Video by Courtney O’Callaghan
Attendees of the George W. Bush Library groundbreaking provide commentary on their experience.
Post by Elizabeth Lowe
Daily Mustang Editor Elizabeth Lowe spoke with Executive Vice President Bob Bowen and Project Executive Mark Penny of Manhattan Construction at the groundbreaking ceremony this week.
Their team headed the conceptual and contracting stage of the George W. Bush Presidential Center and began groundbreaking Nov. 16.
Manhattan Construction also contracted the new Cowboys stadium and Bush Senior’s library.
Follow construction of the Presidential Center via Manhattan Construction’s online webcam of the grounds.
Student reporter Mackenzie O’Hara spent all morning tracking the protesters. Here’s her story, which quotes one protester who says the coming Bush library and policy institute represent policies that failed.
By Aida Ahmed
The highly anticipated groundbreaking of the George W. Bush Presidential Library went without complications.
The star-studded event featured speakers such as former Vice President Dick Cheney, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, SMU President Gerald Turner, former First Lady Laura Bush and various members of the Bush Foundation. Of course, the man of the hour was greeted with the warmest welcome and cheers, the former President George W. Bush.
On stage, Rice and Cheney both spoke of the Bush administration and how they admired the work President Bush did while in office. Rice mentioned his work to keep America a free market and Cheney spoke of his leadership during the attacks of Sept. 11.
The former first lady also took to the stage to spread her message of literacy and freedom for women across the world with her Women’s Institute that she will work on further in the Bush Library.
Representing SMU was the university’s president, Gerald Turner, who welcomed the Bushes on campus. On behalf of SMU students, student body President Jake Torres also extended a warm welcome to the Bush Library.
While protests continued hundreds of yards away from the big white tent, there were no negative vibes inside the ceremony. Over 2,500 guests, including a group of soldiers stationed in Fort Hood, SMU students and media from all over the world were in the audience as Bush and his close friends broke ground on the SMU campus.
And the Bush Foundation is wasting no time in meeting their 2013 goal for the library. Construction is scheduled to begin Wednesday.
By Aida Ahmed
Behind the scenes in the media tent SMU President Gerald R. Turner, President of the Bush Foundation Mark Langdale and Laura Bush’s former Chief of Staff Anita McBride weighed in on what the George W. Bush Presidential Library will bring to SMU.
By Courtney O’Callaghan
The dirt has been shoveled and the crowd is dispersing. If you missed the ceremony and want a blow-by-blow recap, check out Daily Mustang managing editor Aida Ahmed’s Twitter feed. She live-blogged the entire event.
Photo by Natalie Blankenship
As journalism student Elizabeth Galante observes on Twitter, the masked protestors have been blocked by a barricade of sheriff’s deputies outside Moody Coliseum.
Video by Kellis Cunningham
Tempers flared Tuesday morning as several supporters confronted Bush Library protesters in the Park Cities Plaza parking lot.
Beth Freed, a Dallas resident, protests the Bush Presidential Center. She discusses her opinions regarding the Bush administration and why she doesn’t believe the library should be on SMU’s campus.
By Sarah Bray
10:31 a.m. SMU senior Brittany Weltner stopped by the protest before waiting in line to enter the Bush Presidential Center groundbreaking. She gave her opinion on the differences.
By Aida Ahmed
We just got the program and it says Condi Rice and Dick Cheney will take part in the ceremony. The crowd is big, and almost all the seats are filled up.
Don’t know if all those SMU students waiting outside will get in. There is a section of troops from Fort Hood who will present colors.
CNN, Fox, AP, Reuters all here. Media is now in lockdown. Can’t move from now until end of ceremony.
Mitt Romney is in the crowd.
By Sarah Bray
By Mackenzie O’Hara and Natalie Blankenship
By Sarah Bray
By Kwynn Kirkhuff
“Peace Bus” protesters talk about their efforts.
By Mackenzie O’Hara
Video by Kwynn Kirkhuff
Photo by Stuart Palley
Bush library protesters are making their way from Mockingbird Station to campus. Many protesters are dressed in black, and some are wearing white masks symbolizing civilians killed during the Iraq War.
