News from the Bush School

Bush School Receives $1 Million Gift to Study Middle East

August 17, 2012

August 17, 2012


The Levant Foundation of Houston has donated $1 million to establish a professorship, fellowship and research endowment at Texas A&M University’s George Bush School of Government and Public Service.  The gift, funded through the Texas A&M Foundation, will promote the study of the Middle East.

The professorship, fellowship and research endowment are named for Jamal Daniel, who founded The Levant Foundation. Daniel, who was born in Syria and lived in Lebanon during his childhood, is president and chairman of Houston-based Crest Investment Co. The Levant Foundation’s mission is to further knowledge of the Middle East’s culture and history as well as the interrelations of its three monotheistic religions, Judaism, Islam and Christianity.

Jamal and his wife Rania also have donated to the George Bush Presidential Library Foundation through The Levant Foundation. In recognition of their gifts, the dining room at the Annenberg Presidential Conference Center was named The Rania and Jamal Daniel Presidential Dining Room. The center, located adjacent to the Bush School and Library, accommodates conferences, banquets, lectures and performances for the Bush library and other Texas A&M events.

That gift prompted Jamal Daniel to have a conversation with Bush School officials about creating a gift to support the school’s academic program. These discussions led to the creation of the professorship, fellowship and research endowment.

The gift will provide Bush School students and faculty the opportunity to learn more about the complex environment in the Middle East. “Our hope is that The Levant Foundation will enhance the education of Texas A&M students to arm them with a greater depth of substantive knowledge in addressing Middle Eastern affairs,” said Sonny Hudson, executive director of The Levant Foundation. “As evidenced by the crisis in Syria and with high tension in Lebanon, Turkey, Palestine, Jordan and Israel, a better understanding of this region’s people and history is key to finding diplomatic solutions and lasting peaceful stability for the region and ultimately the world. Better prepared scholars, diplomats, politicians, and military and government officers will take the mantle of leadership in the years to come.”