Former President George W. Bush said the Bush Institute at Southern Methodist University will not be partisan as some critics feared.
Bush and former first lady Laura W. Bush met a cheering crowd of 1,500 at SMU on Thursday as they unveiled their plans for the George W. Bush Institute.
It will be part of the George W. Bush Presidential Center, which will also include the president's library, museum and archives.But Bush said the institute will operate independently of the library.
“The institute will be nonpartisan," he said. "Every project the institute undertakes will be designed to make an impact in the real world."
Bush said the initial priorities will be education, global health, human freedom and economic development, all with emphasis on women.
“The women’s initiative will focus on advancing social and economic opportunities for women and girls around the world,” Laura Bush said.
The foundation building the library has reportedly raised $212 million of the $300 million needed. Groundbreaking is scheduled next year.
The George W. Bush Presidential Center will be the first presidential library complex to house a policy Institute.