Students from the Bush School of Government & Public Service at Texas A&M University, along with Habitat for Humanity supporters, will hold a wall-raising ceremony Saturday (March 2) for a house that will be built in honor of President George H.W. and Mrs. Barbara Bush.
The ceremony is set for 8 a.m. in Bryan’s Faith Subdivision, located at the intersection of East Martin Luther King Drive and Military Drive.
Over the past year, students led a fund-raising effort with the help of Bush School Dean Andrew Card to raise the necessary $40,000 to sponsor the Bush House. Student leaders said that the fund-raising process involved sending out letters and making phone calls to more than 150 people, including former students, faculty, staff, and supporters of President Bush and of Habitat for Humanity.
Additionally, Bush School students hosted fund-raisers such as a “trivia night” and kickball tournament and made a final push by reaching out to family, friends, and into their own pockets during the last few weeks of fund-raising. To date, the students have raised over $42,000 for Habitat for Humanity, with the majority of donations coming in since November. Since the “Bush House” will cost approximately $70,000 to build, supporters can continue to donate to Habitat for Humanity to honor President Bush, organizers note.
The house is one of 24 new, energy-efficient homes going up in the Faith Subdivision. The five-bedroom house will be presented to Andrew and Stephanie Ybarra and their five children on May 11, one day after the current Bush School second-year students graduate. Volunteers, including several Bush School students, will help build the home each Saturday between the wall-raising and the home dedication.
Students said they hope this house will not only serve as a lasting tribute to President Bush long after they graduate but will also continue to connect Bush School students to the community in which they live. The Bush School engages in numerous volunteer activities each year, but this project is unique in that it is long-lasting and the philanthropy was student-led, organizers emphasize.