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SMU celebrates 10 years of impact with the Bush Center

SMU NEWS – When the George W. Bush Presidential Center opened to the public on the SMU campus on May 1, 2013, it launched a strong but independent partnership with the University that continues to provide measurable benefits to the North Texas community.

From bringing world leaders to Dallas, to boosting the regional economy through jobs and tourism, to driving thought leadership, public programming and unique opportunities for SMU students, the partnership has delivered on the expectations of the University leaders who brought it to North Texas. Included in the Bush Center are the George W. Bush Presidential Museum and the George W. Bush Institute, a solution-oriented policy organization. The Bush Center also houses the George W. Bush Presidential Library, operated by the National Archives and Records Administration, which provides access to official documents and artifacts from the Bush Administration.

More than 1.9 million people have visited the Bush Museum since its opening, and a recent report estimates the Bush Center has produced $2 billion in economic impact throughout the North Texas region.

“I’m proud that the George W. Bush Presidential Center has become a tremendous asset to SMU, North Texas and our nation,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “We spent years securing and then planning for this great resource. The presidential museum and library, alone, would have been well worth it. But the intellectual capital generated by the Bush Institute through policy analysis and the impact on our students has been remarkable.”

SMU and the Bush Institute engage in wide-ranging academic partnerships that provide students and faculty with unique opportunities to work alongside global experts on solutions to some of the most pressing international and domestic challenges. Close to 1,000 people have benefited from the Bush Institute’s leadership programming, supported by SMU faculty members who have helped develop curriculum and lead sessions. Niemi Fellows from SMU’s Cox School of Business create research projects with the Bush Institute, and NexPoint Tower Scholars, who study public policy and international affairs, have the opportunity to intern at the Bush Institute.

SMU faculty members work with the Bush Institute on many levels to help produce meaningful research. For example, the George W. Bush Institute-SMU Economic Growth Initiative promotes innovation, entrepreneurship, and faster, more inclusive growth through global competitiveness and sound immigration policy. Simmons School of Education and Human Development faculty have collaborated with the Bush Institute on improving global health.

“We are so grateful for the phenomenal support that we’ve received from SMU, the community and local leaders as we strive to promote President and Mrs. Bush’s values of freedom, opportunity, accountability, and compassion,” said Bush Center President and CEO Ken Hersh. “We are thrilled to continue this great work for the decades to come and honored to be part of SMU’s vibrant community.”

The Bush Center hosted a celebratory “Night at the Museum” for SMU students in mid-April and is offering free admission to the museum from April 29 through May 4, courtesy of Sewell Automotive Companies.

Read more about the partnership between SMU and the George W. Bush Presidential Center hereVideo of the April 26, 2013 dedication ceremony, featuring all five presidents living at the time of the event, is available on the Bush Center’s website.