Laura Bush

3.4184505606711 (1962)
Posted by pompos 02/28/2009 @ 14:04

Tags : laura bush, former us first ladies, government, politics

News headlines
Hawkins praised by former first lady - Branson Daily News
Former First Lady Laura Bush recently congratulated Shawn Hawkins, 19, of Branson, and Nimo Sahil, 16, of Kansas City, on being named the top two youth volunteers in Missouri for 2009 by The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards....
Laura Bush was no 'quiet' first lady - Politico
Perhaps if the press gave half as much attention to Laura Bush's work, the POLITICO article would not have used phrases like, “Americans see [Mrs.] Obama as strong, elegant and confident — different from [Mrs.] Bush, who was seen as conservative and...
George W. Bush: 'Imparting knowledge' - The Swamp - Tribune's Washington Bureau
For his part, the 43rd president dropped in on classes the other day at Southern Methodist University, alma mater of wife Laura Bush and home to the George W. Bush Presidential Center under development now. The selection of the campus caused a stir...
Laura Bush shares during Mother's Day luncheon in Dallas - Dallas Morning News
By JOE SIMNACHER / The Dallas Morning News Laura Bush may have been the first lady of both Texas and the United States – but she made it clear Tuesday: She is a mother first. 'The love and courage of mothers has inspired generations of Americans to...
Zelikow, Testifying This Morning, Calls For Independent Torture Probe - TPMMuckraker
By Zachary Roth - May 13, 2009, 10:06AM As we prepare for a Senate hearing on the Bush torture program, it's worth taking a look at an interview that one of the key witnesses, Philip Zelikow, gave to Foreign Policy's Laura Rozen yesterday,...
Jammin' in the East Room - New York Times
Laura Bush, the former first lady, also brought writers to the White House to highlight the works of Langston Hughes, Mark Twain and the women writers of the West and others. (Mrs. Bush was forced to cancel her poetry symposium in 2003, however,...
Sarah Palin hits Katie Couric, defends John McCain - Politico
Then former President George W. Bush and former first lady Laura Bush have separate books later in 2010. All six of these titles were negotiated by Barnett, who took the no-auction route that he did with Bush and Clinton: Rather than circulating the...
Michelle Obama Owes Debt to First Lady Laura Bush, Who Was Her Own ... - U.S. News & World Report
There was going to be tremendous pressure on either Tipper Gore or Laura Bush from feminists, and anti-feminists, who wanted the next first lady to conform to their ideals. Laura would have none of it. She insisted on being herself....
Robert Gibbs ring gets fed up ring with others' ringing ring ... - Los Angeles Times
That childhood exposure led to a lifelong fascination with politics, including 40-plus years of covering them and a brief stint practicing them as press secretary to Laura Bush in 1999-2000. A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Malcolm served...
Small school with big learning opportunities - The Mississippi Press - gulflive.com
The Laura Bush Foundation awarded Gautier Elementary $60000 to restock the school's library. Outdoor time is greatly enhanced since returning to the school with a Kaboom build, and the recent grant awarded by the Blue Cross Project, Fit America,...

Laura Bush

Laura Bush with husband Governor George W. (right) and father-in-law George H. W. (left) at the dedication of the George Bush Presidential Library, 1997

Laura Lane Welch Bush (born November 4, 1946) is the wife of the forty-third President of the United States, George W. Bush, and was the First Lady of the United States from January 20th, 2001 to January 20th, 2009.

Mrs. Bush has had a love for books and reading since childhood, and her life and education have reflected that interest. She graduated from Southern Methodist University in 1968 with a Bachelor's degree in education, and soon took a job as a second grade school teacher. After attaining her Master's degree in Library Science at the University of Texas at Austin, she was employed as a librarian. She met George Walker Bush in 1977, and they were married later that year; the couple had twin daughters.

Bush's political involvement began with her marriage. She campaigned in her husband's unsuccessful 1978 run for the United States Congress and later his successful Texas gubernatorial campaign. As First Lady of Texas, Bush implemented many initiatives focused on health, education, and literacy. In 1999, she aided her husband in campaigning for the presidency of the United States in a number of ways, most notably delivering a keynote address at the 2000 Republican National Convention; this gained her national attention. She became first lady after her husband defeated Democrat Al Gore in the 2000 election.

Polled by Gallup as one of the most popular first ladies, during her eight years as first lady Laura Bush was involved in topics of both national and global concern. She continued to advance her trademark interests of education and literacy by establishing the annual National Book Festival in 2001 and encouraged education on a worldwide scale. She also advanced women's causes through The Heart Truth and Susan G. Komen for the Cure. She represented the United States during her foreign trips, which tended to focus on HIV/AIDS and malaria awareness.

She attended James Bowie Elementary School, San Jacinto Junior High School, and Midland Lee High School in Midland. She graduated from Lee in 1964 and went on to attend Southern Methodist University in Dallas where she was a member of Kappa Alpha Theta. She graduated in 1968 with a Bachelor of Science degree in education.

After graduating from SMU, she began her career as a school teacher of the second grade at Longfellow Elementary School in the Dallas Independent School District. She then taught for three years at John F. Kennedy Elementary School, a Houston Independent School District school in Houston, until 1972.

She met George W. Bush in 1977 at a backyard barbecue at the home of mutual friends, John and Jan O'Neill. After a three-month courtship, he proposed to her and they were married on November 5 of that year at the First United Methodist Church in Midland, the same church in which she had been baptized. The couple did not have a honeymoon.

The year after their marriage, the couple began campaigning for George W. Bush's 1978 Congressional candidacy. After narrowly winning the primary, he lost the general election.

The Bushes had tried to conceive for three years, but pregnancy did not happen easily. In 1981, Laura Bush gave birth to twin daughters, Barbara and Jenna. The twins were born five weeks early by an emergency Caesarian section, as Laura had developed life-threatening toxemia. The twins graduated from high school in 2000 and from Yale University and the University of Texas at Austin, respectively, in 2004. To date, Laura Bush is the only First Lady to give birth to twins.

Several times a year, Laura Bush and her husband travel to their sprawling family estate, the Bush Compound, better known as Walker's Point. Located in Kennebunkport, Maine, the compound is where Bush family gatherings have been held for nearly 100 years.

Though during her years in the Governor's Mansion, she did not hold a single formal event, Laura worked for women's and children's causes including health, education, and literacy. She implemented four major initiatives: Take Time For Kids, an awareness campaign to educate parents and caregivers on parenting; family literacy, through cooperation with the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy, she urged Texas communities to establish family literacy programs; Reach Out and Read, a pediatric reading program; and Ready to Read, an early childhood educational program.

She raised money for public libraries through her establishment of the Texas Book Festival, and established the First Lady's Family Literacy Initiative, which encouraged families to read together. Bush further established "Rainbow Rooms" across the state, in an effort to provide emergency services for neglected or abused children. Through this, she promoted the Adopt-a-Caseworker Program to provide support for Child Protective Services. She used her position to advocate Alzheimer's disease and breast cancer awareness as well.

Her husband announced his campaign for President of the United States in mid-1999, something that she agreed to. She did say, however, that she had never dreamed that he would run for office. She had previously told him that she would not give a speech, but reneged on that promise that July as she delivered a keynote address to the delegates at the 2000 Republican National Convention. This speech put her on the national stage. In December 2000, her husband resigned as Governor of Texas to prepare for his inauguration as President of the United States in January 2001.

As First Lady, Laura Bush was involved in issues of concern to children and women, both nationally and internationally. Her major initiatives included education and women's health.

Early into the administration, Bush made it known that she would focus much of her attention on education. This included recruiting highly qualified teachers to ensure that young children would be taught well. She also focused on early child development. In 2001, to promote reading and education, she partnered with the Library of Congress to launch the annual National Book Festival. To promote American patriotic heritage in schools, she helped launch the National Anthem Project.

Later in her tenure, she was honored by the United Nations, as the body named her honorary ambassador for the United Nation's Decade of Literacy. In this position, she announced that she would host a Conference on Global Literacy. The conference, held in September 2006, encouraged a constant effort to promote literacy and highlighted many successful literacy programs. She coordinated this as a result of her many trips abroad where she witnessed how literacy benefited children in poorer nations.

Another of her signature issues were those relating to the health and well being of women. She established the Women's Health and Wellness Initiative and became involved with two major campaigns.

She first became involved with The Heart Truth awareness campaign in 2003. It is an organization established by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute to raise awareness about heart disease in women, and how to prevent the condition. She serves in the honorary position of ambassador for the program leading the federal government's effort to give women a "wake up call" about the risk of heart disease. She commented on the disease: "Like many women, I assumed heart disease was a man's disease and cancer was what we would fear the most. Yet heart disease kills more women in our country than all forms of cancer combined. When it comes to heart disease, education, prevention, and even a little red dress can save lives." She has undertaken a signature personal element of traveling around the country and talking to women at hospital and community events featuring the experiences of women who live, or had lived, with the condition. This outreach was credited with saving the life of one woman who went to the hospital after experiencing symptoms of a heart attack.

