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Liveblog: Bush Center Dedication Updates

Article by Sally McDonough, April 3, 2013 //   20 minute read

Welcome to the liveblog for the Dedication of the George W. Bush Presidential Center.  The Dedication Ceremony – set to take place at 10:00 a.m. on April 25th – commemorates the completion of the Bush Center by presenting the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum to the National Archives and Records Administration. Watch the ceremony on our live webcast beginning at 8:00 a.m. Central time. 

President and Mrs. Bush look forward to sharing this historic day with all living Presidents, dignitaries and supporters of the Bush Center.  We invite you to learn more about the Bush Center and get behind-the-scenes Dedication updates on this blog.

April 29, 2013

And That's A Wrap

In case you missed it, watch the full Dedication Ceremony again:


Watch a quick video of highlights and behind the scenes moments from the Dedication:

April 29, 2013

Dedication in the News and on Social Media

For more news articles about the Bush Center Dedication, visit our online Newsroom. Articles are updated frequently, so check back often.

And, if you followed us on social media last week you may recognize the top picture in the Washington Post's "8 Best Photos from the George W. Bush Library Dedication" (hint: it was a great American moment).

Continue the conversation about the Dedication and share your favorite memories and photos with us on Twitter at @TheBushCenter. You can also find photo albums and updates on www.facebook.com/TheBushCenter.

April 26, 2013

The Lighting of Freedom Hall

The Bush Center celebrated a successful Dedication day with a block party, fireworks show, and lighting of Freedom Hall last night. Photo Credit: Eric Draper

April 25, 2013

A Great American Moment

Photo Credit: Paul Morse

It is a great day in Dallas! The sun is shining, the guests are arriving and our hosts, President and Mrs. Bush, are getting ready to host President and Mrs. Obama, President and Sec. Clinton, President and Mrs. Carter, and President George H.W. Bush and Mrs. Barbara Bush.

In addition, Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, President Mikheil Saakashvilli and Mrs. Sandra E. Roelofs, President Josè Marìa Aznar, Prime Minister and Mrs. Ehud Olmert, Prime Minister and Mrs. John Howard, President Lee Myung-bak and Mrs. Yoon-ok Kim, Prime Minister Tony Blair and Mrs. Cherie Blair, President John Kufuor, President Francisco Flores Perèz and Mrs. Lourdes Maria Rodriguez de Flores, and Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi are in attendance. It is also a big reunion of Bush Cheney alumni and supporters of President and Mrs. Bush. 

Tune in watch it live, and if you haven’t seen it yet, check out the time-lapse video of the construction of the new building.

April 25, 2013


April 24, 2013

President and Mrs. Bush Present the Bush Presidential Library and Museum to NARA

As part of the Dedication Ceremonies, President and Mrs. Bush presented the Bush Presidential Library and Museum to the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), which will operate the Library and Museum. The Bush Center and NARA signed a joint use agreement at a ceremony in Freedom Hall today. Photo Credit: Grant Miller

More from NARA:

The George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum "serves as a resource for the study of the life and career of George W. Bush, while also promoting a better understanding of the Presidency, American history, and important issues of public policy. The Library and Museum accomplishes its mission by preserving and providing access to Presidential records and other donated collections, hosting public programs, creating educational initiatives, preserving artifacts, and producing innovative museum exhibits." - Mission Statement

The Library is the repository for textual, audiovisual, and electronic Presidential records created or received throughout the Administration of President George W. Bush as well as other donated collections.

The Museum tells the story of the United States in an extraordinary time. Additionally, the Museum will present temporary exhibits that complement the permanent exhibit and illustrate themes and subjects relevant to the mission of the Library and Museum.

