I just finished my first year as dean of the Bush School. It’s still hard to believe I’m lucky enough to be here! It’s been an absolute privilege to meet and get to know our remarkable students, distinguished faculty members, and deeply committed staff. I’ve also been able to reacquaint myself with the wider Texas A&M University community. What a wonderful place to be! And this week, we welcome another talented class of students, who will follow the lead of our namesake, President George H.W. Bush, and pursue a career of public service.
The School’s reputation for excellence in academics, research, and public service is well established and growing. Our student body is one of the most diverse of any college at Texas A&M, with each student bringing a unique perspective to classroom discussions, research efforts, and community service. This past summer, Bush School students completed internships across the US and around the world. Others chose foreign language immersion programs, while some conducted research projects at home or abroad. Their hard work over the summer enriched their academic experience and further prepared them for their future careers. Throughout the school year, our students also make significant contributions to the local community, demonstrating their commitment to volunteerism and modeling public service.
The expertise, experience, and energy of our faculty continue to make this a school where scholars and students alike thrive. Widely respected in their fields of expertise and recognized as excellent teachers, our faculty are actively engaged in research related to complex policy issues, providing knowledge and guidance to decision makers at all levels of government and the nonprofit sector. Many have significant experience in government and/or the private sector and use that experience to help guide our students as they try to determine their own future path.
We are especially proud of our graduates’ impressive record of service and their impact in the public policy arena. It is clear that in the twenty years since its founding, the Bush School has had significant influence on communities, states, the nation, and the world, as its graduates gained key positions in government and nonprofit organizations. Their success reflects the breadth of knowledge and unique experiences acquired during their years on campus.
Now, more than ever, we need well-trained, well-prepared, principled leaders who grasp the scope and context of increasingly complex issues. Today’s public servants need the skills to grapple with those issues and the character to lead in times of uncertainty. They face a challenging environment. Bush School graduates undertake competitive internships in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. They conduct rigorous research with real-world clients and are blessed with a rich classroom experience focused on critical thinking. They are well prepared to excel in that environment. For twenty years now, their success has been our success. They show the world the quality of the people who come here and the quality of the education they receive.
It has been a remarkable first twenty years for the Bush School; I can’t wait to see what the next twenty brings! As our college matures, we must maintain a clear focus on our goals and work tirelessly to ensure the Bush School continues to grow in importance as an educational resource for Texas, the nation, and the world. I am honored to be a part of this school and to contribute in some small way to the development of the remarkable leaders and scholars who are now part of the living legacy of President George H.W. Bush. I know how proud he is of them. I just hope he knows how proud they are to represent him.
Mark A. Welsh III
Dean, Holder of the Edward & Howard Kruse Endowed Chair, and Executive Professor