Texas Catholic Special December 15, 2006 9
Three Texas faith-based
universities vie to have it
WASHINGTON, D.C. President George W. are Catholic. Moreover, UD is located in a
Bush is looking at three Texas religious and strong Catholic community in Irving, often
politically conservative universities to host called the “Catholic Triangle.”
his future presidential library — and the docu- Nearby Catholic institutions include Holy
ments of his legacy of two terms in office. Trinity Seminary, whose students attend UD,
The 17th presidential library, and the third Cistercian monastery and preparatory school,
in Texas, could be built by 2012 at a cost The Highlands School operated by the Le-
ranging between $200-$300 million. gionnaires of Christ, the Dominican priory or
The other two presidential libraries in Texas residence for Dominican priests, and the only
are the Lyndon B. Johnson at The University Opus Dei center in the Dallas area.
of Texas in Austin and George H. W. Bush, UD’s proposal would give undeveloped
the sitting president’s father, at Texas A&M campus acreage to garner the Bush library
University at College Station. prize.
Baylor University in Waco, Southern Meth- Waco’s Baylor University is 20 miles from
odist University in Dallas and the University the Bush’s ranch in Crawford and is offering
of Dallas in Irving are finalists for the next land off Interstate 35 on the northern bank of
Bush library. The universi- the Brazos River, oppo-
ties were founded by Bap- site the university.
tists, Methodists and Catho-
lics respectively. EXCLUSIVE SMU has been consid-
ered a front-runner be-
The winner is expected cause First Lady Laura
White House Photo by Eric Draper
to be selected next year.
Only one other presiden-
REPORT Bush is both an alumni
and a trustee, and a num-
tial library in addition to the ber of White House in-
The decider three in Texas, that of Gerald
R. Ford at the University of
Michigan, is on a university
siders and appointees
Page 9: The competition also have ties to the
Page 10: The proposals school.
The three universities
Page 11: The locations
A special committee, president to decide Officials at each of the
faith-based Texas universi-
have been asked to keep
Page 12: The competitors mumintense competitionabout their plans.
where to build the next presidential library ties believe their sites offer
the right combination of lo- Page 13: The history
has spurred economic
cation, funding and com- Page 14: The quick facts impactbetween govern- studies, public
WASHINGTON, D.C. Sometime early in 2007 monument to his presidency will go: Dallas, munity support. They be- spats
a committee appointed by President George Irving or Waco. However, the work of his lieve the new presidential Page 15: The libraries ment officials, multi-mil-
Walker Bush will recommend a university private committee has been among the most library will be a tourist and lion-dollar donations and
location in Texas for his presidential library. top secret projects of his presidency. Only development boom for their
Page 16: The legacy a messy lawsuit at SMU
It will be the 17th presidential library built close family members and friends serve on the communities. that’s gained national at-
and, more importantly, the 12th recognized by committee and they have given no hint of the And, they strongly be- BY THE STAFF tention.
the National Archive and Records Adminis- selection criteria. lieve their conservative re- (C) 2006 Texas Catholic It was only last week
tration that will manage at The publicly known ligious and moral values ex- that a federal judge ruled
taxpayers’ expense the members are First Lady emplify the president’s personal traits. that SMU has clear title to the land it wants
presidential records made Laura Bush; brother The religion factor of this massive project along North Central Expressway.
public in future years. Marvin Bush, co-chair; prompted the Texas Catholic to take a closer In a major journalistic report, the Texas
The cost of the library Craig Stapleton, ambas- look at the competitors. Catholic comprises what is publicly known or
construction, which may sador to France, married Each of the three finalists have a strong speculated about each university’s proposal.
surpass all other presiden- to Bush cousin, Dorothy Catholic presence on campus. Surprisingly at Some statistics have been gathered about
tial libraries, will be paid Walker; Karl Rove, presi- Baptist-founded Baylor University, 14 per- each university in a comparative way, as well
by private donors and, dential adviser; Harriet cent of the student population is Catholic — as a list of pros and cons that were collected
possibly the university and Miers, White House coun- second only to Baptist students, who comprise from a wide variety of sources.
city that win the site com- sel; and Donald L. Evans, 41 percent of the student body. The history of presidential libraries is ex-
petition. All competitors Laura Bush former Commerce secre- Rove At SMU, the situation is more dramatic. A amined in an exclusive article written for the
have cited financial re- tary (2001-’04), co-chair. 2006 religious preference survey found 22.4 Texas Catholic by Dr. Benjamin Hufbauer
wards they think will come Undoubtedly, there is percent of all students are Catholic, the largest who made the modern phenomenon of presi-
to them, but few presiden- a team of advisers help- denomination on campus. Catholics are fol- dential libraries the subject of a doctorate
tial libraries live up to the ing the committee decide lowed closely by 22.2 percent of students who dissertation at the University of California at
economic-benefit hype, the best route in fund-rais- are Methodist. Santa Barbara.
according to one re- ing and design, as well as However, Catholics at SMU have been The Texas Catholic report also includes an
searcher. the best location for increasing and they now average 24.5 percent interview with a prominent presidential scholar
Bush, the nation’s 43rd Bush’s post-presidency of all undergraduate and graduate students — at the University of Texas at Austin, Dr. Bruce
president who calls him- lifestyle and for the library the core of the university. SMU has many Buchanan.
self the “decider” in other becoming an attraction for Catholic faculty/staff members. In sheer num- Dr. Buchanan offers some thoughts on
presidential matters, cer- tourists, researchers and bers, SMU has more Catholics than either what will be President Bush’s legacy and how
tainly will be the ultimate leaders who will attend in- Baylor or the University of Dallas. he will use a presidential library to continue to
decider on where the Stapleton evitable symposiums. Evans About 70 percent of UD’s 3,000 students champion the causes he believes in.