Former White House physician visits Westminster College

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FULTON - The former White House physician who served Ronald Reagan visited Westminster College Thursday afternoon to discuss what Reagan's administration learned after the assassination attempt on the former president in 1981.

Dr. John Long was the first United States Secret Service physician to be hired after the assassination attempt. His responsibility was to teach each of the agents in the Western White House a modified EMT system and serve as a medical physician to the Secret Service agents and Reagan.

Westminster's Pi Sigma Alpha Honor Society, The Order of the Sword and history club came together to host Dr. Long with help from political science professor Tobias Gibson.

Dr. Long's daughter, Heather Long, also attended the presentation. Long said this is only the second time she's gotten to hear her father at a speaking engagement. She recalled the time she spent in Washington D.C. while her father was serving the Reagan administration with fond memories.

"I was about 15 during that time," Long said. "All I really cared about was how I looked and if my hair was okay."

Long said even though she may not have appreciated the historic value at the time, seeing her father educate students as a piece of living history makes her beam.

"It's so great for him to get to be here and I hope he can come back and just continue to educate," Long said.

For her father, speaking at Wesminster is also a "welcome home".

Dr. Long attended Westminster College for his undergraduate studies.

"It's such great fun getting to come back," Dr. Long said. "It's bigger, though. Bigger and much cleaner."

Gibson said Dr. Long's visit is particularly valuable to the college because of its new program for students to major in security studies. Gibson said he is looking forward to hosting Dr. Long in the future, especially as the program grows.