2009 Archives

Presidential Library leader to speak at SMU's December graduation

December 17, 2009

DALLAS (SMU) — Alan C. Lowe, director of the George W. Bush Presidential Library and archivist at several presidential libraries, will speak at the University's graduation ceremony at 10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 19, in Moody Coliseum. SMU expects to award approximately 900 undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees in the ceremony.

Lowe has a long record of achievement with the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), the federal agency that oversees the nation’s presidential libraries. NARA appointed him director of the Bush Presidential Library at SMU in January 2009. Lowe most recently was executive director of the Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy at the University of Tennessee's Knoxville campus. Before joining the Baker Center, he spent 14 years working with the National Archives Presidential Libraries system.

"Serving at presidential libraries ranging from those of Franklin D. Roosevelt to Ronald Reagan, Alan Lowe has organized and studied historic papers and artifacts reflecting critical periods in our nation's history. As graduation speaker, he will give us an insider's look at what he has learned about executive leadership from the libraries and centers he has served,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner.

During his tenure at the National Archives, Lowe helped to oversee 12 presidential libraries located throughout the nation. He worked first as an archivist at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library.  He also served as interim director of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library. After joining the Office of Presidential Libraries, he worked closely with libraries and foundations on the development and renovation of new and existing libraries and provided administrative oversight of library operations.

Materials to be housed in the Bush Presidential Center at SMU currently are stored in a massive warehouse in Lewisville, Texas, north of Dallas. The materials include 40,000 artifacts, 65 million documents and 100 terabytes of electronic records documenting President Bush's two terms in office.

Architectural plans for the George W. Bush Presidential Center were unveiled Nov. 18, 2009. The 227,000-square-foot, three-story complex, designed by architect Robert A.M. Stern, will be built on the east side of the SMU campus, south of SMU Blvd. and adjacent to North Central Expressway. In addition to the library, the center will include a museum and a policy institute.  Groundbreaking is planned for next year, and the center is expected to open in 2013.

As part of the national presidential library system, the Bush Library and Museum will be run by the National Archives and Records Administration, while the separate and independent Bush Institute will be operated by the private Bush Foundation.

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