With her predecessor, former First Lady Nancy Reagan, Bush dedicated the First Ladies Red Dress Collection at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in May 2005. It is an exhibit containing red suits worn by former First Ladies Lady Bird Johnson, Betty Ford, Rosalynn Carter, Nancy Reagan, Barbara Bush, Hillary Clinton, and Laura Bush meant to raise awareness by highlighting America's first ladies. She has participated in fashion shows displaying red dresses worn on celebrities as well.

Bush's mother, Jenna Welch, was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 78. She endured surgery and currently has no further signs of cancer. Laura Bush has become a breast cancer activist on her mother's behalf through her involvement in the Susan G. Komen for the Cure. She applauded the foundation's efforts in eliminating cancer and said, "A few short years ago, a diagnosis of breast cancer left little hope of recovery. But thanks to the work of the Komen Foundation... more women and men are beating breast cancer and beating the odds." She used her position to gain international support for the foundation through the Partnership for Breast Cancer Awareness and Research of the Americas, an initiative that unites experts from the United States, Brazil, Costa Rica and Mexico.

In November 2001, she became the first person other than a president to deliver the weekly presidential radio address. She used the opportunity to discuss the plight of women in Afghanistan during the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan, saying, "The brutal oppression of women is a central goal of the terrorists." In May 2002, she made a speech to the people of Afghanistan through Radio Liberty, a radio station in Prague, Czech Republic.

During President Bush's second term, Laura was more involved in foreign matters. She traveled to numerous countries as a representative of the United States.

As First Lady, she took five goodwill trips to Africa. The purpose of these has mostly been to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS and malaria, but Bush has also stressed the need for education and greater opportunities for women. She has taken many other trips to other countries to promote and gain support for President Bush's Emergency Plan for AIDS relief; these countries include Zambia (2007), Mozambique (2007), Mali (2007), Senegal (2007), and Haiti (2008).

In mid-2007, she took a trip to Burma where she spoke out in support of the pro-democracy movement, and urged Burmese soldiers and militias to refrain from violence. Later that October, she ventured to the Middle East. Bush said she was in the region in an attempt to improve America's image by highlighting concern for women's health, specifically promoting her breast cancer awareness work with the US-Middle East Partnership for Breast Cancer Awareness and Research. She defined the trip as successful, saying that stereotypes were broken on both sides.

Bush is a Republican and has identified herself with that party since her marriage. Her views on matters are generally conservative.

On July 12, 2005, while in South Africa, Bush suggested her husband replace retiring Supreme Court justice Sandra Day O'Connor with another woman. On October 2, during a private dinner at the White House with Laura, President Bush asked Harriet Miers to replace O'Connor. Later that month, after Miers had faced intense criticism, Laura Bush questioned whether the charges were sexist in nature.

During her tenure as the First Lady, Laura Bush received a number of awards and honors. In October 2002, the Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity honored her in recognition of her efforts on behalf of education and the American Library Association honored her for her years of support to America's libraries and librarians in April 2005. The Progressive Librarians Guild opposed her being honored, because of her support of the USA PATRIOT Act and her cancellation of a poetry forum due to concern that some of the poets would express opposition to the war in Iraq.

She received an award in honor of her dedication to help improve the living conditions and education of children around the world, from the Kuwait-American Foundation in March 2006. She accepted The Nichols-Chancellor's Medal on behalf of disaster relief workers around the world in May 2006 from Vanderbilt University.

Three learning facilities have been named for her: the Laura Welch Bush Elementary School in Houston, Texas, the Laura W. Bush Elementary School in the Leander ISD just outside Austin, Texas, and the Laura Bush Education Center at Camp Bondsteel, a U.S. military base in Kosovo. She was awarded the 2008 Christian Freedom International Freedom Award.

She is portrayed by Elizabeth Banks in Oliver Stone's film W.

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Midland, Texas

Main Street of Midland, Texas during the town's frontier days.

Midland is a city in and the county seat of Midland County, located on the Southern Plains of the western area of the U.S. state of Texas. A small portion of the city extends into Martin County. The population was 94,996 at the 2000 census. It is the principal city of the Midland, Texas Metropolitan Statistical Area, which includes all of Midland County. The metropolitan area is also a component of the larger Midland–Odessa, Texas Combined Statistical Area, which had an estimated population of 255,978 as of July 1, 2007. People in Midland are called Midlanders.

Midland was originally founded as the midway point between Fort Worth and El Paso on the Texas and Pacific Railroad in 1881. The city has received national recognition as the hometown of former First Lady Laura Bush and the childhood home of former President George W. Bush.

Midland was originally called Midway because of its location between Fort Worth and El Paso; however the name was soon changed to Midland to avoid confusion with other towns in Texas named Midway.

Once a small town based on farming and ranching, Midland was forever changed by the discovery of oil in the Permian Basin in 1923 when the Santa Rita No. 1 well came in in Reagan County, followed shortly by the Yates oil field in Iraan, Texas. Soon Midland was transformed into the administrative center of the West Texas oil fields. Today, the Permian Basin produces a fifth of the nation's total petroleum and natural gas output.

Today, Midland's economy still relies heavily on petroleum; however the city has also diversified to become a regional telecommunications and distribution center. As of August 2006, a busy period of crude oil production had caused a significant workforce deficit. According to the Midland Chamber of Commerce, there were almost 2,000 more jobs available in the Permian Basin than there were workers to fill them.

John Howard Griffin wrote a history of Midland, Land of the High Sky (1959).

D. Lance Lunsford wrote The Rainbow's Shadow: True Stories of Baby Jessica's Rescue & the Tragedies That Followed , which was published in 2006.

In 1967 the U.S. Supreme Court heard the case of Avery v. Midland County. Midland mayor Hank Avery had sued Midland County challenging the districting of the County Commissioner's Court. The county districts geographically quartered the county but the city of Midland, in the northwest quarter, had 97% of the county's population. A County Judge, elected at-large, provided a fifth vote, but the result was still that the three rural Commissioners, representing only 3% of the population, made up a majority of the votes.

The majority held that the districting inequality violated the Fourteenth Amendment's Equal Protection clause. The dissenting minority held that this example of the Warren Court's policy of incorporation at the local government level exceeded the Court's Constitutional authority.

Midland is located at 32°0′18″N 102°5′57″W / 32.005°N 102.09917°W / 32.005; -102.09917 (32.005072, -102.099239), in the Permian Basin in the plains of West Texas.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 66.8 square miles (173.0 km²), of which, 66.6 square miles (172.5 km²) of it is land and 0.2 square miles (0.5 km²) of it (0.28%) is water.

Nicknamed "The Tall City", Midland has long been known for its downtown skyline. For many years, the 22-story Wilco Building in downtown Midland was the tallest building between Fort Worth and Phoenix. Today, Midland's tallest building is the 24-story Bank of America Building, which stands at a height of 332 feet (101 m). Four buildings over 500 feet (150 m) tall were planned in the 1980s, including one designed by world famous architect I.M. Pei. The great Oil Bust of the mid-1980s, however, killed any plans for future skyscrapers. As of today, five of the forty downtown skyscrapers in Midland are completely vacant.

Because of the revival of the energy-driven economy, a move is currently underway to bring mixed-use development to the downtown area. This has resulted in the on-going demolition of several older buildings and the plans for replacement of several more. At the beginning of 2008, the Permian Building and Gihl's Tower were demolished. Today, there are parking lots where the two buildings once stood. On November 8, 2008 the 14-story Midland Savings Building, built in 1959, was imploded. The building once housed Texaco's Midland office, which later moved to the Heritage Building. Crews have since begun the demolition of the Metro and First National Bank buildings, located on the same block. The Summit Building, 300 N. Marienfeld, in mid-2008 became the first building in the Midland area to be depicted on Google Earth in a 3D mode. The GIS Division of the City of Midland has a long-range plan to render more of the downtown area in the new rendering.

The Midland-Odessa Symphony & Chorale (MOSC) has performed in the Permian Basin for over 45 years, and is the region's largest orchestral organization, presenting both Pops and Masterworks concerts throughout the year. Composed of professional musicians from the area as well as Lubbock, San Angelo and other surrounding cities, the MOSC also is home to three resident chamber ensembles, the Lone Star Brass, Permian Basin String Quartet and West Texas Winds. These ensembles are made up of principal musicians in the orchestra, who come to the area from across the United States.

The Midland Community Theatre (MCT) has been entertaining the Permian Basin since 1946 with musicals, comedies, dramas, mysteries, children's theatre and melodramas. MCT produces 15 shows each year in three performance spaces - Davis Theatre I (485 seats) and Mabee Theatre II (155 seats), located in the Cole Theatre, and the annual fundraiser Summer Mummers in the historic Yucca Theatre. MCT has an extensive education program, including the Pickwick Players (teen performance troupe), Theatre School programs and OutReach classes. MCT operates with a professional staff of 20 and depends upon the hard work and dedication of hundreds of volunteers in the Permian Basin to produce shows throughout the year. MCT is a member of the American Association of Community Theatre , and hosted the 2006 AACT International Theatrefest.

