Presidential Leadership Scholars Graduation & Fifth Year Celebration


June 27, 2019

Presidents were joined by Presidential Leadership Scholars from across the United States who are tackling the most pressing issues of our time. Earlier in the day, Presidents Bush and Clinton visited Big Thought on the SMU campus.

On June 27, President George W. Bush and President Bill Clinton were joined by Presidential Leadership Scholars Lisa Hallett, CEO of wear blue: run to remember, and Jay Bhatt, SVP and CMO of the American Hospital Association, at the George W. Bush Presidential Center for a conversation centered around the work they are doing to address veterans’ issues and challenges in health care. The  Moody Conversation took place during the graduation ceremony of the 2019 class of Presidential Leadership Scholars, which marks the fifth anniversary since the program began in 2015.

The 2019 class of Scholars is comprised of doctors, veterans, corporate professionals, attorneys, public servants, educators, and more from across the country who over the past five months have come together to collaborate and make a difference in the world as they learn about leadership through the lens of the presidential experiences of George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush, and Lyndon B. Johnson. This year’s class will join an active network of 240 Scholars who are working to lead lasting and positive change in their communities and across the globe.

Earlier in the day, President George W. Bush and President Bill Clinton visited Byron Sanders, CEO of Big Thought and Presidential Leadership Scholar (PLS) Class of 2017, at one of Big Thought’s youth programs that uses visual, performing, and digital arts to help young people improve job skills, gain a positive self-image, and increase social and emotional development. Sanders was inspired during PLS to leave his job in finance and pursue his current role at Big Thought helping close the opportunity gap by bringing the right opportunities to the kids who need them most.