SMU celebrates the fifth anniversary of the George W. Bush Presidential Center. Located on a 23-acre site on the east side of campus, the Bush Center houses the Presidential Library and Museum, which includes the presidential archives of the Bush Administration as well as permanent and traveling exhibits, and the George W. Bush Institute, an independent policy institute.

A world-changing academic partnership between SMU and the Bush Center was launched with a history-making gathering on April 25, 2013. George W. Bush, the 43rd President of the United States, and former First Lady Laura Bush, an SMU alumna, were joined by then-President Barack Obama and former presidents Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton, for the dedication of the first presidential center of the 21st century and the first presidential library of the social media age.

The event drew more than 10,000 invited guests, including former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and other former heads of state. More than 500 members of the SMU community watched the simulcast in McFarlin Auditorium or at an outdoor viewing screen.

In his remarks, Bush thanked SMU, noting that President R. Gerald Turner runs “a fantastic university.” He said SMU students are “awesome,” drawing cheers from students in the audience.

The opening of the Bush Presidential Library and Museum followed on May 1, 2013. The 13th presidential library administered by the National Archives and Records Administration, it serves as a resource for the study of Bush’s life and career while promoting a deeper understanding of the presidency, American history and public policy.


More than 1 million visitors to the Bush Center since it opened in 2013


43,000 artifacts housed in the presidential archives


More than 100 SMU students have served as Bush Center interns


70 million pages of paper records

80 TB

80 terabytes of electronic information


13th U.S. presidential library

15 acres

15-acre urban park on the Bush Center grounds features walking trails, seasonal wildflowers and habitats for butterflies, birds and other wildlife


14,000-square-foot museum includes a full-size replica of the White House Oval Office


First presidential library to achieve LEED Platinum certification for new construction with its eco-friendly design, materials and systems