Twice each year, the Phyllis & Bob Cowan Performing Arts Series at Midland College presents free cultural and artistic performances of "international interest and scope to stimulate and inspire the Midland arts community," and entertain the community at-large. The series was endowed in 1999, and has since brought a diverse selection of entertainers to Midland, including Andre Watts, the Eroica Trio, the Moscow Boys Choir, the Flying Karamazov Brothers, the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, 3 Mo' Divas, Ballet Folklorico de Mexico de Amalia Hernandez and the Golden Dragon Acrobats of China.

Sitting on the Llano Estacado and located near the center of the Permian Basin oil fields, Midland's economy has long been focused on petroleum exploration and extraction. Providing more information about this industry is the Permian Basin Petroleum Museum, located on the outskirts of town near Interstate 20. The museum houses numerous displays on the history, science, and technology of oil and gas development. The Permian Basin Petroleum Museum houses a collection of race cars designed by Jim Hall, a long time Midland resident who pioneered the use of aerodynamic downforce in the design of Formula One cars.

Midland is also home to The Museum of the Southwest. The Museum features a collection of paintings by various members of the Taos Society of Artists and Karl Bodmer as well as engravings by John J. and John W. Audubon. Located within the same museum complex are the separate Children's Museum and the Marian W. Blakemore Planetarium. The Museum of the Southwest is housed in the Turner Mansion, the historic 1934 home of Fred and Juliette Turner.

Headquartered in Midland is the Commemorative Air Force (CAF). Associated with the CAF is the American Airpower Heritage Museum. The museum, accredited by the American Association of Museums, displays and preserves World War II artifacts and memorabilia, as well as a collection of original WWII nose art panels. As part of the museum tour, visitors can see 14-20 aircraft on display in the CAF hangar. A research library and archives house a significant oral history collection and give the public access to the museum's information resources.

Midland is home to the Midland RockHounds, a Texas League minor league baseball team. It is the Double-A affiliate of the Oakland Athletics. The Rockhounds have played their home games in Citibank Ballpark since 2002.

West Texas United Sockers is an American soccer team founded in 2008. The team is a member of the United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League (PDL), the fourth tier of the American Soccer Pyramid, and will make its debut in the Mid South Division of the Southern Conference against teams from Austin, Dallas, El Paso, Houston, Laredo and McAllen in 2009. The team will play its home games at the Grande Communications Stadium in Midland, Texas.

Midland College is a member of the Western Junior College Athletic Conference, and fields teams in baseball, men's basketball, women's basketball, men's golf, softball and volleyball. Midland College has won 20 national championships in sports since 1975, as well as produced 192 All-Americans.

Plans have been made to develop a 35 court tennis facility named the Midland Tennis Center.

Midland is served by 10 local television stations: KMID - an American Broadcasting Company affiliate, KWES-TV - an NBC affiliate, KOSA - a CBS affiliate and a MyNetwork TV affiliate on their digital cable station, KPEJ - a FOX affiliate, KPBT - a PBS affiliate, KWWT - The CW Television Network affiliate, KUPB - a Univision affiliate, KTLE-LP - a Telemundo affiliate, and K69IT- a Multimedios Television affiliate. It also has one local religious television station: KMLM- a God's Learning Channel affiliate that is a worldwide institution offering pro-Israel programming. Midland is also served by one local newspaper, the Midland Reporter-Telegram.

Many major motion pictures have been filmed in and around Midland, including Hangar 18, Waltz Across Texas, Fandango, Blood Simple, Hard Country, Friday Night Lights, The Rookie, Everybody's Baby: The Rescue of Jessica McClure (which featured, as extras, many participants in the actual rescue and its coverage), and others.

In the Heroes television series, the Midland-Odessa area is a focal point for many of the first season's episodes, serving as the home for the Bennet family as well as the location of a recurring restaurant, the Burnt Toast Diner.

Midland receives approximately 14.8 inches (380 mm) of precipitation per year, much of which is delivered in the summer.

As of the census of 2000, there were 94,996 people, 35,674 households, and 25,221 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,426.2 people per square mile (550.6/km²). There were 39,855 housing units at an average density of 598.3/sq mi (231.0/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 75.51% White, 8.37% African American, 0.63% Native American, 1.01% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 12.49% from other races, and 1.96% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 28.99% of the population.

There were 35,674 households out of which 37.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.4% were married couples living together, 11.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.3% were non-families. 25.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.62 and the average family size was 3.19.

In the city the population was spread out with 29.9% under the age of 18, 9.0% from 18 to 24, 28.2% from 25 to 44, 20.6% from 45 to 64, and 12.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 92.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.7 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $39,320, and the median income for a family was $48,290. Males had a median income of $37,566 versus $24,794 for females. The per capita income for the city was $20,884. About 10.1% of families and 12.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 16.4% of those under age 18 and 8.0% of those age 65 or over.

Midland is the home of Midland College, which offers a variety of over 50 programs of study for associate degrees and certificates, to more than 6,000 students who enroll each semester. MC offers programs in Health Sciences, Information Technology, and Aviation, including a Professional Pilot Training program. Midland College is one of only three community colleges in Texas approved to offer a Bachelor's Degree in Applied Technology. Current Midland College President is Dr. Steve Thomas.

Midland is also home to Southeastern Career Institute - Midland.

Midland is the home to two local high schools: Midland High School and Robert E. Lee High School, both of which are part of the Midland Independent School District. There are also six private schools in Midland: Hillander, Midland Classical Academy, Midland Christian School, Midland Montessori, St. Ann's School, and Trinity School of Midland. Midland is also home to three charter schools; Richard Milburn Academy, Premier High School, and Midland Academy Charter School.

The Midland International Airport serves Midland, nearby Odessa, Texas and a large region of West Texas, and southeast New Mexico. The airport is considered the gateway to the Big Bend Region of Texas and Big Bend National Park. Midland also has city-wide public bus services provided for the Midland-Odessa Urban Transit District by Midland-Odessa Transit Management, otherwise known as E-Z Rider.

Midland has four sister cities located in various countries around the world.

Midland‡ | Odessa‡

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Nancy Reagan

Nancy Reagan

Nancy Davis Reagan (born Anne Frances Robbins on July 6, 1921) is the widow of former United States President Ronald Reagan and served as an influential First Lady of the United States from 1981 to 1989. Born in New York, her parents divorced soon after her birth; she grew up in Maryland, living with an aunt and uncle while her mother pursued acting jobs. As Nancy Davis, she was an actress in the 1940s and 1950s, starring in films such as Donovan's Brain, Night into Morning, and Hellcats of the Navy. In 1952 she married Ronald Reagan, who was then president of the Screen Actors Guild; they had two children. Nancy was the First Lady of California when her husband was Governor from 1967 to 1975.

She became the First Lady of the United States in January 1981 following her husband's victory, but experienced criticism early in his first term largely due to her decision to replenish the White House china. Nancy restored a Kennedy-esque glamour to the White House following years of lax formality, and her interest in high-end fashion garnered much attention, as well as criticism. She championed recreational drug prevention causes by founding the "Just Say No" drug awareness campaign, which was considered her major initiative as First Lady. Always protective of her husband, more controversy ensued when it was revealed in 1988 that she had consulted an astrologer to assist in planning the president's schedule after the 1981 assassination attempt on her husband.

The Reagans retired to their home in Bel Air, Los Angeles, California in 1989. Nancy devoted most of her time to caring for her ailing husband, diagnosed in 1994 with Alzheimer's disease, until his death in 2004. Nancy Reagan has remained active in politics, particularly in support of stem-cell research.

In 1929, her mother married Loyal Davis (1896–1982), a prominent, politically conservative neurosurgeon who moved the family to Chicago. Nancy and her stepfather got along very well; she would later write that he was "a man of great integrity who exemplified old-fashioned values". He formally adopted her in 1935, and she would always refer to him as her father. After the adoption, her name was legally changed to Nancy Davis (since birth, she had commonly been called Nancy). She attended the Girls' Latin School of Chicago (describing herself as an average student), graduated in 1939, and later attended Smith College in Massachusetts, where she majored in English and drama and graduated in 1943.

After passing a screen test, she signed a seven-year contract with Metro Goldwyn Mayer Studios (MGM) in 1949; she later remarked, "Joining Metro was like walking into a dream world." Davis appeared in 11 feature films, usually typecast as a "loyal housewife", "responsible young mother", or "the steady woman". She kept her professional name as Nancy Davis even after marrying. Her film career began with minor roles in 1949's The Doctor and the Girl with Glenn Ford, and followed with East Side, West Side starring Barbara Stanwyck. She played a child psychiatrist in the film noir Shadow on the Wall (1950) with Ann Sothern and Zachary Scott; her performance was called "beautiful and convincing" by New York Times critic A. H. Weiler. She co-starred in 1950's The Next Voice You Hear..., playing a pregnant housewife who hears the voice of God from her radio. Influential reviewer Bosley Crowther of The New York Times wrote that "Nancy Davis delightful as gentle, plain, and understanding wife." A later critic admired the film's effort to convincingly portray Davis as pregnant—many other films from the time neglected to do so. In 1951, Davis appeared in her favorite screen role, Night Into Morning, a study of bereavement starring Ray Milland. The Times' Crowther said that Davis "does nicely as the fiancée who is widowed herself and knows the loneliness of grief," while another noted critic, The Washington Post's Richard L. Coe, said Davis "is splendid as the understanding widow." Davis left MGM in 1952, seeking a broader range of parts. She soon starred in the 1953 science fiction film Donovan's Brain; Crowther said that Davis, playing the role of a possessed scientist's "sadly baffled wife", "walked through it all in stark confusion" in an "utterly silly" film. In her last movie, Hellcats of the Navy (1957), she played nurse Lieutenant Helen Blair and shared the screen for the only time with her husband, playing what one critic called "a housewife who came along for the ride". Another reviewer, however, stated that Davis plays her part well, and "does well with what she has to work with".

