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GRR dedicates President Gerald R. Ford Tribute Room

Patrick Center

President Gerald R. Ford is being honored at the airport bearing his name with an exhibition room celebrating the nation’s 38th President. WGVU was on hand for the ribbon cutting and dedication.

In 1999 the Kent County International Airport was renamed the Gerald R. Ford International Airport.

“Dad was so honored to have this airport named after him, he was humbled by it, but he was so honored by it.” Son Steven Ford recalls his father’s bust greeting travelers. “And I used to walk through this lobby and I’d always stop and look at that bust, read the quotes on there and it was kind of sitting right over here. There was a newsstand right here in the middle and it was kind of hidden in that corner.”

The legacy of President Ford now a museum tribute room.

"We wanted to bring bring forth the values that this president lived."  Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation Airport Tribute Room Chairman Fred Keller. "And we have values like honesty, courage, compassion, integrity and character...and we wanted to have some idea of the president's life of his growing up years, his congressional years ...and then we wanted to have something in this display that would be an attractor. So we have the wonderful opportunity to display the new class of aircraft carrier the USS Gerald R. Ford."

With 2.6 million passengers passing through the airport in 2016, the tribute room should well received.

Patrick Center, WGVU News.

Patrick joined WGVU Public Media in December, 2008 after eight years of investigative reporting at Grand Rapids' WOOD-TV8 and three years at WYTV News Channel 33 in Youngstown, Ohio. As News and Public Affairs Director, Patrick manages our daily radio news operation and public interest television programming. An award-winning reporter, Patrick has won multiple Michigan Associated Press Best Reporter/Anchor awards and is a three-time Academy of Television Arts & Sciences EMMY Award winner with 14 nominations.