President Bush to Receive
George Bush, 41st president of the United States, has been selected as the third recipient of the Sam Houston Humanitarian Award.
Sam Houston State University will confer the honor on Bush during a March 10 campus visit. Bush will appear as part of the university's Distinguished Lecturer Series, with his lecture and the award ceremony scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.
University officials have scheduled the presentations for Johnson Coliseum in order to accommodate the large numbers of SHSU students and employees and Southeast Texas residents who are expected to attend.
The Sam Houston Humanitarian Award was established in 1993 in honor of the 200th birthday of Texas hero Sam Houston. Previous recipients were former Secretary of State James Baker and Lech Walesa, former president of the Republic of Poland.
"George Bush was this country's leader during a turbulent period of its recent history," said Bobby K. Marks, SHSU president. "He is known for the qualities listed in selection criteria for this award. We encourage everyone to join us as we welcome him to Sam Houston."
Selection criteria for the award include:
- Responsible and distinguished leadership and service;
- Notable contributions to humanity;
- Record of civic and cultural involvement;
- Pursuit of educational and scholarly quests; and
- Empowerment of others toward equality for humankind.
Bush served as president from January, 1989, until January, 1993. During his term, the Cold War ended, the threat of nuclear war was drastically reduced, the Soviet Union fell apart to be replaced by a democratic Russia, the Berlin Wall fell, Germany reunified, and an American-led force liberated Kuwait from Iraq.
Domestically, despite lack of control of either house of Congress, Bush fought for and signed into law the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Clean Air Act.
Prior to his presidency he served two terms in the U. S. House of Representatives, as U. S. Ambassador to the United Nations, as Chief of the U. S. Liaison Office in China and as director of the Central Intelligence Agency.
In 1980 Bush lost his first bid for the Republican presidential nomination to Ronald Reagan, but later accepted a spot on the national ticket and served as vice president from 1981 to 1989.
A decorated naval pilot who flew torpedo bombers during World War II, Bush graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Yale University in 1948 with a degree in economics and moved to Texas, where he was active in the oil business.
Since leaving office as president, Bush has chaired the Eisenhower Exchange Fellowship, is honorary chairman of the Points of Light Foundation, and is a member of the Board of Visitors of the M. D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.
In all, he and Mrs. Bush have helped support more than 150 charitable organizations in their community and around the country--from fighting drug abuse to promoting literacy. In 1995 and 1996 they helped to raise more than $20 million for charity.
The Sam Houston Humanitarian Award will not be the first such honor for Bush. He has received numerous honorary degrees and has been awarded high honors from such countries as Kuwait, the United Kingdom, the Federal Republic of Germany, Nicaragua, Poland and Saudi Arabia.
Media Contact: Frank Krystyniak
January 21, 1998