George W. Bush

Cancer prevention pioneer Groesbeck Parham to receive honorary doctorate during SMU’s 2016 Commencement

Groesbeck ParhamA simple procedure developed by Groesbeck Parham has saved the lives of thousands of women in Africa. Cervical cancer, easily screened with a Pap test and treated in developed countries, is fatal to 81 percent of Zambian women who have limited access to health care. Dr. Parham has developed a simple, affordable screening procedure using household vinegar as an indicator of abnormal cells.

Parham will receive a Doctor of Science, honoris causa, from SMU during its 101st Commencement Saturday, May 14, 2016. In addition, he present a free, public symposium on his work from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 11. The event, co-sponsored by the World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth, begins with a 2 p.m. reception in Harold Clark Simmons Hall.

For Zambian women, cervical cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer and particularly dangerous to HIV-infected women. Parham helped develop a simple and inexpensive screening procedure that has been used by 350,000 Zambian women and has been adopted by health providers in countries from South Africa to China.

Four SMU students traveled in 2013 with former President George W. Bush and Laura Bush and SMU Global Health Professor Eric Bing to volunteer with Parham in Zambia. Other SMU students also have worked with Parham to develop cervical cancer research applications.

Parham is a gynecologic oncologist and professor of gynecology at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. He has spent much of the past 30 years in Africa, however, where he is helping lead and implement Zambia’s first national cervical cancer control program.

Parham’s work to combat cervical and breast cancer in Africa and Latin America is supported by Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon, a partnership founded by the George W. Bush Institute, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, UNAIDS and the Zambian government.

Parham will receive an honorary degree at SMU’s May 14 Commencement Convocation.

Pulitzer Prize-winning historian David McCullough honored with SMU’s 2015 Tower Medal of Freedom

George W Bush, David McCullough, Laura Bush, Jeanne Tower Cox, and Penny Tower Cook

(l. to r.) President George W. Bush, David McCullough, First Lady Laura Bush, SMU trustee Jeanne Tower Cox and her sister, Penny Tower Cook.

Historian David McCullough received the Medal of Freedom from SMU’s John Goodwin Tower Center for Political Studies on Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2015.

President and Mrs. George W. Bush presented the award to the Pulitzer Prize-winning writer, often called “America’s greatest historian,” during an event held at the home of Kelli and Gerald J. Ford. The evening’s highlights included a featured conversation between McCullough and his longtime friend, former U.S. Sen. Alan Simpson (R-WY).

McCullough also spoke to the SMU campus community at a question-and-answer session earlier in the day moderated by Tower Center Scholar Sara Jendrusch in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Theater.

The award is given by the Tower Center every two years to an individual or individuals who have contributed to the advancement of democratic ideals and to the security, prosperity and welfare of humanity.

McCullough, who said he had “always been impressed with SMU,” quizzed his audience of SMU students, faculty and staff and expressed approval that taking history is an SMU graduation requirement. “I was stunned to learn that something like 80 percent of colleges these days don’t require it,” he said.

> Read David McCullough’s advice on writing at Overheard @ SMU

The historian said he has about 25 more book ideas he’d like to see in print. He credited much of his success to the editing skills of his wife, Rosalee, “my editor-in-chief for 50 years.” He spoke lovingly about the craft of writing and confessed that he still composes his work using technology now consigned to history for most people – a 1960s typewriter.

And history, McCullough said, is how you make life matter.

“It’s not a series of chronological events. It’s human,” McCullough said. “That’s why Jefferson wrote, ‘When in the course of human events…” in the Declaration of Independence.”

> Read the full story at SMU News

By | 2015-11-20T15:09:12+00:00 November 20, 2015|Categories: News|Tags: , , , , , |

SMU celebrates historic 100th Commencement May 15-16, 2015

December Commencement 2013, blue mortarboards in Moody Coliseum, SMU

SMU will celebrate its 100th Commencement May 15-16, 2015 with an address by former President George W. Bush and a weekend of events for faculty, alumni, community members and more than 2,000 graduating students.