Noted author Garry Wills believes that Davis was underrated as an actress overall, because her constrained part in Hellcats was her most widely seen performance. Davis seems to have downplayed her Hollywood goals: MGM promotional material in 1949 said that her "greatest ambition" was to have a "successful happy marriage"; decades later, in 1975, she would say, "I was never really a career woman but only because I hadn't found the man I wanted to marry. I couldn't sit around and do nothing, so I became an actress." Ronald Reagan biographer Lou Cannon nevertheless characterized her as a "reliable" and "solid" performer who held her own in performances with better-known actors. After her final film, she appeared in television dramas such as Wagon Train and The Tall Man until 1962, when she retired as an actress. During her career, she served on the board of directors of the Screen Actors Guild for nearly 10 years.

During her career as an actress, Nancy Davis dated actors in Hollywood; she later called Clark Gable, whom she dated briefly, the nicest of the stars she had met. On November 15, 1949, she met Ronald Reagan, who was then president of the Screen Actors Guild. Concerned that she would be confused with another actress of the same name who appeared on the Hollywood blacklist, she contacted Reagan to help maintain her employment as a guild actress in Hollywood, and for assistance in having her name removed from the list. The two began dating and their relationship became publicly visible; one Hollywood press account described their nightclub-free times together as "the romance of a couple who have no vices". Ronald Reagan was skeptical about marriage, however, following his painful 1948 divorce from Jane Wyman, and he still saw other women. He eventually proposed to Davis in the couple's favorite booth at the Beverly Hills restaurant Chasen's. They married on March 4, 1952—in a simple ceremony designed to avoid the press—at the Little Brown Church in the San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles. The only people in attendance were actor William Holden, the best man, and his wife, the matron of honor. The couple's first child, Patricia Ann Reagan (better known by her professional name, Patti Davis), was born on October 21, 1952. Their son, Ronald Prescott Reagan, was born six years later on May 20. Nancy Reagan also became stepmother to Maureen Reagan (1941-2001) and Michael Reagan (born 1945), the children of her husband's first marriage to Jane Wyman.

Nancy's relationship with her children was not always as close as that with her husband; she frequently quarreled with her biological children and her stepchildren. Her relationship with Patti was the most contentious; Patti flouted American conservatism and rebelled against her parents by joining the nuclear freeze movement and authoring many anti-Reagan books. Nancy's disagreements with Michael were also shown publicly. In 1984, she was quoted on television as saying that the two were in an "estrangement right now". Michael responded that Nancy was trying to cover up for the fact she had not met his daughter, Ashley, who had been born nearly a year earlier. They eventually made peace, however. Nancy was thought to be closest to her stepdaughter Maureen during the White House years, but each of the Reagan children experienced periods of estrangement from their parents.

Reagan was First Lady of California during her husband's two terms as governor. She disliked living in Sacramento, which lacked the excitement, social life, and mild climate to which she was accustomed in Los Angeles. She first attracted controversy early in 1967, when, after four months' residence in the California Governor's Mansion in Sacramento, she moved her family into a wealthy suburb because fire officials had described the mansion as a "firetrap". Though the Reagans leased the new house at their expense, the move was viewed by many as snobbish. Nancy defended her actions as being for the good of her family, a judgment with which her husband readily agreed. Friends of the family later helped support the cost of the leased house, while Nancy Reagan supervised construction of a new ranch-style governor's residence in nearby Carmichael. The new residence was finished just as Ronald Reagan left office in 1975, but his successor Jerry Brown refused to live there. It was eventually sold in 1982, and California governors have been living in improvised arrangements ever since.

In 1967 Nancy Reagan was appointed by her husband to the California Arts Commission, and a year later was named Los Angeles Times' Woman of the Year; in its profile, the Times labeled her "A Model First Lady". Her glamour, style, and youthfulness made her a frequent subject for press photographers. As First Lady, Reagan visited veterans, the elderly, and the handicapped, and worked with a number of charities. She was involved with the Foster Grandparent Program, helping to popularize it in the United States, then in Australia. She later expanded her work with the organization after arriving in Washington, and wrote about it in her 1982 book To Love a Child. The Reagans also held dinners for former POWs and Vietnam War veterans while Governor and First Lady.

Governor Reagan's term ended in 1975, and he did not run for a third; instead, he met with advisors to discuss a possible bid for the presidency in 1976, challenging incumbent President Gerald Ford. His advisors approved, but Reagan still needed to convince a reluctant Nancy. She feared for her husband's health and his career as a whole, though she felt that he was the right man for the job and eventually approved. Nancy took on a more traditional role in the campaign, holding coffees, luncheons, and talks with senior citizens. With that, she oversaw personnel, monitored her husband's schedule, and occasionally provided press conferences. The 1976 campaign included the so-called "the battle of the queens", contrasting Nancy with first lady Betty Ford. They both spoke out in the campaign on similar issues, but with different approaches. Nancy was particularly upset by the warmonger image that the Ford campaign had drawn of her husband.

Though he lost the 1976 Republican nomination, Reagan ran again for the presidency in 1980 and succeeded in winning the nomination and election. During this second campaign, Nancy played a very prominent role and her management of staff became more apparent. She arranged a meeting between feuding campaign staffers John Sears and Michael Deaver with her husband, which resulted in Deaver leaving the campaign and placing Sears in charge. After the Reagan camp lost the Iowa caucus and fell behind in New Hampshire polls, Nancy organized a second meeting and decided it was time to fire Sears and his associates; she gave Sears a copy of the press release announcing his dismissal. Her influence on her husband became particularly notable; her presence at rallies, luncheons, and receptions increased his confidence.

Nancy Reagan became the First Lady of the United States when Ronald Reagan was inaugurated as President in 1981. Early in her tenure as First Lady, Reagan stated her desire to create a more suitable "first home" in the White House, as the building had fallen into a state of disrepair following years of neglect. Rather than use government funds to renovate and redecorate, she sought private donations. Nancy directed a major renovation of several White House rooms, including all of the second and third floors and the press briefing room. The renovation included the conversion of the master bedroom's closet into a beauty parlor and dressing room, as well as the West bedroom into a small gymnasium. The addition of a Chinese-pattern handpainted wallpaper to the master bedroom, as well as many other significant changes, took place as a result of the renovation and refurbishment.

Nancy drew controversy by announcing the purchase of 4,370 pieces of scarlet, cream and gold state china service for the White House at a cost of $210,399. Although the china was paid for by private donations, some from the private Knapp Foundation, the purchase raised eyebrows, for it was ordered at a time when the nation was undergoing an economic recession.

Another of Nancy Reagan's trademarks was her interest in fashion. After the presidencies of Gerald Ford (who favored the Michigan fight song over "Hail to the Chief") and Jimmy Carter (who dramatically reduced the formality of presidential functions), Nancy brought a Kennedy-esque glamour back into the White House. Nancy favored the color red, calling it "a picker-upper", and wore it accordingly. Her wardrobe included red so often, that the fire-engine shade became known as "Reagan red". She chose dresses and gowns made by luxury designers, including James Galanos and Oscar de la Renta; her 1981 Galanos inaugural gown was estimated to cost $10,000. She hired two private hairdressers that would do her hair on a regular basis in the White House.

Her elegant fashions and wardrobe were also controversial subjects. In 1982, she revealed that she had accepted thousands of dollars in clothing, jewelry, and other gifts, but defended herself by stating that she had borrowed the clothes and that they would either be returned or donated to museums, and that she was promoting the American fashion industry. Facing criticism, she soon said she would no longer accept such loans. In practice, in addition to often buying her clothes, she continued to borrow and sometimes keep designer clothes throughout her time as First Lady, which came to light in 1988 based upon statements of several designers, for whom the arrangement was good for their businesses as well as for the American fashion industry overall. After first denying any such activity, none of which had been included on financial disclosure forms, Nancy acknowledged that she had "broken her little promise" by continuing to take loans and expressed through her press secretary "regrets that she failed to heed counsel's advice" on disclosing them. Such gifts and fashion loans were later determined to be worth about $3 million; the non-reporting of loans under $10,000 in liability was in violation of a voluntary agreement the White House had made in 1982, while the non-reporting of more valuable loans or of any clothes not returned that thus constituted gifts was in violation of the Ethics in Government Act.

