A commitment to public service shown by George Bush, the 41st president of the United States, and former first lady Barbara Bush, is reflected by the students and faculty at the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University.
The Bush School is a graduate program at Texas A&M, inspired by the vision of President Bush, to educate and cultivate professional and principled leaders in public service.
The Bush School offers master’s programs designed for people devoted to improving the well-being of others. Students often engage in service outside the classroom, through internships and public service projects.
The Bush School’s Public Service Organization (PSO) is the student-led “keeper of the flame” – so named because it brings together students and faculty of the Bush School to meet community, statewide, national and international needs through service projects.
Locally, the PSO joins with B/CS Habitat for Humanity to help build houses for low-income families.
Fundraising is underway for the construction of “The Bush School House,” one of the first homes in the Faith subdivision, Habitat for Humanity’s newest, located off East Martin Luther King Drive in Bryan.
The house will be dedicated to George and Barbara Bush, “because President Bush has done so much for this school, we felt the most appropriate way to thank him is by putting his words into action,” says Calen Caple, project coordinator and Bush School student.
“Our fundraising team is led by eight current students, and more than 40 participated or contributed financially,” Caple explains. She says the project is receiving support from students and alumni, faculty and staff, donors, friends of the Bush School and library, the staff at Habitat and the future homeowners.
Bush School students participate in many other public service efforts in the local area, including Replant Day, a volunteer tree-planting effort, as well as The Big Event, where they join their fellow Aggies in a variety of community improvement projects from painting, to yard work and cleaning. Bush School students are always top fundraisers for the Salvation Army, ringing bells at Sam’s Club in College Station each holiday season.
The students participate in a variety of health-related fundraisers, such as the American Heart Association’s Heart Walk, Go Red for Women luncheon and the Heart Rock Gala. At the Aggie Relay for Life, a late-night run/walk around the A&M track, the Bush School has helped raise more than $100,000 each year for cancer awareness and research. Bush School participation in statewide run/walks has included the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in Austin and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Light the Night in Houston.
The education and mentoring of youngsters is another important facet of the school’s service mission. The Bush School joins Bonham Elementary in Bryan for the Bonham Readers Program where once a week, Bush students spend time reading to schoolchildren.
They also serve as docents at the Bush Presidential Library and Museum, leading grade school and high school students through the library. Juniors from Bryan High are invited to the library for the Student Leadership Forum, a day of leadership development and service projects led by current Bush School students and notable leaders in the community.
Another arm of the Bush School public service mission is its capstone program. Capstone projects are team-based research projects in which students work for real-world clientele to produce public-policy research reports. Whether it’s making affordable housing recommendations to the Houston-Galveston Area Council of Governments or devising strategies for border security for the Department of Homeland Security, the students contribute informed analysis on a variety of local, state, national and international public policy issues.
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Media contact: Lesley Henton, News & Information Services at Texas A&M University; (979) 845-5591