Two Northern Michigan University alumni have been appointed to the State of Michigan's advisory board that will help to plan America250, a nationwide commemoration of the 250th anniversary and founding of the United States. Dan Truckey, a 1990 grad, is director of the Beaumier U.P. Heritage Center at NMU. Steve Brisson, a 1989 alumnus, is director of Mackinac State Historic Parks. Both recently participated in the advisory board's first meeting.
“I was 9 years old when the bi-centennial took place and have great memories of that commemoration, but America has changed a lot since then, in particular how we view our past,” said Truckey, who earned a bachelor's degree in history with a minor in music. “The fact that they are calling America250 a commemoration rather than celebration says something in that we want it to tell a fuller, more inclusive story of our country's past. I wanted to be involved to make sure that the commemoration in Michigan did just that, and fortunately the rest of the advisory committee feels the same way.”
The U.S. Semiquincentennial Commission has embarked on an ambitious vision for a 250th anniversary commemoration that will culminate on July 4, 2026. It aims to promote unity, education and civic engagement. Planning is underway for a series of national signature programs, from 4th of July events on main streets to traveling showcases and virtual reality experiences. The Michigan advisory board will create some of its own initiatives that will involve communities, citizens and—in particular—school children throughout the state.
Brisson earned a bachelor's in history from NMU, with a minor in religious studies. He was appointed director of Mackinac State Historic Parks in the fall of 2020 after ascending through previous roles of curator of collections, chief curator and deputy director.
“I'm pleased to join the committee to celebrate the 250th anniversary of the nation,” Brisson said. “We hope to highlight the fact that the American Revolution had an impact on the early residents of this region. I hope the committee can coordinate and champion celebrations across the state.”
For more information on the nationwide commemoration, visit america250.org.