Best of 2017

The Year in Photos

The George W. Bush Presidential Center staff takes a look back at our favorite photos from 2017 — and shares the stories behind the moments captured.

April 4, 2017 / Therisanyo Primary School in Gaborne, Botswana
Photo by Paul Morse

Brittney Bain: "When we arrived, Therisanyo Primary School students greeted us with songs while they waved American and Botswanan flags. Their excitement was palpable, and they loved having their photos taken. This picture that Paul took actually ended up winning a USAID HIV/AIDS photo contest on World AIDS Day in December 2017 because it was such a great shot and it helped demonstrate the strong partnership between the two countries on the fight against AIDS."

June 26, 2017 / Bush Center in Dallas, Texas
Photo by Grant Miller

Brittney Bain: "President Bush cracked a joke here with young leaders from Burma before their graduation ceremony of the Bush Institute’s Liberty and Leadership forum. The class wore elaborate garments from their country, and they were kind enough to present President and Mrs. Bush with an ornate portrait made of sand and stone following the ceremony."

October 10, 2017 / Bush Center in Dallas, Texas
Photo by Grant Miller

Hannah Abney: "President Bush often remarks that he’s been fortunate to have a lot of strong women in his life. It was a pleasure to see three of those women reunited at the Bush Center, right before former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and former Press Secretary Dana Perino went on stage for an Engage event about Dr. Rice’s new book, Democracy: Stories from the Long Road to Freedom."

May 22, 2017 / Prestonwood Golf Club in Dallas, Texas
Photo by Grant Miller

Andrew Kaufmann: "President Bush and Sergeant First Class Scott Adams first met at the 2014 Warrior Open, the Bush Center's golf tournament for servicemen and women seriously wounded after 9/11. President Bush describes in Portraits of Courage his first belly-bump with Adams as being a sign of encouragement after a tee shot went wide. Three years later, it’s become a traditional greeting."

April 5, 2017 / Windhoek Central Hospital in Windhoek, Namibia
Photo by Paul Morse

Brittney Bain: "We traveled to Namibia in Africa to see the impact of the Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon program that combats cervical cancer in women. While there, we stopped at Windhoek Hospital to visit the maternity ward to meet families that PEPFAR had helped save. It was incredible to see results like this firsthand. This adorable little boy was born to an HIV-positive mother, and thanks to the medicine brought by PEPFAR, he’s HIV-negative. He is one of nearly 2 million babies who have been born HIV-free to infected mothers.”"

March 18, 2017 / Bush Center in Dallas, Texas
Photo by Grant Miller

Andrew Kaufmann: "After speaking about the Hamilton phenomenon during an Engage event at the Bush Center, Alex Horwitz (director of the Peabody-nominated PBS documentary Hamilton’s America), Joanne Freeman (Yale historian specializing in Alexander Hamilton), and Christopher Jackson (Tony-nominated and Grammy-winning artist who plays George Washington in Hamilton) spotted a couple of presidents not named Hamilton. No one can resist a good opportunity for a quick selife!"

November 5, 2017 / Bush Center in Dallas, Texas
Photo by Grant Miller

Kevin Sullivan: "We’ve had many touching moments on stage at the Bush Center, but few can top Jenna Bush Hager and Barbara Bush telling stories from their lives together while their proud mother and father looked on from the first row. There were plenty of laughs, and there were even a few tears. This Sisters First Engage event really had it all."

October 6, 2017 / Bush Center in Dallas, Texas
Photo by Andrew Kaufmann

Andrew Kaufmann: "Master Sergeant Roque Rodriguez-Urena and Marlene visited the Portraits of Courage special exhibit before the W100K ride -- and were seeing their 43-painted portrait in person for the first time. Marlene and Roque are as solid a couple and as kind a couple as you'll meet, despite the trials and tribulations they've been through as a result of Roque's invisible wounds of war. Watching them share this together was as heart-warming an experience as I've had at the Bush Center."