The new china, White House renovations, expensive clothing, and her attendance at the wedding of Charles and Diana, Prince and Princess of Wales, gave her an aura of being "out of touch" with the American people during an economic recession. This and her taste for splendor inspired the derogatory nickname "Queen Nancy". In an attempt to deflect the criticism, she self-deprecatingly donned a baglady costume at the 1982 Gridiron Dinner and sang "Second-Hand Clothes", mimicking the song "Second-Hand Rose".

Nancy Reagan launched the "Just Say No" drug awareness campaign in 1982, which was her primary project and major initiative as First Lady. Nancy first became impressed by the education of young people regarding drugs during a 1980 campaign stop in Daytop Village, New York. She remarked in 1981, "Understanding what drugs can do to your children, understanding peer pressure and understanding why they turn to drugs is... the first step in solving the problem." Her campaign focused on drug education and informing the youth of the danger of drug abuse.

In 1985, Nancy expanded the campaign to an international level by inviting the First Ladies of various nations to the White House for a conference on drug abuse. On October 27, 1986, President Reagan signed a drug enforcement bill into law, which granted $1.7 billion in funding to fight the crisis and ensured a mandatory minimum penalty for drug offenses. Although the bill was criticized by some, Nancy Reagan considered it a personal victory. In 1988, she became the first First Lady invited to address the United Nations General Assembly, where she spoke on international drug interdiction and trafficking laws.

Critics of Reagan's efforts questioned their purpose and argued that the program did not go far enough in addressing many social issues, including unemployment, poverty, and family dissolution; Nancy's approach to promoting drug awareness was labeled as simplistic by liberal critics. Nonetheless, a number of "Just Say No" clubs and organizations remain in operation around the country, and they aim to educate children and teenagers about the effects of drugs.

Nancy Reagan assumed the role of unofficial "protector" for her husband after the attempted assassination on his life in 1981. On March 30 of that year, President Reagan and three others were shot as they left the Washington Hilton Hotel. Nancy was alerted and arrived at George Washington University Hospital, where the President was hospitalized. She recalled having seen "emergency rooms before, but I had never seen one like this—with my husband in it." She was escorted into a waiting room, and when granted access to see her husband, he quipped to her, "Honey, I forgot to duck", borrowing the defeated boxer Jack Dempsey's jest to his wife.

An early example of her protective nature occurred when Senator Strom Thurmond entered the President's hospital room that day in March, passing the Secret Service detail by claiming he was the President's "close friend", presumably to acquire media attention. Nancy was outraged and demanded he leave. While the president recuperated in the hospital, the first lady slept with one of his shirts to be comforted by the scent. When Reagan was released from the hospital on April 12, she escorted him back to the White House.

In October 1987, a mammogram detected a lesion in Nancy Reagan's left breast and she was subsequently diagnosed with breast cancer. She chose to undergo a mastectomy rather than a lumpectomy and the breast was removed on October 17, 1987. Not long after the operation, her mother, Edith Luckett Davis, died in Phoenix, Arizona, leading Nancy to dub the period "a terrible month".

After the surgery, more women across the country had mammograms, a demonstration of the influence of the first lady.

In 1985, 1987, and 1988, while Cold War discussions took place regarding nuclear affairs between Soviet Leader Mikhail Gorbachev and President Reagan, Nancy met with Gorbachev's wife, Raisa. The two women usually had tea, and discussed differences between the USSR and the United States. Their relationship was anything but the friendly, diplomatic one between their husbands; Nancy found Raisa hard to converse with and their relationship was described as "frosty". Visiting the United States for the first time in 1987, Raisa irked Reagan with lectures on subjects ranging from architecture to socialism, reportedly prompting the American President's wife to quip, "Who does that dame think she is?" Nancy had previously encouraged her husband to hold these "summit" conferences with Soviet General Secretary Gorbachev, and suggested they form a personal relationship beforehand.

Though Nancy was a controversial First Lady, 56 percent of Americans had a favorable opinion of her when her husband left office on January 20, 1989, with 18 percent having an unfavorable opinion and the balance not giving an opinion. Compared to fellow First Ladies when their husbands left office, Reagan's approval was higher than those of Rosalynn Carter and Hillary Rodham Clinton, however she was less popular than Barbara Bush and her disapproval rating was double that of Carter's.

Upon leaving the White House, the couple returned to California, where they purchased a second home in the Bel Air section of Los Angeles, dividing their time between Bel Air and the Reagan Ranch in Santa Barbara, California; Ronald and Nancy regularly attended Bel Air Presbyterian Church as well. After leaving Washington, Nancy made numerous public appearances, many on behalf of her husband. She continues to reside in the Bel Air home, where she lived with her husband until his death on June 5, 2004.

In late 1989, the former First Lady established the Nancy Reagan Foundation, which aimed to continue to educate people about the dangers of substance abuse. The Foundation teamed with the BEST Foundation For A Drug-Free Tomorrow in 1994, and developed the Nancy Reagan Afterschool Program. She continued to travel around the nation, speaking out against drug and alcohol abuse. After President Reagan revealed that he had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease in 1994, she made herself his primary caregiver and became actively involved with the National Alzheimer's Association and its affiliate, the Ronald and Nancy Reagan Research Institute in Chicago, Illinois.

Also in 1989 she published My Turn: The Memoirs of Nancy Reagan, which gives an account of her life in the White House, speaking openly about her influence within the Reagan administration and discussing the myths and controversies that surrounded the couple. In 1991, the controversial author Kitty Kelley wrote an unauthorized and largely uncited biography about Nancy Reagan, repeating rumors of her supposed sexual relations with singer Frank Sinatra, and of her poor relationship with her children. The publications USAToday and National Review state that Kelley's largely unsupported claims are most likely false.

In 1989 the Internal Revenue Service began investigating the Reagans for whether they owed additional tax on the gifts and loans of high-fashion clothes and jewelry to Nancy during their time in the White House (recipients benefiting from the display of such items recognize taxable income even if they are returned). In 1992 the IRS determined the Reagans had failed to include some $3 million worth of fashion items between 1983 and 1988 on their tax returns; they were billed for a large amount of back taxes and interest, which was subsequently paid.

Nancy Reagan was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor, by President George W. Bush on July 9, 2002. President Reagan received his own Presidential Medal of Freedom in January 1993. Nancy and her husband were jointly awarded the Congressional Gold Medal on May 16, 2002 at the Capitol Building, and were only the third President and First Lady to receive it; she received the medal for both of them.

Previously, she had directed the detailed planning of the funeral, including ordering all the major events and asking former President George H. W. Bush as well as former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney to speak during the National Cathedral Service. She paid very close attention to the details, something she had always done in her husband's life. Betsy Bloomingdale, one of Reagan's closest friends, stated, "She looks a little frail. But she is very strong inside. She is. She has the strength. She is doing her last thing for Ronnie. And she is going to get it right." The funeral marked Reagan's first major public appearance since delivering a speech to the 1996 Republican National Convention on her husband's behalf.

Reagan remained active in politics, particularly relating to stem cell research. Beginning in 2004, she favored what many consider to be the Democratic Party's position, and urged President George W. Bush to support federally funded embryonic stem cell research in the hope that this science could lead to a cure for Alzheimer's disease. Although she failed to change the president's position, she did support his campaign for a second term.

In 2005, Reagan was honored at a gala dinner at the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington, D.C. where guests included Dick Cheney, Harry Reid and Condoleezza Rice. It was her first major public appearance since the funeral. Asked what her future plans were, Reagan shook her head and responded, "I don't know. I'll know when I'll know. But the library is Ronnie, so that's where I spend my time." The following day she unveiled The Heart Truth First Ladies Red Dress Collection with Laura Bush at the Kennedy Center. Reagan was briefly hospitalized the following month upon falling during a trip to the United Kingdom.

In 2007 she attended the national funeral service for Gerald Ford in the Washington National Cathedral. On May 3 of the same year, Reagan hosted and attended the first 2008 Republican Presidential Candidates Debate at the Reagan Presidential Library. While she did not participate in the discussions, she sat in the front row and listened as the men vying to become the nation's 44th president claimed to be a rightful successor to her husband, the 40th.

She attended the funeral of former First Lady Lady Bird Johnson in Austin, Texas on July 14, 2007 and three days later accepted the highest Polish distinction, the Order of the White Eagle, on behalf of Ronald Reagan at the Reagan Library. She mourned the deaths of her friends Merv Griffin and Michael Deaver in August that year.

She opened "Nancy Reagan: A First Lady's Style" at her at her husband's library in November, which displayed over eighty designer dresses belonging to her; it began with her 1952 wedding suit and culminated with the suit she wore to President Reagan's 2004 funeral. She traveled to New York City not long after and served as the guest of honor at a Reagan Library fundraiser hosted by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Though speculation arose over whether Reagan might support Bloomberg in a presidential bid, nothing came of it and she served as hostess of the final Republican debate of the 2008 presidential nomination process on January 30, 2008 at the Reagan Library.

Nancy Reagan's health and well being became a prominent concern in 2008. On February 17, she suffered a fall at her Bel Air home and was taken to St. John's Health Center in Santa Monica, California. Doctors reported that she did not break a hip and she was released from the hospital two days later. On March 25 she formally endorsed Senator John McCain, then the presumptive Republican party nominee, for president of the United States at her home. She attended the funeral of Charlton Heston in April.