The 43rd president of the United States will speak at the all-University ceremony, which begins at 9 a.m. Saturday, May 16, in Moody Coliseum. Guests are urged to arrive early. Security screening will be in place, and seating in the coliseum is limited to four guests per student. Doors will open at 7 a.m.

The ceremony will be simulcast live at the following locations; no entry ticket is required:

  • Bolin Plaza, at the west entrance of Moody Coliseum (outdoor screen)
  • Dedman Center for Lifetime Sports
  • Crum Auditorium, Collins Executive Education Building
  • McFarlin Auditorium

The ceremony will also be webcast live at smu.edu/livevideo

Follow SMU’s 100th Commencement weekend on Twitter at #SMU2015

SMU will confer three honorary degrees during the 2015 Commencement ceremonies:

  • Meave Leakey will receive the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa, for her achievements as one of the world’s most distinguished paleoanthropologists. She is a research associate at the National Museums of Kenya, director of Plio-Pleistocene research at the Turkana Basin Institute, Nairobi, and research professor in anthropology at Stony Brook University, New York. In 2002 she was named a National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence. Leakey is a foreign associate of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and an honorary fellow of the Geological Society of London.
  • Irene Hirano Inouye will receive the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa, for her leadership in international relations. While still in her 20s, she began tailoring her career toward service as director of a Los Angeles medical clinic providing affordable care for poor and uninsured women. She helped build the Japanese American National Museum, which opened in 1992, and became the founding president of the U.S.-Japan Council in 2008. Inouye currently serves as chair of the board of the Ford Foundation. She also serves on the executive boards of Independent Sector, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the Smithsonian Institution, the American Association of Museums, and the President’s Committee.
  • Helen LaKelly Hunt will receive the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa, both for her work for healthy marriages and family and her efforts in helping to build the global women’s funding movement. The SMU alumna is the founder of The Sister Fund, a private foundation that supports women’s social, political, economic and spiritual empowerment. She has helped establish several other organizations, including Dallas Women’s FoundationNew York Women’s Foundation, Women’s Funding Network and Women Moving Millions. Her books include Faith and Feminism: A Holy Alliance, as well as seven books on intimate relationships and parenting co-authored with her husband, Harville Hendrix.

Make plans to attend the 2015 Honorary Degree Symposia Friday, May 15

The weekend’s activities include the Baccalaureate Service Friday, May 15, in McFarlin Auditorium. The service will be followed by Rotunda Recessional, a tradition in which seniors march through the Rotunda of Dallas Hall, marking the end of their undergraduate years and the beginning of their lifelong association with SMU as alumni.

More information at the SMU Registrar’s Commencement homepage: smu.edu/commencement

Some major events at a glance:

  • May 15 – Free public symposium honoring Doctor of Humane Letters honoris causa recipient Helen LaKelly Hunt, 10:30 a.m.-noon, Smith Auditorium, Meadows Museum
  • May 15 – Free public symposium honoring Doctor of Humane Letters honoris causa recipient Meave Leakey, 2-4 p.m., McCord Auditorium, 306 Dallas Hall
  • May 15 – Free public symposium honoring Doctor of Humane Letters honoris causa recipient Irene Hirano Inouye, 3:30-5 p.m., Hillcrest Appellate Courtroom and Classroom, Underwood Law Library
  • May 15-16 – Class of 1965 Golden Reunion, various times and locations
  • May 15 – Baccalaureate Service for undergraduates with SMU Associate Professor of Communication Studies, founding partner of Mustang Consulting and ordained minister Maria Dixon Hall delivering the featured speech, followed by Rotunda Recessional, 8 p.m., McFarlin Auditorium
  • May 16 – Faculty Breakfast and Distinguished University Citizen Awards presentation, 7:45 a.m., Champions Club, Miller Events Center, Moody Coliseum (for RSVPed faculty members only – walk-ups cannot be accommodated)
  • May 16 – All-University Commencement, 9 a.m., Moody Coliseum
  • May 16 – Commencement Buffet Luncheon, 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., Arnold Dining Commons
  • May 16 – School and departmental diploma presentations, various times and locations

> Find a full schedule of events at the SMU News homepage

Former President George W. Bush will deliver address at SMU’s 2015 Commencement Saturday, May 16

George W BushGeorge W. Bush, the 43rd president of the United States, will deliver the address at SMU’s Commencement ceremony Saturday, May 16, in Moody Coliseum on the main campus.

