Barbara Pierce Bush at ASM
May 02, 2019

Barbara Pierce Bush moved by campus tributes to her grandfather

Chair of Global Health Corps headlined All-School Meeting and engaged with students
by Tracy Sweet

A visit to Phillips Academy from Barbara Pierce Bush opened with classroom discussion and a lively All-School Meeting; it concluded with a series of emotional tributes to her grandfather, former President George H. W. Bush ’42.

One of those tributes, freshly carved on a plaque in Cochran Chapel, was unveiled by Bush and Trustee Emerita Mollie L. Lasater ’56. Honoring her grandfather’s service as 41st President of the United States, the plaque is installed next to that of his friend and fellow Texan David M. Underwood ’54, former president of the board of trustees.

Until now, the oak walls surrounding the chapel sanctuary memorialized only trustees and heads of school, explained Head of School John Palfrey. The policy was recently expanded to include alumni who served as President of the United States.

Trustee Emerita Mollie L. Lasater ’56 and Barbara Pierce Bush in Cochran Chapel

Speaking in the chapel named for Thomas Cochran, Class of 1890, Palfrey connected President Bush’s devoted public service and leadership to the visionary benefactor whose gifts orchestrated Andover’s physical transformation in the 1930s.

“Thomas Cochran and George H. W. Bush had a shared pedigree—Andover and Yale—and both made enduring contributions, as benefactors and trustees, that left Phillips Academy better than they found it,” Palfrey said. “If Thomas Cochran were alive at the end of the 20th century, he would have likely found satisfaction that the young George Herbert Walker Bush, formed in part by time spent in this beautiful chapel, went on from Andover with a set of values and a moral compass that directed his life of service and leadership.”

From lunch with Bush Scholars to Q/A around her work as cofounder and board chair of Global Health Corps, a leadership development organization focused on health equity, Barbara Bush’s day ranged from educational and sometimes political, to deeply personal and sentimental.

GHW Bush Baseball Plaque

A visit by a member of the Bush family would not have been complete without a stop at the baseball field, where a young George “Poppy” Bush captained the 1942 team. Traveling to Phelps Field by golf cart, retracing the path of her grandfather’s final visit in 2015, she was greeted by the players and coach Kevin Graber. She became emotional when seeing a plaque in the dugout depicting her grandfather in his Andover uniform and his quote engraved underneath:

“Be bold in your caring be bold in your dreaming, and above all else, always do your best.”

Barbara Pierce Bush meets the Andover baseball team
Categories: Campus Life

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