SMU Gears Up For Groundbreaking

November 15, 2010  

By Gloria Salinas
gosalinas@smu.edu

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.

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