Wednesday, May 1, 2013
SMU students and staff get preliminary tour of Bush Presidential Center
The Presidential Center opens May 1 to the public.
UNIVERSITY PARK While the rest of the world had to wait until Wednesday to step inside the George W. Bush Presidential Center, almost 2,400 students and faculty were able to catch a sneak peek at the library’s SMU Day Monday.
“We have [guests] signed up in blocks,” Nici Bremer, a SMU Development and External Affairs staff member who was directing students to the entrance, said. “We asked them to keep their time in the museum to an hour so that everyone would get a chance to go through.”
Each student stood in line for about 20 minutes before being let into the exhibit.
Anthony McAuliffe signed up for his ticket right after receiving the email for SMU Day reservations. Tickets for SMU Day were reserved on a first come, first serve basis and were all reserved in just over 24 hours.
“My favorite part was the decision points exhibit. You get to see what it was like being in office and how you have to make decisions immediately,” junior Anthony McAuliffe said.
“I really enjoyed the way that it takes you through the experience. You come in and it seemed like it was going to be a happy presidency, but then you turn the corner and you’re at the 9/11 exhibit and everything changes,” senior Elise McDonald said.
For freshman Kyle Waldrep, the 9/11 memorial also proved to be the most memorable. Visitors are allowed to touch a steel beam taken from the Ground Zero.
“The September 11th memorial still made me cry. I remember that morning and seeing the actual steel from the building was really powerful,” Waldrep said.
The students exited through the Bush Center gift shop, where visitors can buy polos, sweatshirts, and books. Many students left carrying a purchased professional photo of themselves seated in the replica of the Oval Office contained in the library.
SMU students and faculty will be able to visit the museum for free after the May 1 opening by reserving their tickets online at www.bushcenter.org and bringing their SMU ID with them on their visit.
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