April 17, 2009
By LORI STAHL
The Dallas Morning News
George and Laura Bush met with former White House advisers Tuesday for a private strategy session on how the former president's policy institute should be organized and presented.
Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice (center) visits with Roza Essaw, a senior at Wiley (Texas) High School and incoming SMU Hunt Leadership Scholar. Rice was on campus April 14 with former President George W. Bush, Mrs. Bush and other administration officials for an informal meeting on plans for the George W. Bush Presidential Center at SMU. With them is Lori White, SMU vice president for student affairs, who knows Rice from their days as colleagues at Stanford University. On leaving the Collins Executive Education Building, where the meeting was held, participants were greeted by students who had waited after hearing about the presence of special visitors on campus.
The former first couple has been heavily involved in design, fundraising and now programming for the George W. Bush Presidential Library complex, which will include a policy institute.
Although the group gave no public statement after the meeting at Southern Methodist University, one person who attended said the Bushes want to pair principles such as freedom and compassion with case studies that show those ideas in action.
"There was a strong desire on the part of President Bush and Laura Bush to marry academic research and study with some sort of real-world application," said Mark Langdale, president of the Bush Foundation.
Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice got some students Twittering when word spread that she'd been spotted on campus. The 20 or so advisers attended a private strategy session in Crum Auditorium.
Senior advisers Karen Hughes and Dan Bartlett also attended. The entire group had dinner at the Bush home in Preston Hollow on Monday night.
The Bush Foundation is conducting a campaign to raise $300 million for the presidential complex at SMU. It will include a library and museum run by the National Archives. The foundation will operate the policy institute.
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