One-hundred Central Texas mayors have endorsed Baylor's proposal to locate the George W. Bush Presidential Library in Waco, outlining in a letter to President Bush the educational and economic benefits.
The mayors, who represent communities in 23 counties, wrote that the library, along with the George H.W. Bush Library in College Station, Texas, and the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library in Austin, Texas, would establish a "triangle" of presidential libraries in Central Texas.
They also focused on the generations of young people who will be introduced to political leadership by the library and associated facilities, such as a presidential museum and possible Bush School of Public Leadership and Service.
"Central Texas is home to President Bush, and we wanted to make a very strong statement of regional support for the presidential library," said Tommye Lou Davis, special assistant to Baylor President Robert B. Sloan Jr. and head of Baylor's Bush library effort.
Initial estimates indicate that the Bush Presidential Library could draw up to 500,000 people annually. The economic impact of the construction phase alone would be more than $200 million, with an ongoing economic impact of $21 million to $28 million.
The mayors' letter concluded: "As the oldest university in Texas, Baylor has a strong tradition of preparing young leaders of character who have a deep understanding of their discipline and a broader awareness of their responsibility to serve their community and nation. The location of your presidential library in Central Texas will further this heritage in a truly unique fashion, and we urge you to give careful consideration to Baylor University's proposal."