April 24, 2013

More Dedication In The News

Laura Bush hopes Bush Center will let people ‘learn — and re-learn’

By Tom Benning

Dallas Morning News

Technology ties together the George W. Bush Center's many parts

By Tom Benning

Dallas Morning News

Bush Library first to open in social media era

By Julie Fancher and Eric Sheffield

SMU Daily Campus

George W. Bush Center to Host Live Webcast for Library Dedication

By Melissa Barhart

Christian Post

EarthCam to provide a time-lapse view of George W. Bush Presidential Center

By Tricia Lynn Silva

San Antonio Business Journal

April 23, 2013

More Dedication In The News

George W. Bush library dedication:  Exhibits include 9/11, war, Katrina, recount

Associated Press

Laura Bush, leading design committee for library, focused on Texas roots, eco-friendly design

Associated Press

Cataloguing the Bush Years

By Ed Gillespie

National Review Online

Inside the Beltway: W = Green

By Jennifer Harper

Washington Times

April 23, 2013

Bush Center Construction Time-Lapse

Watch the construction of the George W. Bush Presidential Center in two minutes in this time-lapse video:

April 22, 2013

Odds and ends from the Dallas Morning News interviews with George W. and Laura Bush

By Tom Benning

Dallas Morning News

"Former President George W. Bush and his wife, Laura, have been all over The Dallas Morning News in recent days, as Thursday’s dedication of the George W. Bush Presidential Center gets closer.

There was an exclusive interview with George W. Bush that ran on April 14, along with a sidebar on his painting hobby. On Sunday, the News had a second part of the interview with the former president and a conversation with Laura Bush on her role in bringing the center to fruition.

And the rest of News‘ 28-page special section — along with other daily stories — can be found here. All that aside, here are a few odds and ends from our interviews with the Bushes, along with quick note from a chat with presidential historian Richard Norton Smith."

April 21, 2013

Stay tuned this week for broadcast coverage of Dedication and interviews with President and Mrs. Bush:

On Wednesday, April 24

  • Diane Sawyer for ABC News, airing at 5:30 p.m.  CST on World News Tonight
  • John King for CNN, airing at 9:00 p.m. CST 
  • Steve Scully for C-SPAN, airing at 9:00 p.m. CST


On Thursday, April 25

  • Charlie Rose for CBS News, airing at 7:15 a.m. CST
  • Dana Perino for Fox News Channel, airing at 4:00 p.m CST
  • Bret Baier for Fox News Channel, airing at 5:00 p.m. CST 

April 21, 2013

Dedication In The News

A Conversation with President and Mrs. Bush 

By Mark K. Updegrove


George W. Bush say library a 'place to lay out facts'

By Judy Keen 

USA Today 

Rewinding History, Bush Museum Lets You Decide

By Peter Baker

The New York Times

George W. Bush looks 'forward to writing the final chapter of my life' at SMU

By Tom Benning

Dallas Morning News

Keep up with all of Tom Benning’s coverage for the Dallas Morning News on the Trailblazer’s blog.

April 17, 2013

The Bush Center and SMU

This week Southern Methodist University is graciously hosting a welcome reception for the George W. Bush Presidential Center, which will be a prominent and permanent fixture on the campus. And while the ceremony and next week’s Dedication commemorate the long journey to the physical completion of the Bush Center, the two institutions have been working together for years. The Bush Center has been collaborating with SMU to hold events, conduct research, and provide unique learning opportunities for graduate and undergraduate students.

Since opening its doors, the Bush Center has been helped by a stream of student interns from the SMU student body. Some stay one semester, some stay for years, but all have served a vital role in the launch of the new Bush Institute programs, the successful events held by the Bush Center on the SMU campus and beyond, and of course the preparations for the dedication of the newly constructed Bush Center.

One SMU intern from 2011 will return next week to help out with this blog and social media during Dedication. She had this to say about her experience with the Bush Center: “During my senior year at SMU, I had the honor of being selected as the first marketing communications intern for the Bush Center. Not only was this experience one of the most valuable parts of my education at SMU, but I also believe that it allowed me to develop the skills that have launched my current career in social media marketing. After graduating from SMU in 2011, my relationships with my former colleagues at the Center have only grown and I have continued to help with events around the country, including The 4% Growth Conference in New York City, and I am looking forward to helping out with with social media efforts during the Dedication.”

