Frequently Asked Questions - Baylor University Proposal For The George W. Bush Presidential Library

Nov. 26, 2003


Baylor University's Proposed



FAQ #1: What is a presidential library center (PLC)?

Usually located on or near a university campus, a presidential library center houses the White House records of a presidential administration in a cluster of buildings that include a library/archives, a major museum, a conference center, and a university academic program (in a school of public affairs, or the like). At Baylor, the complex of buildings would possibly be called the George Walker Bush Presidential Library Center and the various elements would possibly be called:

• George Walker Bush Presidential Library and Museum (in same building);

• George Walker Bush School of Public Leadership and Service; and

• Conference Center (to be named).

FAQ #2: What would be the federal government's role in a presidential library center?

• The Presidential Libraries Acts of 1955, 1978, and 1986 authorize and set basic guidelines for all official PLCs inthe United States;

• The presidential library/archives and museum, the building, exhibits, and the official papers, would be owned and operated by the National Archives and Records Administration;

• Salaries of all professional personnel in the library/archives would be paid by NARA; and

• The entire presidential library center would be affiliated with the network of eleven other, similar PLCs, under the Office of Presidential Libraries, a division of NARA.

FAQ #3: How would construction and operation of the PLC be funded?

• A new 501(c)(3) foundation would raise funding for construction of the PLC, which may cost approximately $80-90 million dollars;

• Once constructed, the library/archives/museum facility would be deeded to the federal government, which would operate that portion of the PLC;

• The foundation would continue to fund the operations of the library and museum, once completed; and

• The School of Public Leadership and Service would become an academic division of Baylor University, which would operate several undergraduate and graduate programs in that facility in the PLC.

FAQ #4: What do Baylor and Central Texas have to offer a PLC?

• Local geography: Proximity to the Bush Ranch, near Crawford, Texas (McLennan County);

• Equidistant (100 miles) from the Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library and Museum (Austin) and the George Bush Presidential Library Center (College Station), with potential for a "research triangle" for American presidential studies and related activities;

• Interstate 35 corridor, with advantages similar to those of the LBJ Library in Austin;

• Demographic strength: 17 million population within a 200-mile radius of Waco;

• Archival experience: Baylor has 75 years of experience with research facilities housing papers of federal (papers of 12 congressmen!) and state officials (including the papers of Lt. Gov. Bob Bullock);

• Several possible PLC sites on scenic tracts of land near Baylor; and

• Outside encouragement: Strong encouragement from former Bush Library (TAMU) officials, current officials at the LBJ Library, and former executives of the National Archives and Records Administration and the Office of Presidential Libraries;

• Academic ties: Innovative Baylor plans for both undergraduate and graduate academic programming through the School of Public Leadership and Service and centers and institutes; and

• Community support: Strong interest already expressed by citizens, government agencies, businesses, and other constituents throughout Central Texas

FAQ #5: When would the PLC be constructed?

• Typically, the PLC is built during the first few years after a U.S. president leaves the White House;

• Meanwhile, the processing of the White House papers will begin in the city where the PLC is under construction--activity to be called the "George Walker Bush Presidential Materials Project"; and

• An NARA archival staff--10-15 people--moves to town to handle all early work related to the library/archives, including receiving presidential papers from Washington, D.C.

FAQ #6: What other interesting results does a PLC project bring to a university and a host community?

• The archival holdings attract scholars from around the world for major research leading to books, articles, and other scholarly presentations;

• The PLC hosts major events sponsored by the National Archives and Records Administration;

• The PLC museum features major traveling exhibits, including some from other PLCs, on subjects related to national and international affairs;

• Symposia and other conferences on issues and topics at the PLC of broad national and global interest attract live TV coverage often by C-SPAN;

• The university successfully recruits undergraduate and graduate students who are interested in careers in the public sector and in the non-profit, private sector;

• Annual visitorship levels at the museum may be expected in the range of 400,000-500,000 people, including international visitors, American tourists, and school groups;

• The multiplier economic effect of the PLC in the community from visitors is substantial;

• Typically, a PLC has private living quarters for the former president and family, making the former First Family residents of the campus and community on a regular basis; and

• The PLC usually quickly becomes one of the "crown jewels" of the university and the community a center of activity of great substance.

FAQ #7: What can I do to help?

• Spread the word that Baylor and Central Texas are prepared to support the future George Walker Bush Presidential Library Center;

• Write a personal letter to

President Bush to enhance the invitation and mail it to:

The Honorable George W. Bush

President of the United States

The White House

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW

Washington, D.C. 20500

FAQ #8: Who do I contact for more information?

Baylor University

Dr. Robert B. Sloan Jr., President

PO Box 97096

Waco, TX 76798-7096

Phone: 254-710-3555



Larry Brumley, Associate Vice President for External Relations

Phone 254-710-1964


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