Bush School Graduation Portrait Taken for Class of 2015

April 07, 2015

On March 6, 2015, members of the May graduation class from the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University gathered in the Annenberg Presidential Conference for their “official” graduation photograph with President George H. W. Bush.  Some 143 Bush School students will be graduating—63 from the Public Service and Administration (PSAA) program, and 80 from the International Affairs (INTA) program.

This is the 19th class picture: President Bush first posed for a graduation photograph in May of 1999 with the initial class of only 17 members. The president has posed with every succeeding class, and the amount of space—and risers—needed to accommodate the class has grown as both programs have seen increased enrollment.  This year’s photograph was made even more special with the first-time inclusion of former First Lady Barbara Bush and the Bush’s two Maltipoo dogs, Bib and Mini.

“It really means a lot to the students that our School’s namesake still takes the time to pose with us for our graduation photograph,” said Joe Terrell, a 2015 PSAA candidate.  “It’s not every day that you get to share the frame with a living former president of the United States.”

Daphne Hiatt, an INTA major, echoed Terrell’s comments.  “This once-in-a-lifetime moment with the Bushes wasn’t like stamps you get in your passport to show you’ve been there, but was a really meaningful event. We are so grateful that President and Mrs. Bush continue to show their support for our student body and the School.  And getting to pet the dogs was a plus,” Hiatt added.

Bush School Dean Ryan Crocker noted how important the president’s continued engagement with the students has been.

“Over the years, our students have been privileged to meet and get to know President Bush and to appreciate his vision of public service as a noble calling, which is the cornerstone of our academic programs,” said Crocker.  “When the School was founded, President Bush expressed the hope that this School would produce new generations committed to public service, people who believe they can make a difference.  These students, and all our graduates working in public service at all levels, are making that vision a reality.” 

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