“This Commencement is especially noteworthy because 2015 is the 100-year anniversary of SMU’s opening. So it is fitting that we should hear from a president who led our nation and the world during historic times and is a valued member of the campus community,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner.

SMU expects to award more than 2,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees in the University-wide ceremony.

This is the first time that an SMU Commencement speaker has returned for a second presentation. Mr. Bush’s first Commencement speech at SMU was in 1999, when he was governor of Texas.

George W. Bush has been a long-time member of the SMU family through his marriage to Laura, an SMU alumna, who is currently a member of the SMU Board of Trustees. However, since his 2007 decision to locate his Presidential Center at SMU, he has become an active member of the University community, attending events and visiting classes.

“The Presidential Center and SMU are enjoying numerous partnerships through joint programming and faculty research as well as internships for SMU students,” Turner said. “Through the Center, more than 700,000 people have visited SMU, most of whom never before would have come to our campus. We are grateful for the resources and benefits of the Presidential Center and President Bush’s participation as Commencement speaker during this special time.”

George W. Bush received his bachelor’s degree in history from Yale University and an M.B.A. from the Harvard Business School. After a successful career in business, including as an owner of the Texas Rangers, he was elected governor of Texas in 1994. When he was re-elected in November 1998, he became the first governor in Texas history to be elected to consecutive four-year terms. He is the author of two New York Times number one bestsellers, Decision Points and 41: A Portrait of my Father.

Following the University-wide Commencement, SMU’s schools and departments will hold individual ceremonies throughout the day to present degrees and honor graduates.

Written by Patricia Ann LaSalle

> Read more from SMU News

Former Colombia president Álvaro Uribe delivers Tate Lecture May 7

Uribe

The 58th President of Colombia,  Álvaro Uribe, visits SMU Tuesday, May 7 for the last lecture of the 2012-13 Tate Distinguished Lecture Series. He will give the Willis M. Tate Lecture at 8 p.m. in McFarlin Auditorium. The 2013-14 Tate Lecture season will be announced at the beginning of this event.

Uribe had a history of public service and politics before serving as President of Colombia (2002-10). He got his start in 1976 as head of the Real Estate Office of the Public Works Department of Medellín, the following year he was Secretary General of  the Labor Ministry and from 1980-82 he was head of the Civil Aviation Department. Uribe served his final positions in Medellín as mayor in 1982 and city councilman from 1984-1986.

Uribe was elected Governor of the department of Antioquia for 1995-97 and was elected Senator for 1986-1990 and 1990-94. His work in Antioquia focused on schooling opportunities for students and healthcare for the poor; he received the Star Senator, Senator with the Best Programs and Best Senator awards.

> Follow Álvaro Uribe on Twitter @AlvaroUrbieVel

Campaignuribevelez

Photo from Uribe’s campaign, “firm hand, big heart” (c/o)

Uribe was elected President of Colombia in 2002 and was re-elected in 2006; he was the first president to be consecutively re-elected in Colombia in over a century. He is recognized for transforming the “failed state”; while he was in office homicides and kindnappings were dramatically reduced. In 2009, George W. Bush awarded President Uribe a Presidential Medal of Freedom “for his work to improve the lives of (his) citizens and for (his) efforts to promote democracy, human rights and peace abroad.”

In fall 2010, after the end of Uribe’s presidency, he came to the United States and spent a year at Georgetown University. He was the Distinguished Scholar in the Practice of Global Leadership at Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service. During this year he taught students in different disciplines and conducted seminars. In 2012 News Corporation welcomed Uribe to the Board of Directors.

Uribe received his degree in law from Universidad de Antioquia and his post-graduate degree from Harvard University in Management and Administration. He currently lives in Colombia with his wife and two sons.

The evening lecture is sold out, but SMU faculty, staff and students may attend for free (with ID) if seats become available. It is recommended to get to McFarlin at 7 p.m., seats are filled on a first come first served basis.

