COLLEGE STATION, Texas (Nexstar) — George H.W. Bush’s path to the presidency and his contributions after life in the White House are documented throughout the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum in College Station.
The 41st President died Nov. 30, 2018 at age 94. His days in the oil business, his start in politics and the family’s Houston church tell the story of the Bush family.
“They made sure that they were part of the community, part of raising money and doing good and it carried on throughout their lives,” said Warren Finch, executive director of the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum.
Two decades of graduating classes from The Bush School of Government and Public Service are also carrying on the former president’s legacy and leadership style. Inside the halls of the school and library in his name at Texas A&M are quotes of commitment to public service and how public service is a noble calling.
“That, in a nutshell is, what he sees as the vision of the Bush School,” Dr. Charles Hermann, founding director, said.
The former president never missed a chance to work with students directly.
“He came to participate in classes,” Hermann said. “He helped us with recruiting students in the beginning. He came by and pitched horseshoes with the students.”
Bush also stressed to school leaders about finding ways to work as hard as possible to keep student debt low so that obtaining this education would be possible. Contributions like that, as well as his approach towards other political leaders, are still deeply respected. His leadership is still recognized in the City of Houston.
“When there was a proposal to line Buffalo Bayou – the principle waterway of the Houston, Harris County area – to line it with concrete, he opposed that,” recalls Chase Untermeyer, Bush’s assistant and director of presidential personnel. “He very much wanted to have a natural Buffalo Bayou, which to this day, remains a huge asset to have an effect – a nature preserve right here in the heart of the city.”
Finch said, “George Bush is famously known for calling you up on the phone and seeing how you’re doing and wishing you a happy birthday and just kind of chatting with world leaders, so that when a crisis developed, the first time he’s picking up the phone is not when there’s a crisis.”
Bush will be buried Thursday behind the library alongside his wife of 73 years, Barbara, who died in April. Their daughter Robin, who died of leukemia at age three, is also buried at the family plot in College Station.