COLLEGE STATION, Tex. (KBTX) - Students attending the Bush School of Government and Public service are reflecting on the surprise encounters they had with President Bush.
They say they are confident their time spent at the school has prepared them to make a positive impact on the world.
"This school is a perfect reflection of President Bush and the way he lived his life," said Fulbright Student Lela Akiashvili. She is from the Republic of Georgia, and because of her roots, has a unique take on the Bush School.
"I had very mixed feelings and expectations coming to the Bush School, but I've never been in an environment or university where people care about you so much starting at the top with President Bush," explained Akiashvili.
That same feeling resonates with her fellow classmates.
"As Bush School students, we become a part of the family," said Kayla McGill Class of '18. "Anytime someone does something that makes us proud, we know they are proud of us too."
Even as their health dwindled, students knew to expect surprise visits from President Bush and the former First Lady Barabara.
"I'll never forget, it was August so I was disheveled and sweaty and I was rushing to sign in, and a plainclothes secret service man tells me to step aside," explained Megan Lamberth, Class of '18. "Then I realized President Bush was like four feet in front of me and I was just in awe."
"Our first year we were told we had to dress top notch because Barbara Bush would catch us around the corner," said Darren Duboise, Class of '18.
"Last winter I was taking a class with his son Jeb and during one class, the President just walked in and started participating in one of the conversations we were having," said Akiashvili.
It was conversations like those, that will help shape how these students leave their mark on our world.
"I would just describe this as a life changing opportunity. I've got more than what I expected from this school, I'm leaving with so many ideas of what I want to do and the different projects I have in my head," said Akiashvili.
"It taught me a lot, it taught me patience," said Duboise. "This school is bipartisan. It's not Democrat or Republican and it's just all about how can we make the best stewards for society."
The class of 2018 marked the 20th graduating class for the Bush School of Government and Public Service.
In lieu of flowers, the Bush family is asking people instead donate to the school.