On October 15, 2008, Nancy was admitted to Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center after having fallen at home the previous week; doctors determined that the 87-year-old former first lady had fractured her pelvis and sacrum, and could recuperate at home with a regimen of physical therapy. Experts agree that her prognosis is very good and she should return to normal in a few months. As a result of her fall, still as a former first lady, medical articles were published containing information on how to prevent falls.

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India (cat)

India.

India "Willie" Bush (c. 1990 – January 4, 2009) was a black cat owned by former U.S. President George W. Bush and First Lady Laura Bush. She lived with the Bush family for almost two decades.

The Bushes acquired India, an all black, female American Shorthair, as a kitten in late 1991 or 1992 when twin daughters Barbara and Jenna Bush were 9. India remained with George and Laura Bush once their daughters left for college. The cat moved with the Bushes to the White House from the Texas Governor's Mansion in Austin in early 2001 following the inauguration of George W. Bush as president.

There was some controversy reported in India as several people were upset with the cat's name. In the Indian state of Kerala, for example, 101 dogs were reportedly renamed 'Bush' in protest to President Bush's cat being called India. In July 2004, demonstrators in the southern Keralian city of Thiruvananthapuram denounced the cat's name as an insult to the nation of India and even burned an effigy of President Bush in protest. The Bushes did not change the cat's name in response to the demonstrations.

In actuality, the cat is not named for the country of India, yet rather for baseball player Rubén Sierra who was nicknamed "El Indio", during his time with the Texas Rangers when Bush owned the team. The name had reportedly been given to the family cat by daughter, Barbara Bush.

Despite living at the White House with the First Family, India had been largely overshadowed in the media by two of the Bushes' more famous Scottish terriers, Barney and Miss Beazley. However, she's seen in the Barneycam videos produced by the White House staff around Christmastime, her first being Where in the White House is Miss Beazley?, where she was referred to as "Willie." The dogs received significantly more media attention from the White House press corps during the Bush presidency.

The Bush family cat makes an appearance on p. 153 of the March 2008 Architectural Digest, as "Willie", in the White House's East Sitting Hall.

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University of Texas at Austin

The University of Texas at Austin seal.png

The University of Texas at Austin (often referred to as the University of Texas, UT Austin, UT, or Texas) is a public research university located in Austin, Texas, United States, and is the flagship institution of The University of Texas System. The main campus is located less than a mile from the Texas State Capitol. UT Austin was named one of the original eight Public Ivy institutions. Founded in 1883, the university has had the fifth largest single-campus enrollment in the nation as of fall 2007 (and had the largest enrollment in the country from 1997–2003), with over 50,000 undergraduate and graduate students and 16,500 faculty and staff. It currently holds the largest enrollment of all colleges in the state of Texas.

The university operates various auxiliary facilities aside from the main campus, most notably the J. J. Pickle Research Campus. UT Austin is a major center for academic research, annually exceeding $400 million in funding. In addition, the university's athletic programs were recognized by Sports Illustrated as "America's Best Sports College" in 2002.

In 1846, Texas was annexed into the United States. The state legislature passed the Act of 1858, which set aside $100,000 in United States bonds towards construction. In addition, the legislature designated land, previously reserved for the encouragement of railroad construction, toward the universities' fifty leagues. However, Texas's secession from the Union and the American Civil War prevented further action on these plans.

The passing of the Morrill Act in 1862 facilitated the creation of Texas A&M University, which was established in 1876 as the Agricultural & Mechanical College of Texas. The Texas Constitution of 1876 mandated that the state establish a university "at an early day," calling for the creation of a "university of the first class," The University of Texas. It revoked the endowment of the railroad lands of the Act of 1858 but appropriated one million acres (4000 km²) in West Texas. In 1883, another two million were granted, with income from the sale of land and grazing rights going to The University of Texas and Texas A&M.

In 1881, Austin was chosen as the site of the main university, and Galveston was designated the location of the medical department. On the original "College Hill," an official ceremony began construction on what is now referred to as the old Main Building in late 1882. The university opened its doors on September 15, 1883.

The old Victorian-Gothic Main Building served as the central point of the campus's 40-acre (160,000 m2) site, and was used for nearly all purposes. However, by the 1930s, discussions rose about the need for new library space, and the Main Building was razed in 1934 over the objections of many students and faculty. The modern-day tower and Main Building were constructed in its place.

In 1910, George Brackenridge donated 500 acres (2 km²) to the university located on the Colorado River. A vote by the regents to move the campus to the donated land was met with outrage, and the land has only been used for auxiliary purposes such as graduate student controversy. Part of the tract was sold in the late-1990's for luxury housing, and there are controversial proposals to sell the remainder of the tract.

As a result of the controversy, in 1921, the legislature appropriated $1,350,000 for the purchase of land adjacent to the main campus. Expansion, however, was hampered by the constitutional restriction against funding the construction of buildings. With the discovery of oil on university-owned grounds in 1923, the institution was able to put its new wealth towards its general endowment fund. These savings allowed the passing of amendments to make way for bond issues in 1931 and 1947, with the latter expansion necessary from the spike in enrollment following World War II. The university built 19 permanent structures between 1950 and 1965, when it was given the right of eminent domain. With this power, the university purchased additional properties surrounding the original 40 acres (160,000 m2).

On August 1, 1966, UT student, Charles Whitman barricaded himself in the observation deck of the tower of the Main Building with a sniper rifle and various other weapons, killed 14 people on campus, and wounded many more. Following the Whitman incident, the observation deck was closed until 1968, and then closed again in 1975 following a series of suicide jumps during the 1970s. In 1998, after installation of security and safety precautions, the tower observation deck reopened to the public.

Completed in 1969, Jester Center was the largest residence hall in North America and was the largest building project in university history. It includes two towers: a 14-level and 10-level residences with a capacity of 3,200.

The first presidential library on a university campus was dedicated on May 22, 1971 with former President Johnson, Lady Bird Johnson and then-President Richard Nixon in attendance. Constructed on the eastern side of the main campus, the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum is one of twelve presidential libraries administered by the National Archives and Records Administration.

UT has experienced a wave of new construction recently with several significant buildings. On April 30, 2006, UT opened a new 155,000 square foot (14,000 m²) facility on the university's campus named the Blanton Museum of Art. The museum is the largest university art museum in the United States and is home to more than 17,000 works from Europe, the United States and Latin America. In August, 2008, the AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center opened for conferences, seminars and continuing and executive education programs. The hotel and conference is part of a new gateway to the university extending the South Mall. Later the same month, after three-years of renovations were completed, Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium became the largest stadium by capacity in the state of Texas. In addition to numerous improvements, DKR now seats 94,113 from the previous 85,123.

UT property totals 850 acres (3.4 km²), comprised of the 350 acres (1.4 km²) for the main campus and other land for the J. J. Pickle Research Campus in north Austin and the other properties throughout Texas.

One of the university's most visible features is the Beaux-Arts Main Building, including a 307-foot (94 m) tower designed by Paul Philippe Cret. Completed in 1937, the Main Building is located in the middle of campus. The tower usually appears illuminated in white light in the evening but is lit orange for various special occasions, including athletic victories and academic accomplishments; it is conversely darkened for solemn occasions. At the top of the tower is a carillon of 56 bells, the largest in Texas. Songs are played on weekdays by resident carillonneur Tom Anderson, in addition to the usual pealing of Westminster Quarters every quarter hour between 6 a.m. and 9 p.m. The tower went through a few periods of being closed to the public (due to the 1966 Whitman Massacre and multiple suicide jumps); however, in 1998, after the installation of security and safety measures, the observation deck reopened to the public indefinitely for weekend tours.

The university is home to 7 museums and 17 libraries, which hold over eight million volumes. The holdings of the university's Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center include one of only 21 remaining complete copies of the Gutenberg Bible and the first permanent photograph, View from the Window at Le Gras, taken by Nicéphore Niépce. The newest museum, the Blanton Museum of Art, opened in April 2006 and hosts approximately 17,000 works from Europe, the United States, and Latin America.

UT has an extensive underground tunnel system that links many of the buildings. The tunnel system is used for communications and utility service, is closed to the public and is guarded by silent alarms. The university also operates a 1.1 megawatt TRIGA nuclear reactor at the J.J. Pickle Research Campus.

The university continues to expand its facilities on campus. In February 2006, the Board of Regents voted to update and expand the football stadium, and in March 2006 the student body passed a referendum to build a new Student Activities Center next to Gregory Gym on the east side of campus, pending final approval by the Board of Regents. According to The Daily Texan, the project is estimated to cost $51 million and is set to open between fall 2010 and fall 2012. Funding will primarily come from students, raising tuition by a maximum of $65 per semester.

The university operates a public radio station, KUT, which provides local FM broadcasts as well as live streaming audio over the Internet. The university uses Capital Metro to provide bus transportation for students around the campus and throughout Austin.