Uribe will answer questions from University community members and local high school students in the Turner Construction/Wells Fargo Student Forum at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 7 in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Ballroom.

The Forum is free, but seating is limited. SMU faculty, staff and students are encouraged to attend; RSVP online to ensure a place. To ask Uribe a question via Twitter, send a tweet to @SMUtate with @AlvaroUrbieVel and the hashtag #SMUtate.

Visit the SMU Tate Distinguished Lecture Series homepage at smu.edu/tateseries

Tune In: SMU welcomes the Bush Library on Founders’ Day 2013

The 43rd president of the United States was the unadvertised guest of honor Friday, April 19, 2013 at an outdoor ceremony welcoming the George W. Bush Presidential Center to campus. More than 3,000 SMU alumni, students, faculty and staff cheered and waved as Bush strode to the speaker’s platform and later expressed his thanks to the University.

“Laura, SMU class of 1968, and I are thrilled with our association with Southern Methodist University,” Bush said. “We had high expectations about the collaborative effort and the joint programs. Those expectations have been exceeded in a very short period of time.”

SMU is preparing to welcome the worldwide visitors who will attend dedication of the George W. Bush Presidential Center events on campus April 24-26. Click the YouTube screen to watch the welcome event video, or visit this link to open video of SMU’s welcome ceremony for the Bush Presidential Center in a new windowvideo

> Read more about the welcome event from SMU News
> Find complete information (parking, traffic and more) on the Bush Library opening

George W. Bush Presidential Center breaks ground at SMU

Bush Presidential Center groundbreaking at SMU

More than 3,000 guests filled a massive tent on the site of the George W. Bush Presidential Center to celebrate groundbreaking for the building. Fifteen officials took up shovels to turn dirt, marking the official start of construction, with completion scheduled for 2013.

“Today is another milestone along a timeline that began for us in December 2000, when we began our effort to bring the George W. Bush Presidential Center to the University,” SMU President R. Gerald Turner told the crowd.

“We knew that this Presidential Center would benefit from its association with SMU because of the academic resources, vitality of dialogue and research programs we offer. Having the historic resources of the Library and Museum will provide remarkable opportunities for research and educational experiences for more than 200,000 K-13 students in the Metroplex,” Turner said.

George W. Bush welcomed the crowd, saying “To those of you who are not privileged to live in Texas, welcome to the great state. And welcome to one of the finest universities in the whole United States, Southern Methodist.” He said the groundbreaking “is an important milestone” and “the beginning of a journey. We take the first step toward the construction of this presidential center, which will be a dynamic hub of ideas and actions based upon timeless principles.”

Participating in the groundbreaking for the Bush Presidential Center were (left to right above) David S. Ferriero, Archivist of the United States; Ray Hunt, co-chair of the Bush Foundation Finance Committee, SMU trustee and chairman of Hunt Oil Company; Caren Prothro, chair of the SMU Board of Trustees; Alan Lowe, director of the Bush Presidential Library and Museum; Robert Stern, architect for the Bush Presidential Center; R. Gerald Turner, president of SMU; Condoleezza Rice, chair of the Bush Institute Advisory Board and former U.S. Secretary of State; George W. Bush; Laura Bush; Dick Cheney, former U.S. Vice President and former SMU trustee; Mark Langdale, president of the George W. Bush Foundation; Don Evans, co-chair of the Bush Foundation Finance Committee and former U.S. Secretary of Commerce; Michael Van Valkenburgh, landscape architect for the Bush Presidential Center; the Rev. Mark Craig, SMU trustee and pastor of Highland Park United Methodist Church; and Jake Torres, SMU student body president.

The Center includes the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum and the George W. Bush Institute.

> Read the whole story from SMU News
> Dignitaries visit with SMU students
> Watch video of the groundbreaking video
> See a slideshow of groundbreaking day slideshow
> Learn more about SMU and the Bush Center
> Visit the official Bush Center website

Former president, First Lady to receive Tower Center Medal of Freedom

Laura and George W. BushFormer President George W. Bush and former First Lady Laura Bush (’68) will each receive the Medal of Freedom from SMU’s John Goodwin Tower Center for Political Studies in Dedman College during formal ceremonies April 21, 2010. The Medal of Freedom is presented every two years to an individual, or individuals, who have furthered the cause of freedom throughout the world.