Standing outside the DART station off Mockingbird Lane is Linda Foley from Fort Worth. She said she’s protesting the entire Bush presidency, starting with the “purged votes” at the elections and everything else that “just got worse from there.” Foley said the protest plans have been publicized online, in peace groups, and on Facebook.
Foley hopes to see up to 5,000 protesters today. She was one of the protesters at Bush’s book signing on Nov. 9. Foley said that protesters in the past have done everything they could to urge world leaders not to go to war, but has learned “no matter what world leaders will ignore what the people want and are listening to someone else.”
On the left is Meg Hillert, the mother of two SMU alums, who opposes the institute because she’s a Methodist and doesn’t think SMU should be the home of the center because “she doesn’t think the truth will be told.” She said Bush lied about Iran having weapons of mass destruction and that the U.S. is safer due to the war. Hillert disagrees.
On the right is Rich Hancock, the moderator of the Rational Broadcast group who says the protests are “all about accountability.” Hancock says the group isn’t violent or angry but distressed because people have forgotten about all the things Bush did in his presidency. “The past is prolonged” he said, “if it happened before it will happen again.”
The stage is set for the groundbreaking ceremony. Nearly 2 hours before the ceremony begins, guests are starting to file in and fill the tent.
SMU students are already waiting outside to get tickets to attend the ground breaking ceremony. Event staff members are giving students a numbered ticket and a red t-shirt.
SMU journalism students were on hand, both inside and outside the ceremonial tent, to bring you live coverage of Tuesday morning’s Bush presidential library groundbreaking. Check out the coverage on our Bush Blog as well as our live chat with the Dallas Morning News and our #bushsmu hashtag on Twitter.
By Sarah Bray
SMU senior Caroline Young just scored a last-minute ticket to the Bush Library groundbreaking. Young said she has been talking for weeks to friends and classmates about her desire to attend the groundbreaking. A friend secured a spare, called Young late Monday night and offered her the free ticket. “I’m so excited,” Young said about having one of the 2,500 tickets to the groundbreaking. “How often do you get to have a presidential library built at your school?”
By Daily Mustang Staff
Ari Fleischer, former press secretary for President George W. Bush, spoke with students and faculty in professor Carolyn Barta’s reporting class Monday morning. Fleischer is in town for Tuesday’s presidential library groundbreaking.
In the Q&A, Fleischer discussed media coverage of politics. He also mentioned protesters he saw on campus today and remarked on how he believes some members of the media take liberal protest movements more seriously than conservative protesters, such as the Tea Party.
Check back for a full recap of Fleischer’s class visit.
By Gloria Salinas
Since 2001, SMU has been researching the possibility of bringing the George W. Bush Presidential Library to campus. After nine years in the making the Bush Presidential Center will hold its Groundbreaking Ceremony on Tuesday, Nov. 16 at 10 a.m.
In the months leading up to the Groundbreaking, former President George W. Bush has been touring the country and promoting his new book ‘Decision Points.’ President Bush has made appearances on prime time with Matt Lauer, the Oprah Winfrey Show and has a booking for Jay Leno’s Tonight Show. At home in Dallas, the President made a splash at his Borders book signing when thousands showed up, several camping out overnight.
The President who has kept quiet for two years since his presidency has been headlining the news and the SMU campus. The Meadows Museum at SMU is hosting a free exhibit to the public through Feb.6, 2011, entitled “Breaking New Ground: Presenting the George W. Bush Presidential Center.”The exhibit features some of the Presidential Center’s historic holdings like the building design, ongoing initiatives of The Bush Institute and key artifacts and papers of the Bush Administration.
The SMU campus has begun preparations for the Groundbreaking with road closures in the southeast part of campus. Since 6 a.m. Dublin Street between Airline Road and SMU Boulevard is closed. On Tuesday from 4 a.m. until 2 p.m. road blocks will be in effect from Dublin Street to North Central Expressway.
Due to road closures parking will not be permitted in the Blanton Parking lot through Tuesday and parking will be unavailable on SMU Boulevard, and Binkley Avenue between Airline Road and Dublin Street. The Dedman Center lot will be closed prior to 2 p.m. on Tuesday.
