COLLEGE STATION, Tex. (KBTX) - The president had such a profound impact on a number of people in Aggieland.
One of those individuals now heads up the Texas A&M Foundation and credits his leadership and decision making skills to our former president and his time at The Bush School.
Tyson Voelkel is a military veteran, a Texas A&M graduate and a teacher of leadership.
Currently, he is the A&M foundation president. He credits some of his most precious accolades to our late 41st president George HW Bush.
"I'd always been a fan of President Bush's style and the way that he seemed to make decisions because he was a collaborator,” said Voelkel.
After serving on the front lines in Iraq, Voelkel attended the bush school; he says to become a better leader.
"They talked about faith, they talked about family and they talked about friends and the intersection for all of those for president bush was public service,” he said.
But more than public service, Voelkel says both the president and his wife were the definition of real.
Tyson Voelkel, like the president and first lady, he too lost a daughter at a young age. It's what the president said to him during one of the darkest moments of his life that left a lasting impression.
"The very first things out of his mouth were that he was sorry and that he knew that pain,” said Voelkel. “He said ‘Barb and I have had a hole in our heart ever since we lost Robin. We spent the rest of our life trying to fill that hole trying to do good for other people.’ And he said that doing good was the thing that kept them going and it made them appreciate life. For us, that was, of everything I've read and know about him and Mrs. Bush, that said everything about them and who they are. That's why they care about people."
Voelkel says the president often reminded him and others to be purposeful and to do good with the things they were granted. It's that good he remembers today.
During his time at the Bush School Voelkel served as a student leader on the President’s advisory board.