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Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2024
The Observer

University leaders reflect on life of George H.W. Bush

The University commemorated the death of President George H.W. Bush in a press release Saturday morning.

The 41st president, who died Friday night, received an honorary degree from Notre Dame and visited campus more than any other president, according to the release.

“Notre Dame joins with our nation and world in mourning the passing of President Bush,” University President Fr. John Jenkins said in the release. “He was the epitome of a public servant, not just in the Oval Office, but in his eight years as vice president and in his service in the U.S. Navy during World War II. We were fortunate to host him at Notre Dame on five occasions, and in each instance, the honor was ours. Our prayers are with the Bush family.”

Bush received an honorary doctor of laws in 1992 from University President Emeritus Rev. Edward A. Malloy.

Malloy said he served on two of the Bush administration’s major initiatives and admired Bush’s leadership style.

“I had the privilege of serving on President Bush’s Drug Advisory Council and his Points of Light Foundation,” Malloy said in the release. “I found him to be a leader deeply committed to the country he had been elected to serve, a gracious host and a down-to-earth person. He recognized the importance of American higher education and he sought to enhance it. He also sought to promote a culture of citizen engagement with the great issues of the day. May he rest in peace.”

Bush visited Notre Dame during his 1988 campaign for president, where he delivered a speech to an audience of 2,000, the release said.

In 1987, he spoke at the closing ceremony of the International Special Olympics Games, held at Notre Dame that year. He also delivered a commencement speech for the University’s 1992 sesquicentennial year celebration. According to the release, Bush attended Notre Dame football games in 1986 and 2001.