“During one of the most challenging times in the nation’s history, President and Mrs. Bush worked tirelessly to promote freedom initiatives throughout the world, and they continue those efforts through programs at the George W. Bush Presidential Center,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “We are proud to present them with the Tower Center Medal of Freedom.”

The Tower Center supports teaching and research programs in international and domestic politics with an emphasis on global studies and national security policy. Additionally, it educates undergraduates in international relations, comparative politics and political institutions.

The Tower Center Medal of Freedom recognizes individuals who have contributed to the advancement of democratic ideals and to the security, prosperity and welfare of humanity. This year’s event chairs are Gene Jones, Linda Gibbons and Nancy Halbreich.

U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell received the first Tower Center Medal of Freedom in 1997. Other recipients include former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, former President George H. W. Bush, General Tommy R. Franks (U.S.A., Ret.), U.S. Senator John McCain and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

The Tower Center Medal of Freedom event is the largest fundraiser for the Tower Center. The Center sponsors several conferences a year, works with other international organizations such as the Dallas Council on World Affairs, and supports faculty research and travel. Each year the Tower Center Board of Directors awards undergraduate fellowships to SMU students interested in studying in Washington, D.C., or in U.S. embassies abroad. Another Tower Center program places SMU students in summer internships in the U.S. State Department.

“President and Mrs. Bush honor not only the Tower Center and SMU by accepting this award, but also the late Sen. John Tower,” said James Hollifield, director of the Tower Center and professor of political science. “Security, prosperity and human freedom – ideals important to Sen. Tower – were marks of their tenure in the White House.”

The Tower Center was established in memory and honor of former U.S. Sen. John Tower, who earned a master’s degree in political science from SMU in 1953. He also taught in the Political Science Department after his retirement from the Senate. Tower represented Texas in the U.S. Senate from 1961 to 1985. He served as chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee and, after retiring from the Senate, as U.S. strategic nuclear arms negotiator with the Soviet Union in Geneva. He died in 1991.

Laura Bush unveils plans for Presidential Center

Laura Bush with Bush Presidential Center modelFormer First Lady Laura Bush visited the SMU campus Nov. 18 to unveil architectural and landscaping designs for the George W. Bush Presidential Center. The following account comes courtesy of The George W. Bush Presidential Center:


DALLAS–Mrs. Laura W. Bush, Architect Robert A. M. Stern and Landscape Architect Matthew Urbanski today unveiled the design of the George W. Bush Presidential Center, a modern brick and limestone structure that complements the American Georgian character of the SMU campus, set within a low-maintenance, quintessentially Texas landscape.

The light-filled building is both presidential and welcoming, includes elements that evoke both Texas and Washington, and will house the three components of the George W. Bush Presidential Center: an Archive, a Museum and a policy Institute.

“I applaud the work of Robert Stern and Michael Van Valkenburgh in designing a building and landscape that will capture the dignity of the office of the Presidency, while at the same time being warm and welcoming to visitors,” President George W. Bush said. “Laura and I are thrilled with the plans.”

“The building and landscape evoke elements of the full span of George and Laura Bush’s life and service, from their ranch in Crawford to the White House, and help us share the story of a couple committed to public service based on the core principles of freedom, opportunity, responsibility and compassion,” said Mark Langdale, President of the George W. Bush Presidential Library Foundation.

Artist rendering of the Bush Presidential Center“The George W. Bush Presidential Center reflects a unique design that is appropriate in representing the first U.S. President of the 21st Century,” said R. Gerald Turner, President of Southern Methodist University. “At the same time, it reflects major components of SMU’s Collegiate Georgian architectural tradition of nearly 100 years. As a modern expression of our heritage, this facility will be a welcome addition to the stately buildings and grounds that make the SMU campus a special place for learning,” Turner said.