UT Austin is well recognized both nationally and internationally for the quality of its graduate as well as undergraduate programs. In 2004, the Times Higher Education Supplement (THES) ranked UT as the 15th best school in the world. The only public American school to rank ahead was University of California, Berkeley. More recently, UT Austin placed 70th and 51st in the THES rankings in 2008 and 2007, respectively.

The university has ranked #12 among public schools (U.S. News & World Report, 2008), #19 nationally (The Washington Monthly, 2007), and #38 in an academic ranking of world universities (Shanghai Jiao Tong University, 2007). Seven UT Austin doctoral programs ranked in the top 10 in the nation for 2008, with 22 departments also in the top 25.

UT Austin is well-known for its all around strength in sciences, engineering, business and art education. One of the most renowned schools at the university is the McCombs School of Business, which comprises national rankings of the #1 undergraduate and graduate accounting programs, the #3 undergraduate and graduate MIS programs, the #2 undergraduate marketing program, the #4 management research productivity, the #10 overall-undergraduate business program (#3 among public universities), and the #18 (full-time) MBA program. A 2005 Bloomberg survey also ranked the school #5 among all business schools and #1 among public business schools for the largest number of alumni who are S&P 500 CEOs. Similarly, a 2005 USA Today report ranked the university as "the number one source of new Fortune 1000 CEOs".

While UT Austin does not have a medical school, it houses medical programs associated with other campuses and allied health professional programs, which has contributed to the College of Pharmacy's #2 2008 national ranking by U.S. News and World Report. Other programs highly ranked by U.S. News and World Report include the #10 College of Education, the #11 Cockrell School of Engineering, and the #16 School of Law. Additionally, the university's library system—its main campus library the Perry-Castañeda Library—ranks #6 among academic libraries in the nation.

UT Austin offers more than 100 undergraduate and 170 graduate degrees. In the 2003-2004 academic year, the university awarded a total of 13,065 degrees: 68.6% bachelor's degrees, 21.7% master's degrees, 5.2% doctoral degrees, and 4.5% other professional degrees. UT Austin also offers numerous undergraduate honors programs, such as Dean's Scholars, Turing Scholars, Business Honors, Plan II, and Liberal Arts Honors.

As a state public university, UT Austin is subject to Texas House Bill 588 (aka HB 588, the top ten percent law, or the percent plan), which guarantees graduating Texas high school seniors in the top 10% of their class admission to any public Texas university. Roughly 2/3 of admitted applicants are admitted in this manner. For others who go through the traditional application process, selectivity at UT Austin is deemed "more selective" according to the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. In fall 2006, a total of 27,315 applications were received and 13,305 were admitted. In fall 2007, 27,232 applications and 13,781 students were admitted.

In Fall 2007, UT Austin employed 2,300 full-time faculty members, 51% who were tenured. The student-to-faculty ratio is 19.23. The university's faculty includes winners of the Nobel Prize, the Pulitzer Prize, the National Medal of Science, the National Medal of Technology, the Turing Award and numerous other awards.

The university has an endowment of $7.2 billion, out of the $15.6 billion available to the University of Texas system.

30% of the university's endowment comes from Permanent University Fund (PUF), with nearly $15 billion in assets as of 2007. Proceeds from lands appropriated in 1839 and 1876, as well as oil monies, comprise the majority of PUF. At one time, the PUF was the chief source of income for Texas's two university systems, The University of Texas System and the Texas A&M University System; today, however, its revenues account for less than 10 percent of the universities' annual budgets. This has challenged the universities to increase sponsored research and private donations. Privately funded endowments contribute over $2 billion to the University's total endowment value.

The university enrolls 37,377 undergraduate, 11,533 graduate and 1,467 law students. The student population includes students from all 50 states and more than 100 foreign countries, most notably, South Korea, followed by India, the People's Republic of China, Mexico and the Republic of China, are represented. The average SAT score for entering Fall 2004 freshmen was a 1230 out of 1600.

The campus is currently home to fourteen residence halls, the last of which opened for residence in Spring 2007. On-campus housing can hold more than 7,100 students. Jester Center is the largest residence hall with its capacity of 2,945. Academic enrollment exceeds the capacity of on-campus housing; as a result, most students must live in private residence halls, housing cooperatives, apartments, or with Greek organizations and other off-campus residences. The Division of Housing and Food Service, which already has the largest market share of 7,000 of the estimated 27,000 beds in the campus area, plans to expand to 9,000 beds in the near future.

The university recognizes more than 1,000 student organizations. In addition, it supports three official student governance organizations that represent student interests to faculty, administrators, and the Texas Legislature. Student Government, established in 1902, is the oldest governance organization and represents student interests in general. The Senate of College Councils represents students in academic affairs and coordinates the college councils, and the Graduate Student Assembly represents graduate student interests. The Texas Union Student Events Center serves as the hub for student activities on campus. The Friar Society serves as the oldest honor society at the university.

The University of Texas at Austin is home to an active Greek community. The first UT Greek chapter, was the Texas Rho chapter of Sigma Alpha Epsilon and was founded in 1882; the year before the university first opened its doors. Over 11 percent of undergraduate students make up the nearly 4,500 members. With more than 50 national fraternity and sorority chapters, the university's Greek community is one of the largest in the nation. These chapters are under the authority of one of UT Austin's five Greek council communities, Interfraternity Council, National Pan-Hellenic Council, Texas Asian Pan-Hellenic Council, United Greek Council and University Panhellenic Council. Other registered student organizations also name themselves with Greek letters and are called affiliates. They are not a part of one of the five councils but have all of the same privileges and responsibilities of any other organization. According to the Office of the Dean of Students' mission statement, Greek Life promotes the principles of cultural appreciation, scholarship, leadership, and service. While there are no fraternity and sorority houses located on-campus, the majority are located west of The Drag in the neighborhood called West Campus.

Students express their opinions in and outside of class through periodicals including Study Breaks Magazine, The Daily Texan (the most award-winning daily college newspaper in the United States), and the Texas Travesty. Over the airwaves students' voices are heard through K09VR and KVRX.

Traditions at UT Austin are perpetuated through several school symbols and mediums. At athletic events, students frequently sing "Texas Fight," the university's fight song while displaying the Hook 'em Horns hand gesture—the gesture mimicking the horns of the school's mascot, Bevo the Texas longhorn.

The University of Texas offers a wide variety of varsity and intramural sports programs. As of 2008, the university's athletics program ranked fifth in the nation among Division I schools, according to the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics. Due to the breadth of sports offered and the quality of the programs, Texas was selected as "America's Best Sports College" in a 2002 analysis performed by Sports Illustrated. Texas was also listed as the number one Collegiate Licensing Company client for the second consecutive year in regards to the amount of annual trademark royalties received from the sales of its fan merchandise. However this ranking is based only on clients of the Collegiate Licensing Company which does not handle licensing for approximately three dozen large schools such as Ohio State, USC, UCLA, Michigan State, and Texas A&M.

The university's men's and women's athletics teams are nicknamed the Longhorns. A charter member of the Southwest Conference until its dissolution in 1996, Texas now competes in the Big 12 Conference (South Division) of the NCAA's Division I-FBS. Texas has won 47 total national championships, 39 of which are NCAA national championships.

The University of Texas has traditionally been considered a college football powerhouse. At the start of the 2007 season, the Longhorns were ranked third in the all-time list of both total wins and winning percentage. The team experienced its greatest success under coach Darrell Royal, winning three national championships in 1963, 1969, 1970, and winning a fourth title under head coach Mack Brown in 2005 after the 41-38 victory over previously undefeated Southern California in the 2006 Rose Bowl.

In recent years, the men's basketball team has gained prominence, advancing to the NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteen in 2002, the Final Four in 2003, the Sweet Sixteen in 2004, and the Elite Eight in 2006 and 2008.

The university's baseball team is considered one of the best in the nation with more trips to the College World Series than any other school, with wins in 1949, 1950, 1970, 1983, 2002 and 2005.

Additionally, the university's highly successful men's and women's swimming and diving teams lay claim to sixteen NCAA Division I titles. In particular, the men's team is under the leadership of Eddie Reese, who served as the head men's coach at the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona, the 2004 Games in Athens and the 2008 games in Beijing.

One of the university's notable rivals in many sports is Texas A&M University Aggies. The two schools have acknowledged the importance of this rivalry by creating the State Farm Lone Star Showdown series, which encompasses all sports where both schools field a varsity team. The football game played between the two schools is the third longest-running rivalry in the nation and is the longest-running rivalry for both schools. The game is traditionally played on Thanksgiving day. Both schools traditionally hold a rally each year before the football game — Texas hosts the Hex Rally, and students at Texas A&M host the Aggie Bonfire (although it is no longer an officially sanctioned Texas A&M event after the deaths of 12 students in 1999).

It has been argued, however, that the Longhorns' biggest rival in football is the University of Oklahoma Sooners. The football game between Texas and Oklahoma is known as the Red River Rivalry (formerly known as the Red River Shootout)and is held annually in Dallas, Texas, at the Cotton Bowl. In recent years, this rivalry has been particularly spirited, in part due to the fact that at least one school has been ranked in the top five nationally at the time of the game.

