pennsylvania Breast Cancer Coalition. Personal effects, including photos and awards that pre- and post-date the governorship, will also be included.
“Preserving our history in this way is not only an honor, but indeed, a duty that we are charged with passing on to future generations,” Victor told the estimated 130 attendees. “The collection will preserve and showcase all the many treasures from which students, scholars, and the public will benefit in perpetuity.”