Americans With Presidential Lineage Form ‘Society of Presidential Descendants’ to Create Educational Opportunities About U.S. Presidency

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Tweed Roosevelt, Massee McKinley, Lynda Johnson Robb & Clifton Truman Daniel To Lead Initiative

A group of Americans with direct lineage to one or more of the 46 United States presidents announced today the formation of the Society of Presidential Descendants, which will reside at Long Island University. The organization will enable and support educational programs that focus on the history of the presidency and the importance of civic engagement in American democracy.

Educational initiatives will include the development of presidential curricula for schools, sponsorship of a biennial book award on presidential leadership, and presidential leadership conferences with presidential descendants as speakers.  The Society will also sponsor a high school writing competition and work with museums around the country on presidential exhibits.

Tweed Roosevelt, the great-grandson of President Theodore Roosevelt, serves as president of the Society and has dedicated much of his professional life to upholding the legacy and preserving the history of his great-grandfather’s presidency. As a professor and chairman of the Theodore Roosevelt Institute at Long Island University, Tweed Roosevelt led the effort to form the society along with Massee McKinley, Lynda Johnson Robb and Clifton Truman Daniel, who serve as vice president and chief of staff, vice president and vice president, respectively. Society of Presidential Descendants members are direct descendants of a President of the United States.

“The Society of the Presidential Descendants was founded to promote the historical legacy of the presidency and those individuals that have held the highest elected office in our great country,” said Tweed Roosevelt, chairman of the Theodore Roosevelt Institute, university professor at LIU, and great-grandson of the former president.  “Through family members with direct lineage to a U.S. President, the group seeks to bring further insight into the office of the presidency by offering educational events, programs, and seminars.”

“Led by Tweed Roosevelt, the Theodore Roosevelt Institute at Long Island University, serves as a home for research, public seminars, educational programs and conferences about Roosevelt, his times and contemporaries,” stated Long Island University President Kimberly R. Cline.  “We are proud to further build on the study of presidential leadership by working closely with the Society of Presidential Descendants.”

Members of the Society of Presidential Descendants will participate in the Society’s inaugural presidential gathering in Long Island, New York, held June 10-12, 2022, with events planned at Long Island University and Theodore Roosevelt’s Sagamore Hill. The weekend will include a welcome dinner with fellow descendants, a public symposium with distinguished speakers, a private tour at Sagamore Hill, and a gala dinner where a prestigious honoree will be presented with the Society’s medal.

According to Massee McKinley, the great-great nephew of the 25th U.S. President William McKinley, and the great-great grandson of the 24th U.S. President Grover Cleveland, “The Society of Presidential Descendants holds tremendous promise in promoting the legacy of the United States presidency, its 46 unique leaders and the way these leaders are portrayed in studying their leadership styles.  It is my sincere hope that the Society becomes the authority in educating America about each president, their leadership styles and how civics can play a vital role in this educational endeavor.  I am encouraged about the future of America and its potential for leadership.”

Lynda Johnson Robb, the daughter of the 36th U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson and his First Lady Lady Bird Johnson, commented, “In this time of polarization, I hope that this Society can encourage the study of our country’s history and how its Presidents have influenced it. We look forward to having an impact on the dialogue of what unites us as a country.”

Clifton Truman Daniel, grandson of the 33rd U.S. President Harry S. Truman and First Lady Bess Truman, concluded, “I hope that we can, in some small way, help the nation toward, if not unity, at least collegial and constructive disagreement. In the ranks of presidential descendants, historic friendship endures while political rancor fades away.”

Visit the societyofpresidentialdescendants.org website.

About Long Island University

Long Island University, founded in 1926, continues to redefine higher education, providing high quality academic instruction by world-class faculty. Recognized by Forbes for its emphasis on experiential learning and by the Brookings Institution for its “value added” to student outcomes, LIU offers over 250 degree programs, with a network of 270,000 alumni that includes industry leaders and entrepreneurs across the globe. Visit liu.edu for more information.