Barry McNamara  |   Published March 09, 2016

CNN commentator

Cordery to serve as panelist during coverage of Nancy Reagan’s funeral
  • History Chair Stacy Cordery
Monmouth College history professor Stacy Cordery will be a commentator for CNN’s March 11 coverage of Nancy Reagan’s funeral.

“Nancy Reagan was a complicated and interesting First Lady,” said Cordery, bibliographer of the National First Ladies Library, who has frequently been cited by the media on matters involving First Ladies. “Her term began at the crest of the modern women’s movement, but she chose to accent traditional aspects of her position.”

Nancy Davis and former Monmouth resident Ronald Reagan were married for 52 years. The nation’s 40th president, who died in 2004, announced in 1994 that he was battling Alzheimer’s.

“We remember Nancy Reagan not as an activist, but as critically influential spouse whose top priority was always her husband,” said Cordery. “Their love for each other was legendary, and this affected her decisions to curb her husband’s hawkishness, to downplay divisive issues within the GOP, to keep a firm hand in his scheduling, and, after the presidency, to advocate for Alzheimer’s research while she nursed him through their ‘long goodbye.’”

“Newsroom” host Brooke Baldwin will anchor CNN’s special coverage from noon to 3 p.m. Central time. Along with panelists David Gergen and Douglas Brinkley, Cordery will contribute to the discussion of Nancy Reagan’s life and legacy.

Cordery joined Monmouth’s faculty in 1992, shortly after earning her Ph.D. at the University of Texas, where she studied under Lewis Gould, who is also nationally-known as an authority on First Ladies. Gould is now a visiting distinguished professor at Monmouth. Cordery, who has authored biographies on Alice Roosevelt Longworth, Theodore Roosevelt and Girl Scout founder Juliette Gordon Low, also received her master’s and bachelor’s degrees from the University of Texas. Chair of Monmouth’s history department, Cordery recently led the development of the college’s innovative history curriculum.
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