SMU students have had the chance to get to know and learn from staff members at the Bush Center outside of internships as well. Earlier this month, Director of Education Reform Kerri Brigg participated in a forum titled “Developing Good Teachers” hosted by The Dallas Morning News and the Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development.  The same week, Anne MacDonald, Director of the Office of Laura W. Bush, and Hannah Abney, Director of Communications, participated as panelists in the “Hilltop to Hilltop” event for students who are looking to go into policy or political jobs. The panel was moderated by the AREL Program Coordinator and former SMU student body president, Patrick Kobler. 

In addition to special events, some SMU students may see members of the Bush Center in their classrooms as well. Dr. Eric Bing is the Director of Global Health and current senior fellow at the Bush Institute and recently joined the SMU faculty as a professor of global health in a concurrent appointment. Under the SMU agreement with the Bush Foundation, Bush Institute fellows can receive concurrent academic appointments at SMU following review and approval by the appropriate academic departments.  James K. Glassman, Founding Executive Director of the Bush Institute called the appointment “the latest example of the excellent cooperation between our two institutions.”

The Bush Center is looking forward to being a permanent fixture at SMU, not only as a building on the SMU campus but as part of the SMU community.

April 15, 2013

Exclusive: As his presidential library debuts, George W. Bush prepares to return to public stage on his own terms

By Tom Benning
Dallas Morning News
April 14, 2013

More than four years after George W. Bush left the White House — settling in Texas with a desire to leave politics behind — the former president remains reluctant to give up the liberation of “not feeling like I’ve got to be in the limelight.”

But as the George W. Bush Presidential Center prepares to open, Bush and his confidants don’t hesitate to defend a presidency that’s taken its share of lumps over the years.

The former president is doubling down on “compassionate conservatism.” He’s listing no new regrets. He’s focused on the center’s policy institute, which builds upon the main themes of his presidency. And he delights in taking on preconceived notions of him — on everything from his fiscal record to his artistic talent.

Taking measure of a driving philosophy behind his presidency, Bush said in an exclusive interview with The Dallas Morning News that discussion of his legacy should start with a fresh look at his record.

“The best way for people to understand what I meant by ‘compassionate conservative’ is to look at the programs we implemented and look at the results,” he said.

The spotlight will turn again to Bush next week, when the four other living U.S. presidents are slated to visit Dallas for the dedication of the center.  And Bush is ready to retake the public stage on his own terms.

Read more here.

April 12, 2013

"We took the Bushes interest in the natural landscape. We took their interest in being environmentally responsible and we used those as the creative engines of shaping a landscape that’s really very different from most landscapes that you see inside the limits of Dallas." - Michael Van Valkenburgh, Landscape Architect for the Bush Center

April 11, 2013

George W. Bush Presidential Center Achieves LEED Platinum Certification

Green Building Council’s highest recognition achieved by energy conversation, sustainable design

The George W. Bush Presidential Center announced today it has earned Platinum certification by the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEEDTM) program. The Bush Center is the first presidential library to achieve LEED Platinum certification under New Construction (v2009).

“As we approach the Bush Center’s April 25 dedication, we are proud to be recognized for our emphasis on sustainable building design,” said Mark Langdale, President of the George W. Bush Presidential Center. “The Bush Center and our ongoing work are a reflection of the principles that guided President and Mrs. Bush in their public service, including their longstanding commitment to conservation and caring for the land.”

The LEED Green Building Certification System encourages the use of designs, materials and systems that are sustainable, energy efficient and reduce a facility’s impact on the environment and human health. The Bush Center features green roofing systems to reduce heating and cooling demands, solar panels for producing electricity and hot water, building materials sourced from the region to lower transportation impacts, and rainwater recycling that will meet 50 percent of the irrigation needs of the native Texas landscaping.  

Regionally sourced building materials used in the Bush Center include Texas Cordova cream limestone from Central Texas, Permian sea coral limestone from near the Bushes’ hometown of Midland, Texas, stained pecan wood interior paneling, and Texas mesquite hardwood floors.