Some thousands of guests and protesters are expected to be in attendance for the Groundbreaking on Tuesday. SMU faculty, staff and students are invited into the tent for a limited number of seats on Tuesday before 10:30 a.m., may attend a celebration at Mustang Mall or watch a live web cast at georgebushcenter.com. Expected among the crowds of protesters are ex-land owners whose land was bought in order to make the 24-acre site and the LGBT community will be holding a march at 9 a.m.
Road to the George W. Bush Presidential Center
On Oct. 12, 2005 the Library Selection Committee announced that SMU, Baylor, the University of Dallas and the West Texas Coalition were the remaining four contenders.
Nearly a year later on Dec. 21, 2006, the Committee announces it is focusing on SMU as the possible site and negotiations begin.
And on Feb. 22, 2008, SMU’s Board of Trustees and George W. Bush Presidential Library Foundation Board voted on an agreement establishing SMU as the site of the George W. Bush Presidential Center.
The George W. Bush Presidential Center is a 24-acre site situated on the southwest end of SMU and is home to presidential archives, documents and artifacts of the Bush Administration and functions as a museum with permanent and traveling exhibits and an independent public policy institute.
Stayed tuned to the Daily Mustang for your complete coverage of the groundbreaking, campus developments and breaking news.
Photos By Mai Lyn Ngo
Protesters are a day early and have begun speaking out against the Bush Library.
A group of about 30 protesters with signs are outside Ford Stadium across from Mockingbird Lane. Some say they have traveled from all over the country to protest.
Bush Blog: Daily Mustang Teams Up With Dallas Morning News For Live Coverage of Bush Library Groundbreaking
On Tuesday from 9 a.m. to noon, the SMU Daily Mustang is teaming up with The Dallas Morning News to provide live online coverage of the Bush library groundbreaking. Join us at dallasnews.com and smudailymustang.com. In this Sunday story, Morning News staff writer Lori Stahl explores the eight-year history that has led to this moment.
Members of the SMU community — especially journalism students — are encouraged to submit updates and cell phone pictures from around campus all morning long for the Daily Mustang’s Bush Blog and the Mustang/DMN live chat. Email your updates and pics to firstname.lastname@example.org or use the Twitter hashtag #bushsmu.
By Hayley Bosch
Former President George W. Bush is scheduled to break ground on his long-awaited Presidential Library this Tuesday. Thousands of guests, as well as protesters, are expected.
The invitation-only event will take over campus beginning Monday morning. Streets on the east side of campus will be closed to make way for the event.
The 24-acre site will soon boast a 225,000 square-foot building surrounded by a 3-foot retaining wall as is the federal security requirement. Beginning Tuesday, what looks like an empty dirt lot will be transformed into a facility that will put SMU on the map.
The single building on the grounds, featuring a museum, library and archives, policy institute, gift shop and cafés, will don replicas of both the White House Rose Garden and the Oval Office of George W. Bush. The building is designed to achieve Platinum Certification, the highest possible distinction under the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design rating system. Regionally sourced building materials, including limestone from Midland, Texas, where the Bushes first met, and the utilization of 20 percent recycled materials are among many of features within the sustainable design of the building.
A special exhibit at Meadows Museum previews some of the historic holdings that will eventually be moved to the museum when the Presidential Center is complete. The exhibit, “Breaking New Ground: Presenting the George W. Bush Presidential Center,” allows visitors a sneak peek into what the Bush Foundation is all about. Floor plans of the Center and the initiatives of The Bush Institute are showcased in the exhibit, which runs through February 6, 2011.
The museum within the Presidential Center plans to tell the story of the leadership of President and Mrs. Bush. It will feature artifacts from the presidency, such as Saddam Hussein’s pistol retrieved upon his capture, and handwritten notes made by Bush as he planned a statement immediately after the Sept. 11 attacks.
Also on display will be more personal items, such as a sweatshirt worn by the president as he threw the ceremonial first pitch of the 2001 World Series at the Yankees Stadium and a baseball bat from the Hall of Fame.
The former president kicked off his book tour with a book-signing of “Decision Points” last week in Dallas. The timely release fell exactly one week before the groundbreaking ceremony and was met with anti-water boarding protests. Thousands have planned to protest at Tuesday’s groundbreaking, starting with a march from Mockingbird Station to the SMU campus.
Follow the Daily Mustang from 9 a.m. to noon Tuesday as we team up with The Dallas Morning News for live coverage of the groundbreaking.