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Archive for Saturday, February 23, 2008

Southern Methodist to host Bush library

February 23, 2008

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— Southern Methodist University will be home to George W. Bush's presidential library, officials formally announced Friday after a yearlong approval process that some faculty and religious opponents failed to derail.

The decision became official as SMU's board of trustees approved an agreement with the Bush Foundation, which will manage construction and raise money for the project, expected to cost more than $200 million.

The only surprise was when - not if - the deal would be announced. First lady Laura Bush is an SMU graduate, and the couple is expected to live in Dallas when Bush leaves office next January.

The library, museum and public policy institute will be on the east part of the 11,000-student, private university in one of Dallas's wealthiest neighborhoods. The library and museum will be run by the National Archives and Records Administration, while the institute will be run by the foundation.

SMU was named the lone finalist in December 2006, edging out the University of Dallas - which withdrew a month later - and Baylor University in Waco near the Bushes' Crawford ranch, which still held out hope for hosting the library until recently.

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