Gateway to the Future raises money for special projects, daily operations


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Offering more hands-on kids’ programs, becoming an official arboretum and putting UV windows in the library, home and museum are among the goals of the annual Gateway to the Future appeal.

The Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Library & Museums would like to raise $115,000 by June 30 through this fundraising campaign.

Lou Schultz, of Sandusky, decided to be one of the Gateway to the Future campaign chairmen this year because he has felt connected to the Hayes Presidential Library & Museums since he first visited in the third grade.

“I was hooked and began reading everything I could find about local history and the Civil War,” said Schultz, who majored in history and became a teacher and chairman of the history department at the Columbus Academy, an elite pre-kindergarten through 12-grade school in Columbus. “When I see busloads of local fourth-graders touring the Hayes Home and museum each year, I know what a powerful impact these visits can have on younger generations of visitors.”

That’s why completing these projects through Gateway to the Future is so important, he said.

“We have to keep our message current and fresh to tell the story of a man and his era to the world,” said Walter “Sandy” Hayes, who is a Gateway to the Future campaign chairman with his wife, Jean.

Walter “Sandy” Hayes is a descendant of President Rutherford and First Lady Lucy Hayes and has a deep connection to Spiegel Grove. He grew up in nearby Perrysburg and spent Christmases in the 1940s at the Hayes Home. In college, he worked in the library during the summers and researched his master’s thesis there.

“The current projects are another step in the direction of a better telling of our story,” he said. “This museum has evolved over the years from the old museum model of labeling artifacts in a display case to a much greater degree of explaining how the historic items fit in the big picture of our history.

“We need to continue to improve the telling of our story.”

Other projects that the Hayes Presidential Library & Museums would like to fund through Gateway to the Future are painting the wood trim on the outside of the Hayes Home lantern, the set of windows at the top of the home that offers a 360-degree view of Spiegel Grove and adding a display case for President Hayes’ papers and books in the library.

Gateway to the Future also would continue to fund daily operations and HPLM’s educational programs and classes.

“I’m involved in this campaign because I think it is important for the Hayes family to support the library, the museum and the preservation of the house in a visible, public way,” Jean Hayes said. “The Hayes Presidential Library & Museums is a place where interesting and valuable family records and artifacts are kept safe and made available to the public.

“These items belong not just to the family, but to all Americans and our history.”