COLLEGE STATION, Tex. (KBTX) - The Bush School of Government and Public Service has graduated hundreds of students that have gone on to serve the Bryan College Station community and beyond.
Those who work within the school say that success is credited to the motivation former President George H.W. Bush imparted on each class. Chuck Hermann, the school’s first program director, says it was the promise of opening a graduate school that focused on teaching tomorrow's leaders that got President Bush on board with building his library at Texas A&M University.
"He was really attracted to the idea of there being a school linked to his library,” said Hermann. “A school that would continuously generation after generation prepare a new group of people committed to going into government at all levels, local state, federal, international and non-profit service."
Hermann spent a lot of time with President Bush during the early years of the program and says the pair was a fixture with each class.
"They would frequently come into class,” said Hermann. “Often president Bush would say something like 'ask me any questions you want to of me or of Mrs. Bush'.”
From pitching games of horseshoe on the grounds to invitations for lunch, Hermann says the access students had to the former President and First Lady was unique.
"It was a sense in which he enjoyed participation,” said Hermann.
He even played the tough role of president in a class simulation on international affairs. Hermann says Bush was a fixture at the Bush School, never missing a graduation celebration and posing for pictures with every class. Herman says his presence was motivation for students.
"We have over a 150 of our graduates somewhere in the intelligence communities of the united states,” said Bush. “We have people working in non-profits all over the world, as well as right here in Bryan and college station. "
2018’s graduating class was the first class to not get a picture with the President and First Lady.