Former President George H.W. Bush encouraged young people to get involved in public service Sunday afternoon at Kansas University as he accepted the Dole Institute of Politics leadership prize.
"There can be no definition of a successful life that does not include service to others," he said.
In an interview format on the Lied Center stage, the 41st president addressed a wide range of topics in his long political career - everything from the first Gulf war to Dana Carvey's impressions of him on "Saturday Night Live." It was also marked with several quips that ignited laughter several times from the audience.
Bush, 84, talked about his wife Barbara's attitude toward his skydiving jumps when he was older than 75.
"She said, 'One way or another this will be your final jump,'" he said.
The Lied Center crowd of about 2,000 people including Gov. Kathleen Sebelius and Sen. Sam Brownback was mostly civil, including applauding the former president for saying his son, President George W. Bush, has received unfair treatment from the media during his two terms.
But anti-war hecklers did interrupt Bush's talk three times. Dole Institute Director Bill Lacy had asked them to be civil, but one heckler mentioned "genocide" and "war crimes."
KU Public Safety officers escorted about a half dozen people out of the auditorium for interruptions as most of the crowd booed or tried to hush them.
"I think it was handled appropriately," KU Chancellor Robert Hemenway said after the event.
Bush later said that type of criticism usually comes with a political career.
"These guys yelling at me. That doesn't bother me anymore. It just goes with the territory. You have to get used to it," he said.