Page chosen for national summit focusing on presidential sites
By Maddie Cordeiro ’19
Jennifer Page ’20, an American studies major and history minor, was one of only 15 scholars nationally selected to attend the recent 2018 Presidential Sites Summit, hosted by the White House Historical Association.
Held every two years, the four-day conference is an opportunity for leaders and experts to gather and discuss topics concentrated on the year’s specific theme. This year’s theme, “Back to the White House,” focused primarily on the Executive Mansion and the role it has played throughout presidential history.
During her four days in Washington, Page was offered a special tour of the White House along with an invitation to attend a reception hosted by President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump. She said that having the opportunity to visit the Oval Office was by far one of her most amazing experiences. “To stand in the room where so many pivotal decisions have been made was incredible,” Page added.
The majority of attendees and speakers had strong connections to the White House and were well educated on the various presidential sites’ diverse histories. Page was given the opportunity to attend the many panel sessions offered throughout the summit. “As a history student, the panel discussions were a great chance for me to meet historians that I normally read about in my books, like Cokie Roberts, Mark Updegrove and Jon Meacham,” she said.
The “White House History” Twitter account congratulated Page and the 14 other student attendees, recognizing that scholars are “the future of our work, and we were proud to invest in that future this week.”
Page was able to network with various presidential site employees and historians, hearing their stories and learning first-hand about their experiences. “This experience was an amazing opportunity to see what careers are possible with the degree I’m pursuing and to network with professionals within the history field,” she said.