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

History in the making: Bush Presidential Center groundbreaking is Nov. 16

Bush Presidential Center Groundbreaking logoSMU students, faculty and staff are invited to participate in a moment of history: the groundbreaking ceremony for the George W. Bush Presidential Center. The event begins at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 16, 2010, at the southwest corner of SMU Boulevard and North Central Expressway (the Center’s future home).

A limited number of seats in the ceremonial tent may become available just before 10:30 a.m. for interested SMU community members. Seats in the tent will be made available on a first-come, first-served basis to current University students, faculty and staff. Eligible members of the SMU community may line up at the northwest corner of Binkley Avenue and Dublin Street beginning at 8 a.m. Nov. 16, subject to the following guidelines:

  • Bring your valid SMU ID.
  • Small purses, wallets, cameras, cell phones and keys are permitted. No large purses, backpacks, bags or video cameras are allowed.
  • Business attire is appropriate. Commemorative T-shirts will be distributed for those who wish to wear them.

Individuals not seated in the tent will be directed to the all-University celebration at the Mustang Mall in front of Moody Coliseum, where light refreshments and a live simulcast of the groundbreaking ceremony will be provided. Commemorative T-shirts will be distributed to all guests at the Mustang Mall. The festivities begin at 8 a.m.; the groundbreaking ceremony broadcast begins at 10:30 a.m. (In the event of rain, the celebration will be held at Moody Coliseum.)

All community members will have the opportunity to watch a live webcast of the groundbreaking ceremony. Register online at

> Learn more from SMU’s Bush Presidential Center information site