SMU prepares for Founders’ Day 2013, Bush Center dedication

SMU President R. Gerald Turner sent the following information to students, faculty and staff regarding SMU Founders’ Day and the dedication of the George W. Bush Presidential Center:

April 2013 will be a month for history-making at SMU, as the George W. Bush Presidential Center is dedicated.  Although the dedication will bring an unprecedented influx of special visitors to campus, the University will remain open on dedication day, Thursday, April 25, so that the core function of teaching will continue uninterrupted.

CentennialOn SMU’s Founders’ Day, Friday, April 19, students, faculty and staff are invited to a mid-day celebration on the Quad serving as official welcome to the George W. Bush Presidential Center. That afternoon the University will also welcome several hundred SMU alumni and parents to “Inside SMU,” a program of short classes with faculty, and other events.

From Wednesday, April 24, through Friday, April 26, the George W. Bush Presidential Center will be dedicated with a series of events planned by the Bush Foundation. Dedication events are by invitation only, primarily for officials who served in the Bush administration, dignitaries and partners of the Bush Center. However, students, faculty and staff are invited to watch a simulcast of the dedication in McFarlin Auditorium on Thursday, April 25, starting at 9 a.m. for check-in and ending at noon. In addition, as with the groundbreaking of the Bush Center, SMU will erect an outdoor screen for another viewing opportunity.  In the afternoon, several University libraries and the Meadows Museum will hold open houses that students, faculty and staff are welcome to attend. We hope that Bush Center visitors will stroll around the campus to enjoy our welcoming environment and special resources.

The SMU Boulevard Block Party and Lighting of Freedom Hall, April 25, for faculty, staff and students, on the intramural field, starting at 6 p.m., co-sponsored by the Bush Center and the University. This will be a festive, entertainment-filled event with special guests and surprises and will culminate with the lighting of Freedom Hall atop the Bush Center.

A special SMU Day at the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum. On Monday, April 29, this historic facility will be open just to SMU students, faculty and staff, in advance of the public opening May 1. In addition, while general visitors to the Library and Museum must purchase tickets, admission will remain free for faculty, staff and students with valid campus IDs. It’s just one way that the SMU community is being thanked for our partnership with the Bush Center in supporting its construction, dedication and ongoing operations. Students should watch their e-mail for more information on these opportunities.

Compiled by Sarah Hanan