Baylor University Announces National Steering Committee For Its Proposed George W. Bush Presidential Library
- A standing-room-only audience attended the news conference inside the rotunda of the new Harry and Anna Jeanes Discovery Center at Baylor.
- Baylor President Robert B. Sloan Jr. welcomes guests to Wednesday's news conference announcing Baylor's national steering committee in its bid for the George W. Bush Presidential Library.
- Baylor alumnus and Houston Astros owner and chairman Drayton McLane Jr. will serve as chair of Baylor's national steering committee.
- A view of the news conference from the second floor of the Jeanes Discovery Center.
- Crawford Mayor Robert Campbell, also a Baylor alumnus.
- Waco Mayor Linda Ethridge
- Baylor Regent Donell Teaff and former Baylor head football coach Grant Teaff, a member of the national steering committee.
- Members of the national steering committee include (L to R) Dr. Martin Medhurst, Distinguished Professor of Rhetoric and Communication, Baylor; Dr. Thomas Hibbs, Dean of the Honors College and Distinguished Professor of Ethics and Culture, Baylor; Ted Getterman, retired business executive, Waco; Bill Bailey, chairman, Bailey Insurance & Financial Services, Waco; and Harold Cunningham, regent and retired chief financial officer, Baylor.
Streaming video of the news conference is available now at BaylorTV.com.
A list of the National Steering Committee and other information is available below under Related Stories.
Baylor University today introduced the national steering committee for its proposed George W. Bush Presidential Library Center. The committee's primary objectives are to oversee the university's formal Presidential Library planning committee and to direct fundraising efforts for the library.
The committee is composed of prominent individuals who have close ties to Baylor and the Bush administration. Baylor President Robert B. Sloan Jr. has appointed Baylor alumnus and Houston Astros owner and chairman Drayton McLane Jr. as chair of the committee.
"While we realize that a decision on the site of the George W. Bush Presidential Library is likely several years away, we feel it is important to formalize our process so we are in a position to deliver a well-conceived, well-constructed and financially certain proposal," Sloan said.
Baylor is the closest major university to President and Mrs. Bush's ranch in Crawford, and 80 percent of the state's population is within 200 miles of Baylor. With the George H.W. Bush Library in College Station and the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library in Austin, a George W. Bush Presidential Library at Baylor would create a triangle of presidential libraries within 90 miles of each other, positioning the region as the most important area in the country for presidential research.
"Baylor is committed in word and deed to making the George W. Bush Presidential Library the best presidential library in the country, offering President and Mrs. Bush unparalleled support from both those who are part of the far-reaching Baylor family and those who identify with Baylor's distinctive Christian mission," McLane said.
In addition to the appointment of a National Steering Committee, Baylor has retained three outside consultants to help guide its process and prepare its formal proposal. The consultants are:
Dr. Don W. Wilson, former archivist of the United States with the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration; former director of the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library Center; and director of the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library Center Foundation.
Mr. John T. Fawcett, former director of the Office of the Presidential Library System at the National Archives and Records Administration and former archivist at the Lyndon Baines Johnson and Herbert Hoover presidential libraries;
Dr. Terry O. Sullivan, former director of White House Transitions Project and a professor of political science on sabbatical from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Sullivan also will be teaching several courses in political science at Baylor.
"President and Mrs. Bush have helped redefine the image of Central Texas, and we would like to return the favor by offering them a world-class presidential library center," McLane said. "This committee will ensure that Baylor delivers to the Bushes the most appropriate, most prestigious proposal, including a rock-solid fundraising component."
Last month, 100 Central Texas mayors endorsed Baylor's proposal to locate the George W. Bush Presidential Library in Waco, citing the educational and economic benefits to the region. Initial estimates indicate that the proposed George W. Bush Presidential Library in Waco would draw up to 500,000 visitors annually.
Baylor began initial preparations for its formal proposal in 2000 - two months prior to President George W. Bush's election - by creating several subcommittees that have been conducting feasibility studies and research on other presidential libraries.
A committee of almost 100 Baylor faculty and staff members - under the leadership of professors Thomas Charlton, Tommye Lou Davis, Leah Jackson and James Curry - has been involved over the last two years in crafting the university's proposal.