The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

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SMU to announce Bush Library deal Friday morning

Multiple sources confirm announcement

SMU will announce that it is the site of the George W. Bush Presidential Library Friday morning in a “major announcement” inside the Hughes-Trigg Student Center. Two sources involved with the announcement confirmed the news Thursday afternoon to The Daily Campus.

Before the Hughes-Trigg event is a paper signing involving select officials in a Cox School of Business ballroom. The Hughes-Trigg event will be open to the entire campus community.

SMU Public Affairs would not confirm nor deny any event for Friday morning. But they reinterated that any announcement would not take place until an agreement had been finalized – something they say has not happened.

It has been 14 months since SMU entered into exclusive negotiations with the Bush Library Selection Committee. Since then there has been a dizzying array of challenges and roadblocks to a final announcement that was expected to come quickly at first.

The Faculty Senate raised several questions regarding the expected Bush Institute, a partisan operation that would be a part of the SMU academic community.

A showdown between the senate and the administration nearly derailed the project in March 2007. A resolution that called for SMU to disassociate itself with the institute ended in a 13-13 tie with three abstentions. The meeting became heated when then-provost Thomas Tunks warned those pushing the resolution that there would be consequences if it passed.

A group of United Methodists lead by Rev. Andrew Weaver entered the fray with an anti-library petition that was launched in late Jan. 2007. More than 12,000 people have since signed the on-line document.

SMU had to receive permission from the Mission Council of the South Central Jurisdiction of the church to lease land for the project, which it got in March 2007. But Weaver and his supporters maintain that final approval does not rest with the Mission Council. They point to a meeting this July in Dallas that would have the measure voted on by 290 jurisdictional delegates.

SMU seemed concerned enough about the validity of the Mission Council’s approval to get the lawyers representing the Bush Library Foundation to obtain a letter with the signatures of the Methodist Bishops of the South Central Jurisdiction verifying the lease.

Story posted at 4:25 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 21.

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