- The Washington Times - Friday, February 22, 2008

George W. Bush has repeatedly said that only historians will be able to accurately capture the legacy of his time in office, and today the president took a major step toward shaping how he will go down in history. Mr. Bushs presidential library will be located at Southern Methodist University, it was announced, after the schools board of trustees unanimously approved the deal. SMU is first lady Laura Bushs alma mater, and had been expected to house her husbands presidential library, but seven other schools were considered, according to SMU. Mr. Bush, in a letter to SMU President R. Gerald Turner, said he was looking forward to the day when both the general public and scholars come and explore the important and challenging issues our nation has faced during my presidency. The president has been dismissive of pundits, pollsters and many in news media who have criticized him over the Iraq war, civil liberties, and many other topics. I’ll be dead before the true history of the Bush administration is written,” Mr. Bush said in an interview last month. My attitude is that it’s going to take a while for objective historians to realize the contributions that this administration has made to peace.” Antipathy towards Mr. Bush, who has suffered from the longest stretch of low approval ratings since President Truman, did emerge among some of SMUs faculty, who protested their schools consideration of the presidential library. But Mr. Turner, SMUs president, today said that it was a great honor for the university to be chosen for the library. We thank President Bush for entrusting this important long-term resource to our community, and for the opportunity for SMU to serve the nation in this special way, he said. The library will have three distinct pieces: a presidential library that holds documents and artifacts from Mr. Bushs eight years in office, a museum, and a public policy institute. News reports have said that the plans submitted to architects by the Bush library foundation have called for a 145,000-square-foot library and a 40,000-square-foot public policy institute. Donald Evans, Mr. Bushs former commerce secretary who heads up the library foundation, said today that the library will be an important civic institution. We are delighted that it will be in the international city of Greater Dallas and in a city that has played such an important role in the lives of the president and first lady, Mr. Evans said.

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