Former First Lady Barbara Bush To Speak At President's Forum

Feb. 4, 2002
News Photo 187Barbara Bush

by Larry D. Brumley

WACO -- Former First Lady Barbara Bush will visit Baylor University on March 11 as part of the President's Forum Lecture Series. Her speech will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Ferrell Special Events Center, and as part of the program Baylor President Robert B. Sloan Jr. will confer on Mrs. Bush the honorary doctor of humane letters degree. Audience members will have an opportunity as they arrive at the Ferrell Center to submit questions for Mrs. Bush to answer following her speech.

Reserved seat tickets will be distributed free of charge through the Baylor Ticket Office in the Bill Daniel Student Center beginning Feb. 11. Individuals will be limited to four tickets, and all floor seats will be reserved for Baylor faculty, staff and students.

The President's Forum Lecture Series brings to campus national and world leaders to promote dialogue about important issues facing our society.

Mrs. Bush often jokes that her successful life is a result of marrying well. Her husband's service as vice president and president of the United States offered her a unique opportunity to make a difference in the public eye, but since leaving the White House in 1993, the former first lady continues to serve others with the same tireless energy, goodwill and good humor that has endeared her to millions around the world.

Born Barbara Pierce, she grew up in Rye, N.Y., where she met and later married George Herbert Walker Bush on Jan. 6, 1945. The Bush's first daughter, Robin, died in 1953 after fighting Leukemia, but today the family includes four sons (George W., Jeb, Marvin and Neil); one daughter (Dorothy); four daughters-in-law; one son-in-law; and 14 grandchildren. Their oldest son, George W., was sworn in as the nation's 43rd president on Jan. 20, 2001.

Throughout her years of public life, Mrs. Bush volunteered in and supported hundreds of charity and humanitarian causes. Today, she continues her service as AmeriCares ambassador-at-large, and as a supporter of various organizations, including the Leukemia Society of America, Ronald McDonald Houses, and the Boys and Girls Clubs of America.

Her primary cause is family literacy. In 1990, she helped develop the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy, whose mission is to support the development of family literacy programs and establish literacy as a value in every American family. She currently serves as honorary chair of the foundation and hosts its annual fundraiser, "A Celebration of Reading."

Her involvement in the literacy cause does not end with her foundation. She regularly undertakes a myriad of projects and a rigorous appearance schedule designed to emphasize reading as a part of daily family life. By visiting literacy programs across the country -- in schools, housing projects, organizations and businesses -- she witnesses, first-hand, the powerful impact reading has on self-esteem and family dynamics.

Mrs. Bush is author of C Fred's Story and the best-selling Millie's Book, whose profits benefited the literacy cause. She most recently wrote Barbara Bush: A Memoir, her best-selling autobiography emphasizing the importance of family, faith and friends.

For ticket information, call (254) 710-3210. For more information about the President's Forum Lecture Series, call (254) 710-1961.

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