News from the Bush School

Thirty-three Bush School Students Serve on Fourteen Brazos Nonprofit Organization Boards

March 04, 2020

Group photo of Bush Board Fellows

Group photo of Bush Board Fellows

Over the last year, thirty-three Bush School students have served Brazos County through the Bush Board Fellows program, which allows students to work with fourteen nonprofit organizations. The Bush Board Fellows program aims to elevate and promote the community as students have the opportunity to work with and provide insight on the boards they are working with during the year. Additionally, the program allows students to make connections throughout the community; many of them plan to serve on boards in the future.

Through this program, graduate students are placed in local nonprofit organizations as non-voting board members. Some of the benefits include allowing the students to connect classroom learning to real-world engagement on topics such as fundraising, fiscal and legal governance, and strategic planning. Students overwhelmingly indicate they plan to serve on a board in the future, so the Board Fellows program serves as a powerful tool in developing future public servants.

“Understanding that boards play a crucial role in nonprofits, I knew the exposure and experiences offered through the Bush Board Fellows was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up,” stated first-year Master of Public Service and Administration student Samantha Gordon.

In January 2020, the Center for Nonprofits & Philanthropy at the Bush School of Government and Public Service celebrated the service of the Bush Board Fellows at a pinning ceremony. During the ceremony, Dr. William Brown, Director of the Center for Nonprofits & Philanthropy, provided a short history of the program. He stated that approximately ten years ago, students from the Bush School started serving on local nonprofit boards as part of Shadow Boards—now called Bush Board Fellows.  The program has grown significantly since then, allowing thirty-three master’s students to serve fourteen organizations in the Brazos Valley in the 2020 year.

Leaders of each of the local nonprofit organizations presented a lapel pin to Bush Board Fellows serving in 2019 and 2020 acknowledging their commitment to public service.  As students mingled during the event, hopes for the continued growth of the program were expressed, and many felt the call to serve. 

Participants were reminded of the words of the School’s former namesake: 

“Public service is a noble calling, and we need men and women of character to believe that they can make a difference in their communities in their states, and in their country.”
President George H. W. Bush, September 1997