SMU prepares for visitors as George W. Bush library's opening day nears

Story about SMU's preparations for the dedication and opening of the George W. Bush Presidential Center.

Staff Writer

UNIVERSITY PARK — Highway signs have been posted. Bus routes have been altered. And campus maps have been printed.

With less than a month to go until opening day, Southern Methodist University is preparing for visitors to flock to the George W. Bush Presidential Center.

Bush Library officials anticipate about a half-million visitors in its first year. For its host, SMU, that means an opportunity to welcome national and international tourists.

George W. and Laura Bush will dedicate the George W. Bush Library and Museum at an invitation-only ceremony April 25 that is expected to be attended by President Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle, as well as past presidents. The museum opens to the public May 1.

“SMU is going to be introduced to the world, to a lot of the world, for the first time,” said Brad Cheves, vice president for development and external affairs. “The fact that it is happening on our campus at the Bush Center is something that will bring a lot of attention to our university.”

For visitors who wish to explore the rest of the campus, SMU produced a map with a walking tour of highlights, including its first building, Dallas Hall.

The university also partnered with the Bush Center to direct traffic to the Meadows Museum, which features a large Spanish art collection, among other art exhibits. SMU will offer free Meadows Museum tickets to Bush Center visitors for the first six months after the center opens.

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