Baylor > Lariat Archives > News

Ags dedicate Bush library

Nov. 7, 1997

By Brandon Hale

Reporter for The Baylor Lariat

Thursday, Texas A&M University dedicated George Bush's new presidential library and museum, which traces the life of the 41st U.S. president. The library took $40 million and three years to build.

The library is located on the southwest corner of the campus. The 69,000-square-foot marble, limestone and granite building holds millions of documents and photos and thousands of audio and videotapes pertaining to Bush and his wife Barbara.

The library is not a library in the traditional sense. It holds non-fiction writings, said Mary Jo Powell, Texas A&M University spokesperson.

'There is mostly records, papers, calendars, and various archival materials. Powell saidthat the library is filled with the stuff from which history books are written.'

The library is part research center, part political and historical theme park and uses computerized exhibits that chronicle Bush's achievements.

Thursday's dedication included President Bill Clinton and former presidents Jimmy Carter and Gerald Ford, and former first-ladies Nancy Reagan and Lady Bird Johnson.

On the eve of the dedication ceremony, Bush invited members of his administration, family, friends and a few journalists who covered his presidency to a sneak preview of the library and a barbecue party.

'The library will be a marvelous addition to everything we already have at A&M, and it will add new dimensions to scholarly activity,' Powell said.

'It will also give us wonderful opportunities to bring in speakers and give us more access to big newsmakers and world leaders like the ones who attended the dedication.'

Students are excited about the new addition to campus, which is located 80 miles northwest of Houston.

'I think that it will be especially good for political science majors and it will benefit the community. It makes us even more of a world-class university,' said Erin McCormick, a Texas A&M junior from Dallas.

'We hope that Baylor fans who come down for the football game will stop by the library because admission will be free on Saturday because it is community day,' Powell said.

'The museum would be interesting to see and compare it to the things we have at Baylor,' said Haley Maher, a Dallas freshman who plans on going to College Station for the game Saturday.

Celebs crowd Aggie campus

By Joey Jeanette Schlueter

Staff writer for The Battalion

Celebrities were among the 15,000 faces in the crowd that gathered to celebrate the dedication of the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum Thursday.

Most of them were invited because of their support of George Bush during his presidential campaign in 1988 and 1992.

Arnold Schwarzenegger was one of the highlight celebrities at the event. Schwarzenegger was a supporter of the Republican Party and George Bush during his presidency.

Just down the row from Schwarzenegger was star of the television series 'Walker, Texas Ranger' and martial arts expert, Chuck Norris.

Movie stars Kevin Costner and Wayne Newton also attended the library dedication. Other entertainers at the event were the Oak Ridge Boys, Michael Davis, Van Cliburn, Crystal Gayle and Loretta Lynn. These entertainers performed for former President Bush and his family and guests Wednesday night after a barbecue dinner.

Ray Childress was master of ceremonies of the pre-dedication entertainment. Childress is an All-Pro Houston Oiler defensive tackle, a former A&M football player and Class of '85.

Other dignitaries at the dedication were not from the entertainment field but from the political arena.

Dignitaries included former British Prime Minister John Major, former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, former Japanese Prime Minister Toshiki Kaifu, former Polish President Lech Walesa, former Secretary of State James Baker III, former Secretary of Defense Richard Cheney, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Colin Powell and former vice president Dan Quayle.

Copyright © 1997 The Lariat

Comments or Questions can be sent to The Lariat