The Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation Announces Its Lifetime Institutional Membership in the First Ladies Association for Research and Education (FLARE)
Grand Rapids, Michigan, September 20, 2021 – The Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation is proud to announce its partnership with the First Ladies Association for Research and Education, FLARE. The Foundation is the first of the Presidential Foundations to join FLARE as a lifetime institutional member. FLARE was launched on June 21, 2021 (FLARE | First Ladies Association of Research and Education (flare-net.org), in affiliation with American University’s School of Public Affairs.
In our association with FLARE, the Foundation is honoring Betty Ford’s unique contributions as first lady. In 1984, she convened the first ever conference on first ladies at the Ford Presidential Museum saying, “I want this conference to be a substantive and serious inquiry into the evolutional role of First Lady – her public duties, her special interests, and the joys and tensions of an extraordinary responsibility.” First ladies are not elected officials, nor do they have constitutional or statutory authority, yet the causes they choose and promote can have a profound impact on the lives of millions of people in the U.S. and globally. In an extraordinary act of courage, Betty Ford saved many lives by speaking out publicly and announcing her breast cancer.
The President of FLARE, Myra Gutin, welcomed the Foundation saying, "I am very pleased that the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation has decided to become an Inaugural Lifetime Institutional Member of FLARE. Betty Ford was a trail blazer in promoting an understanding of the American first lady. We look forward to working together with the GRFPF on programs and projects that will illuminate the achievements of Mrs. Ford and other first ladies of the United States."
In announcing this new partnership, Gleaves Whitney, executive director of the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation, said, “Betty Ford was a pioneer in so many arenas and we can’t think of a better platform to educate the public about her legacy of character and candor as well as her contributions to healthcare and women’s rights. We at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation are proud to advance the mission of the First Ladies Association for Research and Education, shining a light on the important work of Betty Ford and all of our nation’s first ladies.”
About the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation
The Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation fosters increased awareness of the life, career, values and legacy of America’s 38th President. It does so through activities designed to promote the high ideals of integrity, honesty, and candor that defined President Ford’s extraordinary career of public service. The Foundation promotes the ideals, values, commitment to public service and historical legacy of President Gerald R. Ford and further promotes greater civic engagement and recognition of integrity wherever it exists in the public arena. It supports permanent and changing exhibits designed to promote historical literacy; conferences; educational outreach and other programs, both scholarly and popular, including at the Gerald R. Ford Library and Museum.
For more information about the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation, please visit: geraldrfordfoundation.org
About the First Ladies Association for Research and Education
FLARE is the first professional association whose mission “is to create and sustain a network to promote and publicize research and education about the contributions, lives, impacts, and lasting legacies of U.S. First Ladies serving as the primary association to encourage interdisciplinary collaboration and outreach among scholars, institutions, first ladies’ staff, biographers, archivists, journalists, and public historians interested in research and education about the lasting legacies of U.S. First Ladies.”(flare-net.org)