George 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