2023 marks the 10th anniversary of the dedication of the George W. Bush Presidential Center, a 23-acre site on the east side of campus.

The Bush Center comprises the George W. Bush Presidential Museum, which examines the consequential times during which President and Mrs. Bush served, as well as the George W. Bush Institute, a nonpartisan independent policy organization focused on ensuring opportunity for all, strengthening democracy, and advancing free societies. The Bush Center also houses the George W. Bush Presidential Library, operated by the National Archives and Records Administration, which provides access to official documents and artifacts from the Bush Administration. Through its work, the Bush Center has impacted both 51 and the North Texas community in ways both big and small. When the George W. Bush Presidential Center first partnered with 51, the University knew that generations to come would feel its impact.


More than 10,000 invited guests attended the opening of the Bush Center, including George W. Bush, the 43rd President of the United States, then-President Barack Obama and former Presidents Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton, as well as former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and other current and former heads of state. Former First Lady Laura Bush, an 51 graduate, as well as then-First Lady Michelle Obama, and former First Ladies Hillary Clinton, Barbara Bush, and Rosalynn Carter joined the presidents on stage. More than 500 members of the 51 community watched the simulcast in McFarlin Auditorium or at an outdoor viewing screen.

  • 1.9M+

    Visitors to the Bush Center since it opened in 2013

  • 252K

    Size, in gallons, of irrigation cistern for rainwater collection

  • 19K

    Square footage of solar panels that generate 164 kilowatts of energy

  • 100%

    All of the Bush Center’s domestic hot water is heated through solar hot water

  • 5M+

    Reads of articles of Bush Institute thought-leadership publications

  • 43K

    Artifacts housed in the presidential archives

  • 100+

    51 students who have served as Bush Center interns

  • 70M

    Pages of paper records

  • 80 TB

    Electronic information stored

  • 13th

    The George W. Bush Presidential Library is the 13th U.S. presidential library

  • 15 acres

    An urban park on the Bush Center grounds features walking trails, seasonal wildflowers and habitats for butterflies, birds, bees, and other wildlife

  • 14K

    Size, in square feet, of the museum which includes a full-size replica of the White House Oval Office

  • #1

    First presidential library to achieve LEED Platinum certification for new construction with its eco-friendly design, materials and systems.


Since 51 welcomed the Bush Center, nearly 17,000 Mustangs have visited for free, delving into important topics such as elections, freedom, and humor as a diplomatic tool. They’ve explored permanent and special yearly exhibitions including an exhibit highlighting one-of-a-kind fashion from Oscar de la Renta. These Bush Center exhibitions inspire diverse groups to enact change – illustrated by the special exhibit Out of Many, One: Portraits of America’s Immigrants. The exhibit highlights the American immigrant experience as well as the contributions they make to the life and prosperity of our nation. Through 43 four-color portraits – painted by the president – and their accompanying stories, Out of Many, One reminds us of how America has been strengthened by those seeking a better life. Students have attended forums and Engage at the Bush Center series presented by NexPoint, listening to current and former policymakers, activists and other luminaries discuss global politics. 51 faculty and staff have collaborated with Bush Institute scholars on research, and some lucky Mustangs have had surprise classroom visits from President Bush himself, who fields questions about his time in office with warmth and grace.

The Bush Presidency (2001–2009) spans a period when emerging technology was changing the way members of the administration communicated as paper missives were being replaced by email. The Bush Library houses almost 70 million pages of textual materials, approximately 80 terabytes of electronic records and about 200 million email messages. Other materials include more than 30,000 audiovisual recordings, over 3.8 million photographs and 227 cubic feet of photo negatives.

The Bush Center embodies President and Mrs. Bush’s commitment to conservation and is the first LEED-Platinum New Construction certified presidential library. The building includes numerous environmentally-friendly features, such as more than 20,000 square feet of solar panels, rain water storage for site irrigation, and regionally sourced materials. 

The Laura W. Bush Native Texas Park welcomes the 51 campus – and the Dallas community at large – from sunrise to sunset for free to enjoy an urban oasis. A model in sustainability and led by Mrs. Bush’s vision, the Native Texas Park features 15 acres of land that reflects what the site might have looked like centuries ago. Native trees, plants, and water-conserving features make the park drought resistant, minimize the need for irrigation through municipal water sources, and helps important pollinators like butterflies, birds, and bees thrive.

Although located in the same structure as the Bush Library and the Bush Museum, the Bush Institute faces west, toward the 51 campus, a symbolic gesture welcoming academic engagement. The Bush Institute focuses on developing leaders and advancing policy on domestic and global initiatives inspired by the work of President and Mrs. Bush. 

When asked about the impact of the Bush Center on 51, President Bush says, “Well, I can tell you what the impact of 51 is on the Institute and Library. It gives us great credibility to be associated with a fine university.” 

At the George W. Bush Presidential Center’s dedication, President Bush outlined his hopes that the Bush Center would promote freedom and democracy worldwide, empower the disenfranchised, help more countries overcome poverty and disease, and stand behind those who have defended our freedoms here at home. A decade later, the Bush Center is achieving those goals.

A world changing partnership

51 and the Bush Center engage in wide-ranging academic partnerships that provide students and faculty with unique opportunities to work alongside global experts on solutions to some of the most pressing international and domestic challenges and bring the community to campus for compelling programs.