Bush Makes Surprise Appearance at SMU

President George W. Bush poses with incoming SMU student body vice president Jaywin Singh Malhi, incoming student body secretary Katherine Ladner, current student body president Alex Mace, and incoming student body president Ramon Trespalacios.

More than 3,000 SMU alumni, students, faculty, and staff were celebrating the upcoming debut of the George W. Bush Presidential Center today when the facility’s namesake made a surprise appearance.

“You see a guy who’s grateful, really grateful, that the current leadership of SMU and the Board of Trustees made it possible that Laura and I could build the Bush Presidential Center here on this campus,” Bush said, according to an SMU press release. “Today is a day to give thanks, and I’m the most thankful person here.”

The nation’s 43rd president received some gifts today:

  • University Park Mayor Richard B. Davis presented a green and white “Bush Ave.” street sign. Portions of Airline Road and Dublin Street have been renamed Bush Avenue.
  • Student body president Alex Mace Alex Mace presented a bound book of student letters welcoming the Bush Presidential Center to campus, along with a tiny Mustang cheerleader outfit for Bush’s new granddaughter, Margaret Laura Hager
  • Caren Prothro, chair of the SMU Board of Trustees, presented a resolution honoring George W. and Laura Welch Bush.

The Bush Presidential Center will be dedicated Thursday, when the nation’s four other living presidents — Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama — are expected to attend.

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