A 15-acre urban park surrounds the Bush Center and allows visitors to experience a distinctive, native Texas landscape in the heart of a major city. The project restored the land’s native habitat by planting more than 70 percent of the site, including more than 900 trees, 40 of which were transplanted from the Bushes’ Prairie Chapel Ranch in Crawford, Texas. The Bush Center’s landscaping includes a prairie and savannah planted with five drought-tolerant grasses, and a wildflower meadow, featuring Texas wildflowers such as bluebonnets.

For more information on the Bush Center’s LEED features, click here.

April 11, 2013

Tickets for the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum are on sale!

The George W. Bush Presidential Museum will officially open to the public on May 1, 2013 but tickets are already on sale. To reserve your ticket now, click here. There will be tickets set aside for walk-ups but we strongly recommend getting an advance ticket now if you plan to visit the Museum.

The George W. Bush Presidential Museum offers a new and revealing look into the decisions and events of the Bush Presidency.  The Museum features important artifacts; such as a piece of the World Trade Center; an interactive Decision Points Theater where visitors make real-time crisis decisions similar to those made by President Bush; and a full-scale replica of the Oval Office complete with a Resolute Desk that visitors can sit behind. 

The Museum will be open from 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 12:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. on Sundays. More details can be found here.

Read more in the Dallas Morning News article, Tickets available for George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum:

“The public opening will be preceded by an April 25 dedication ceremony featuring former President George W. Bush and his wife, Laura, President Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle, and other dignitaries. But the center will really get up and running the following Wednesday.

Around 500,000 visitors are expected in the first year. The centerpiece is the exhibition hall, which has a full-scale replica of the Oval Office, the Texas Rose Garden, warped World Trade Center beams from 9/11 and several interactive elements.”

April 10, 2013

Bush Raises More Than $500 Million For Library

TIME Magazine

TIME Magazine reported on the recent fundraising goal met by the Bush Center: “It was our goal to raise $500 million by the time the George W. Bush Presidential Center was dedicated, and we reached that goal,” said Mark Langdale, President of the George W. Bush Center. 

The impressive fundraising goal was met just in time for the Dedication ceremony, which will be held on April 25. TIME says the amount raised makes President Bush “the most successful fundraiser among former presidents at this stage in his post-White House life.” 

If you are wondering how the money will be spent: “Half of the money was spent to build the Bush Center itself, a portion of the funds go to a mandatory endowment to the Federal Government, which will be paid when we gift the George W. Bush Presidential Museum and Library to the American people on April 25th, and another portion of the funds will go to Southern Methodist University for an endowment that is intended to strengthen our relationship with their programs,” Langdale said in a statement to TIME. “The remainder of the funds, most of which is paid for over time in long term pledges, provides a strong financial foundation to build the George W. Bush Institute as a long standing contributor to advancing freedom and the principles that have guided President and Mrs. Bush in their service to their country.”

April 10, 2013

Dedication In The News

Get ready to make reservations at Cafe 43, the newly named restaurant at the George W. Bush Presidential Center

Dallas Morning News

Bush library to house 43,000 artifacts

SMU Daily Campus

George W. Bush library set to open at SMU

Fort Worth Star-Telegram

UT Austin's LBJ library shares common characteristics with Bush Center

SMU Daily Campus

Obama, Both Bushes, Clinton and Carter, the ‘World’s Most Exclusive Club,’ to Reunite

TIME Magazine

George W. Bush Presidential Center tickets now on sale; opens to public May 1

The Dallas Morning News

April 8, 2013


April 4, 2013

Interview with Michael Van Valkenburgh

Landscape Architect, Michael Van Valkenburgh, talks about the overall inspiration for the project and how it reflects President and Mrs. Bush's love for the native Texas landscape.

April 4, 2013

Obama, Both Bushes, Clinton and Carter, the ‘World’s Most Exclusive Club,’ to Reunite” in TIME Magazine:

“On April 25, President Barack Obama will be united with his four living predecessors in Dallas for the opening of the George W. Bush Presidential Center at Southern Methodist University, officials confirmed Tuesday. The last time all five met was in January 2009 before Obama was sworn in, in a meeting and lunch hosted by Bush in the Oval Office for the members of the ‘world’s most exclusive club.’”

Read more.