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Bush library selection still up in air

Nov. 29, 2006

Staff writer

Baylor and Southern Methodist University dismissed an article in Monday's New York Daily News saying that the $500 million George W. Bush Presidential Library would be located at SMU.

Tommye Lou Davis, director of Baylor's Bush Library project, said the Daily News was likely operating on information that had not come from one of the members of the presidential library advisory team.

"The team is being very quiet," Davis said. "They are not leaking any information."

Davis said she believes the Daily News is "operating under the assumption that so many people have" because Laura Bush is an SMU alumna.

"I think it is just a presumption that may or may not be true," Davis said. "We feel strongly from information we received that no decisions have been made and all three institutions are still in the running."

Brad Cheves, SMU's vice president for external affairs, also said no decisions have been made.

"At this time we have no indiction of when a decision will be made or what the decision will be," Cheves said.

"We stand in the same position as the other two fine universities that are being considered," he said.

According to the Daily News In March, the potential library sites were limited to Baylor, SMU and University of Dallas. "Megadonations" of $10 million to $20 million are anticipated from SMU and Bush fund-raisers, Bush sources said.

"You can't ask people in Dallas for $20 million until they can be sure the library won't be in Waco," the same source said.

The official location of the library is expected to be announced in early 2007, Davis said.

Student Body President Mark Laymon said he had not been informed of any new developments concerning the location for the Bush Library.

"Last I heard from any legitimate source is that we are absolutely still in the running," Laymon said. "I have only heard positive feedback. Regardless, the fact that we are in the finals is a huge honor and compliment to Baylor."