The building and landscape are designed to achieve LEED platinum certification and include numerous sustainable design strategies, including locally sourced building materials (several types of Texas limestone, stained pecan interior paneling), 20 percent recycled materials, solar hot water panels, native landscaping to reduce irrigation and a storm-water management system that conveys, cleanses and collects surface runoff and roof rainwater, and will provide 50 percent of the irrigation needed for the site.

The building and landscape are integrated, with numerous links between indoor and outdoor spaces. Visitors to the museum will enter the building through Freedom Hall, a large, light-filled open space that will tie the different aspects of the museum experience together. On one side of Freedom Hall, visitors will be able to tour the Museum’s permanent exhibit, which will include a replica of the Oval Office as it was during President Bush’s tenure, complete with an outdoor Texas Rose Garden that mimics the proportion and scale of the White House Rose Garden. The Museum will tell the story of the presidency by examining key decisions and the core principles that defined President Bush’s service: freedom, opportunity, responsibility and compassion.

The opposite side of Freedom Hall will house the temporary exhibit space, a ceremonial courtyard and a café. The Institute portion of the building will include a conference center with a 364-seat auditorium with simultaneous translation and broadcast capabilities, along with numerous offices for scholars and a presidential suite for receptions and other functions. The Institute will have its own entrance on axis with Binkley Avenue. The Archives will be the home for the official documents and artifacts of the Bush administration, where they will be presented to the public for study and discussion.

The landscape will be an attraction in and of itself, with seasonable displays in the wildflower meadow, large tree-shaded lawns for sitting, picnicking or playing, numerous gardens and courtyards, tall grass prairie with seasonal wildflowers, and savannah and woodland clearings that provide a range of native habitat for butterflies, birds and other wildlife species.

The landscape will function as an urban park that will engage a broad range of users, including library and special event visitors, SMU students, faculty and staff and the University Park community. It provides numerous spaces for events and gatherings, including performances in the outdoor amphitheater and intramural sports on the west lawn.

Robert A.M. Stern Architects, LLP, is a 220-person firm of architects, interior designers, and supporting staff. The firm is dedicated to the idea that architecture must engage in a conversation across time, connecting the present and future with the past. Robert A.M. Stern Architects brings to the design of the George W. Bush Presidential Center significant experience with the planning and design of museums that present a contemporary architectural response to the legacy of an important American cultural figure, including the Norman Rockwell Museum at Stockbridge, Massachusetts; the Roger Tory Peterson Institute in Jamestown, New York; and the Museum Center at the Mark Twain House & Museum in Hartford, Connecticut. Stern, practicing architect, teacher, and writer, is Dean of the Yale School of Architecture. He is a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects, and received the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Medal from the Municipal Art Society of New York in 2009 and the tenth Vincent Scully Prize from the National Building Museum in 2008. In 2007 he received both the Athena Award from the Congress for the New Urbanism and the Board of Directors’ Honor from the Institute of Classical Architecture and Classical America. Joining Mr. Stern in the design effort were partners Augusta Barone, Alexander P. Lamis, and Graham S. Wyatt, and project architect Jim Pearson.

Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, Inc., Landscape Architects (MVVA) is known across North America and internationally for innovative landscapes that address contemporary social and environmental issues while also achieving, as with the George W. Bush Presidential Center, a timeless style that appeals to a broad range of the American public. Founded in 1982, MVVA has received numerous awards and previously worked with First Lady Laura Bush on the redesign of Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the White House. Michael Van Valkenburgh was the 2003 recipient of the Smithsonian Institution’s Cooper Hewitt National Design Award for Environmental Design and is a 1988 winner of the prestigious American Academy in Rome Prize. He has taught both full and part time at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design since 1982. The key senior staff members working on the Library with Michael are firm Principals, Laura Solano and Matthew Urbanski, and Herb Sweeney, Associate and Project Manager.

Mrs. Laura W. Bush chaired the design committee for the Bush Presidential Center. Members of the committee included: Roland Betts, Founder and Chairman of Chelsea Piers, L.P.; The Honorable Mark Langdale, President, George W. Bush Foundation; Deedie Rose, Philanthropist; Witold Rybczynski, Martin & Margy Meyerson Professor of Urbanism and Professor of Real Estate, University of Pennsylvania; Sidney J. Sanders, Vice President, Facilities and Construction, The Methodist Hospital System; and R. Gerald Turner, President, Southern Methodist University.