Other schools, such as Arkansas and Texas Tech, also consider Texas among their rivals.

In addition, the university has numerous practice, training, and intramural facilities.

Over 15 UT Austin graduates have served in the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives, such as Lloyd Bentsen '42, who served as both a U.S. Senator and U.S. Representative, as well as being the 1988 Democratic Party Vice Presidential nominee. Cabinet members of American presidents include former United States Secretary of State James Baker '57, former United States Secretary of Education William J. Bennett, and former United States Secretary of Commerce Donald Evans '73. First Lady Laura Bush '73 and daughter Jenna '04 both graduated from UT Austin, as well as former First Lady Lady Bird Johnson '33 & '34 and her eldest daughter Lynda. In foreign governments, the university has been represented by Fernando Belaúnde Terry '36 (42nd President of Peru), Mostafa Chamran (former Minister of Defense for Iran), and Abdullah al-Tariki (co-founder of OPEC).

UT Austin alumni in academia include the 26th President of The College of William & Mary Gene R. Nichol '76, the 10th President of Boston University Robert A. Brown '73 & '75, and the 8th President of the University of Southern California John R. Hubbard. The University also graduated Alan Bean '55, the fourth man to walk on the Moon. Additionally, alumni of the university who have served as business leaders include ExxonMobil Corporation CEO Rex Tillerson '75, Dell founder and CEO Michael Dell, and Gary C. Kelly, CEO of Southwest Airlines.

In literature and journalism, UT Austin has produced Pulitzer Prize winners Gail Caldwell and Ben Sargent '70, as well as CNN anchor Betty Nguyen '95. Alumnus J. M. Coetzee also received the 2003 Nobel Prize in Literature. Novelist Raymond Benson ('78) was the official author of James Bond novels between 1996 - 2002, the only American to be commissioned to pen them.

UT Austin has also produced several musicians and entertainers. Janis Joplin, the American singer who posthumously was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award attended the university, as well as February 1955 Playboy Playmate of the Month and Golden Globe recipient Jayne Mansfield. Additionally, the big screen has carried the talents of actor Matthew McConaughey '93 (star of The Wedding Planner (2001), How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days (2003), Sahara (2005), We Are Marshall (2007), et al.), while Farrah Fawcett (one of the original Charlie's Angels) was featured on the small screen.

A number of UT Austin alumni have found success in professional sports. Seven-time Cy Young Award-winner Roger Clemens entered the MLB after helping the Longhorns win the 1983 College World Series. Several Olympic medalists have also attended the school, including 2008 Summer Olympics athletes Ian Crocker '05 (swimming world record holder and two-time Olympic gold medalist) and 4x400m relay defending Olympic gold medalist Sanya Richards '06. Mary Lou Retton (the first female gymnast outside Eastern Europe to win the Olympic all-around title, five-time Olympic medalist, and 1984 Sports Illustrated Sportswoman of the Year) also attended the university.

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Jenna Bush

Jenna Bush and Barbara Bush with their parents George W. Bush and Laura Bush

Jenna Welch Hager, née Bush, (born November 25, 1981), the daughter of the 43rd U.S. President George W. Bush and former First Lady Laura Bush and the grand daughter of the 41st US President George H Bush. Her twin sister is Barbara Pierce Bush. She is a teacher and author.

Bush was named after her maternal grandmother, Jenna Hawkins Welch.

Bush was educated at several primary and secondary schools. In Dallas, Texas, she and her sister attended Preston Hollow Elementary School and then The Hockaday School. In 1994, after her father was elected Governor of Texas and the family moved to Austin, Texas, Bush was a student at St. Andrew's Episcopal School. She attended Austin High School from 1996 until her graduation in 2000. She attended University of Texas. She was a legacy member of Kappa Alpha Theta, both her mother and twin sister's sorority.

Bush had asked her father not to run for president in 2000: "Oh, I just wish you wouldn't run. It's going to change our life." Her father told her that he and her mother needed to live their lives. However, in the winter of 2003, she decided to become involved in the 2004 campaign. In response to this decision, Jenna made media appearances during the summer of 2004 prior to the 2004 U.S. Presidential election. She and her sister made several joint public appearances, including giving a speech to the Republican Convention on August 31, 2004. She made headlines when she was found sticking her tongue out to media photographers at a campaign stop in St. Louis, as well as getting arrested for underage drinking and using her grandmother's ID to attempt to buy alcohol while underage. Jenna and Barbara took turns traveling to swing states with their father and also gave a seven-page interview and photo shoot in Vogue. The media also extensively covered the campaigning of John Kerry's daughters Vanessa and Alexandra, making the "battle of the daughters" a human interest element of the campaign.

Before leaving Washington, D.C. in Summer 2006, Bush taught at Elsie Whitlow Stokes Community Freedom Public Charter School for a year and a half. She took a leave of absence from the Charter School teaching position to work at a shelter as part of an internship for UNICEF's Educational Policy Department in Latin America, specifically in Panama. After her internship for UNICEF, she returned to her teaching position at the charter school in Washington, D.C., where she is again currently teaching.

In 2007, Bush began marketing a book proposal with the assistance of Robert B. Barnett, a Washington attorney. The title of the book is Ana's Story: A Journey of Hope and it chronicles her experiences working with UNICEF sponsored charities in Latin America, including visits to drought stricken Paraguay in 2006, while working as an intern for United Nations Children's Fund. HarperCollins announced in March 2007 it would publish the book and it was released September 28, 2007, with an initial printing of 500,000 copies. Her share of the profits will go to UNICEF; the remainder will go to the woman whose life is the basis of the book, assisting in the young woman's continuing education. During the book tour, to promote the book, Bush appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show; during the interview Jenna telephoned her parents. Bush wrote a second book, in conjunction with her mother, which is designed to encourage children to read. The book, entitled Read All About It!, was published on April 22, 2008, also by HarperCollins.

On August 15, 2007, Henry Chase Hager proposed to Jenna Bush on Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park in Maine. Jenna met Henry during her father's 2004 presidential campaign. Their relationship became public when the two appeared together at a White House dinner for The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall in November 2005. Henry Hager is currently a graduate student in business administration at the Darden Graduate School of Business Administration at the University of Virginia. He worked as a U.S. Department of Commerce aide for Carlos Gutierrez and as a White House aide for Karl Rove. He is the son of Virginia Republican Party former Chairman John H. Hager, who previously served as lieutenant governor of Virginia and as the U.S. Department of Education Assistant Secretary under George W. Bush. The wedding occurred during a private ceremony on May 10, 2008 at her parents' Prairie Chapel Ranch near Crawford, Texas. On June 21, 2008, President Bush hosted a wedding reception for Jenna and Henry at the White House. The guests included many Republicans, such as Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice. The United States Marine Band performed.

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Barbara Pierce Bush

Jenna and Barbara Bush with their parents George W. Bush and Laura Bush

Barbara Pierce Bush (born November 25, 1981) is the elder of the fraternal twin daughters of the 43rd U.S. President George W. Bush and former First Lady Laura Bush, and granddaughter of the 41st US President George H. W. Bush.

Sister of Jenna Welch Hager, together they were known as the First Twins, both because they are the children of the former President of the United States and because they were the first twin children of a sitting president. Barbara is named after her paternal grandmother, former First Lady Barbara Bush. Barbara Bush was born at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas, Texas.

When the family lived in the Preston Hollow section of Dallas, she and her sister attended Preston Hollow Elementary School; Laura Bush served on Preston Hollow's Parent Teachers Association at that time. Later, she and Jenna attended The Hockaday School in Dallas. When her father became Governor of Texas in 1994, Barbara attended St. Andrew's Episcopal School in Austin, Texas. In 1996, Barbara began attending Austin High School, graduating with the class of 2000. She attended Yale where she was a legacy member of Kappa Alpha Theta sorority (her mother, former First Lady Laura Bush, and her twin sister Jenna are also members of Kappa Alpha Theta). On April 29, 2001, Bush was charged with a Class C misdemeanor for being in the possession of alcohol under the age 21 in Austin. On May 29, 2001, Bush was charged with another misdemeanor — attempting to use a fake ID (with the name Barbara Pierce, her paternal grandmother's maiden name) to purchase alcohol. She pleaded no contest to both misdemeanors.

Barbara lives in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of New York City. Recently she has been working for a Smithsonian museum in New York, the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum. Previously, Barbara had been working with AIDS patients in Africa, in Tanzania, South Africa, and Botswana, among other places, through a program sponsored by the Houston-based Baylor College of Medicine's International Pediatrics AIDS Initiative She currently works for a public health-focused non-profit, Global Health Corps.

Barbara's graduation from Yale in May 2004 was given heavy media coverage. She and Jenna made several media appearances that summer prior to the 2004 U.S. Presidential election, including giving a speech to the Republican Convention on August 31. The two took turns traveling to swing states with their father and also gave a seven-page interview and photo shoot in Vogue. Barbara joined her mother on diplomatic trips to Liberia in January 2006 to attend the inauguration of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and to Vatican City to meet with Pope Benedict XVI in February 2006.

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Source : Wikipedia