April 5, 2017 / Ella du Plessis High School in Windhoek, Namibia
Photo by Paul Morse

Brittney Bain: "President and Mrs. Bush’s arrival at Ella Du Plessis High School felt like a rock star entrance. Students performed a dance when they arrived, waved signs thanking the United States, and gave high-fives and took selfies with President Bush. Everywhere we went in Namibia, people were eager to thank the American people for helping save a generation of lives. No single photo could capture that."

May 22, 2017 / Bush Center in Dallas, Texas
Photo by Grant Miller

Kevin Sullivan: "President Bush’s meaningful and personal connection to our veterans was on vivid (and at times, hilarious) display during this Portraits of Courage Engage event. Major Chris Turner and Staff Sergeant Johnnie Yellock were the perfect choices. Their stories are so powerful and their chemistry with the President made for a memorable evening. What an honor it was to serve as moderator."

June 23, 2017 / U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington, D.C.
Photo by Grant Miller

Brittney Bain: "Bush Center CEO Ken Hersh looks on as General Peter Pace, USMC, 16th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, shakes hands with Sergeant First Class Michael “Rod” Rodriguez following his remarks at the Bush Institute’s Stand-To summit. Rod’s poignant speech, which highlighted his tough transition and the encouragement of his son, touched everyone in the room. He ended by saying, 'Today I am not ashamed to say I have PTS and TBI. I have invisible wounds of war and I eagerly face these obstacles daily. Taking ownership of my own fight not only brought me here today but has been key to my successful transition.'"

June 5, 2017 / Bush Center in Dallas, Texas
Photo by Grant Miller

Andrew Kaufmann: "As luck would have it, the day of President Bush’s Portraits of Courage book signing event at the Bush Center turned out to be a rainy one. We were worried the rain would keep people away – but when we looked out the windows at the Bush Institute offices that overlook the entrance, we were reminded that Dallasites are a hardy bunch. A little rain certainly wasn't going to keep these folks home."

May 19, 2017 / Tolbert Elementary School in Fort Worth, Texas
Photo by Brad Newton

Sarah Boynton: "Tolbert Elementary knows how to greet a special guest. Mrs. Bush has been introduced to the stage by a number of people over the years, but I'm pretty certain that few have been as sharply dressed as this young man and young lady. The students welcomed Mrs. Bush before she announced the year's Laura Bush Foundation for America's Libraries grant recipients. Mrs. Bush then sat down to read her and Jenna Bush Hager's book, Our Great Big Backyard, on the stage made up to be a star-filled campsite."

October 19, 2017 / Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York, New York
Photo by Grant Miller

Hannah Abney: "At The Spirit of Liberty, the Bush Institute’s forum on freedom and democracy, three special guests shared their unique American stories. Grace Jo, a refugee from North Korea and one of the first recipients of the Bush Institute’s Freedom in North Korea scholarships; Tim Ware, executive director of the Achievement Schools and a Presidential Leadership Scholar; and Ramon Padilla, SFC USA (Ret.) and a member of Team 43, spoke about what it means to them to be citizens of our great Nation. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house."

September 18, 2017 / Grand Hyatt in New York, New York
Photo by Grant Miller

Brittney Bain: "Mrs. Bush shared a quiet moment with the First Lady of Namibia, Monica Geingos, and the First Lady of Panama, Lorena Castillo García de Varela, before the three of them took the stage at the Concordia Summit to discuss the role and influence of global first ladies. It was the first time Mrs. Bush had seen Mrs. Geingos since the two of them were together in Namibia in April, and they were able to connect again about the ongoing collaboration between the Bush Institute’s First Ladies Initiative and Mrs. Geingos’ staff."

July 13, 2017 / Bush Center in Dallas, Texas
Photo by Grant Miller

Hannah Abney: "What goes between 41 and 43? 42, of course. On his way to dinner in the Bush Center after the Presidential Leadership Scholars graduation ceremony, the 42nd President of the United States took a moment to fill in the gap by standing between the 41st and 43rd. "


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