The Presidential Center will be located at Southern Methodist University, five miles north of downtown Dallas. It will occupy a 23.11-acre site on the main campus, near the corner of SMU Boulevard and North Central Expressway (U.S. Highway 75). The site is near a light rail station.


Find more links and media coverage from SMU News
Learn more about LEED certification from the U.S. Green Building Council
Visit the George W. Bush Presidential Center website

Former President Bush defines focus of new institute

Laura and George W. BushFormer President George W. Bush told an SMU audience Nov. 12 that the George W. Bush Institute will focus on education, global health, human freedom and economic growth. The Institute will be part of the Bush Presidential Center, which will include the presidential library and museum.

Construction on the center will begin in fall 2010, but the institute’s first initiatives are under way with the selection of key leaders and plans for conferences beginning this spring.

“The Institute will be a vital hub of critical thought and practical action,” Bush told about 1,500 SMU faculty, students, staff and presidential library donors at McFarlin Auditorium. “It will be independent, nonpartisan and designed to make an impact in the world.”

The Institute first will focus on education reform, beginning with the appointment of nationally renowned education scholar James Guthrie to serve as the institute’s director of education policy studies; he will serve as senior fellow at the institute. Simultaneously, SMU’s Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development announced that he will hold a concurrent appointment as professor in the school, the first such appointment to be made between SMU and the Bush Institute.

Guthrie is currently Patricia and Rodes Hart Professor of Educational Leadership and Policy and director of the Peabody Center for Education Policy at Vanderbilt University. He joins the Institute and the University on Jan. 1, 2010

Sandy Kress, national education leader and former Dallas Independent School District board chair, also will serve as education fellow at the Institute, directing education policy development and outreach.

Guthrie and Kress will lead a national education conference in March 2010 on education leadership, policy and school reform.

In addition, as part of the Bush Institute’s focus on economic growth, including energy independence, the institute will partner with the Maguire Energy Institute in Cox School of Business to host an April 2010 conference focused on the benefits of natural gas production in the United States.

In the area of global health, Bush announced the appointment of Ambassador Mark Dybul, U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator from 2006 to 2009, as the institute’s first global health fellow. Dr. Dybul will retain his position as distinguished scholar at Georgetown University. In both capacities he will research strategies to provide comprehensive health services to mothers, newborns and children in impoverished African and Asian countries.

“This is an area where research is urgently needed,” Bush said. “I’ve charged Mark with saving as many lives as quickly as possible.”

The institute will support human freedom with the creation of the Freedom Collection, a repository of video, oral and written histories documenting freedom movements around the world. The collection will serve as a resource for scholars, activists and policymakers interested in studying the advance of human liberty, Bush said.

“With the Freedom Collection, we will continue our legacy of supporting advocates for freedom around the world,” Bush said.

Oscar Morales Guevara will serve as the institute’s fellow in human freedom. He launched an international Internet movement in 2008 with fellow Colombians against the narco-terrorist network known as FARC.

Within all four areas of focus, the Bush Institute will integrate the involvement of women and social entrepreneurs. In remarks following those of her husband, former First Lady Laura Bush, who will lead the institute’s women’s initiative, said, “Research shows that when you educate and empower women, you improve nearly every aspect of society.”

The Institute will be home to the U.S.-Afghan Women’s Council, which will focus on literacy efforts at early- and adult-education levels for women in the United States and Afghanistan. The council plans a March conference on Afghan literacy.

“Education, global health, freedom and economic growth are areas that have been important to President and Mrs. Bush since President Bush first sought office as governor and then president,” said Mark Langdale, president of the George W. Bush Foundation Board of Directors. “The purpose of the institute is to expand on these principles.”

Bush ended by pledging that “together, the Bush Presidential Center and SMU will help this campus continue to grow as a great university. We will be a constructive member of a vibrant Dallas community. And we will contribute to the national dialogue in a positive way for years to come. We are proud to call SMU home.”

Read more from SMU News
Watch the video from the Nov. 12 announcement video
Visit the official George W. Bush Presidential Center website

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