Past and present students and staff at Texas A&M University are pausing this week to remember President George H.W. Bush, who will be buried at the Bush Presidential Library on the grounds of the university.
Former President Bush will have a lasting legacy at the school in the form of the Bush School of Government and Public Service.
Dr. Charles Hermann, who is still a professor at the school, served as the Bush School's first director when it opened in 1997.
“He came and talk to classes. He would go out to the pond and fish and interact with the students,” Hermann said.
Hermann said he will always remember his first meeting with Bush in 1995. Although it was his first time meeting a former president, Hermann said he wasn’t nervous because Bush had a way of making people feel at ease.
“This is the man who sent over 30,000 Christmas cards. I cannot claim to be a close friend of them, but he treated me as someone that he respected,” Hermann said.
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The President was commonly seen in the classrooms and lecture hall of the school. He also brought world leaders together at the school to give students unique experiences to ask questions and interact with the men and women who shaped world history.
“He did say 100 years from now I want to have the Bush School known as the place where generation after generation of people came and committed to lives and careers of public service,” Hermann said.
Hermann will serve as an honorary pallbearer at the burial service.
“It’s a very humbling experience, but I see myself as representing the Bush School in this,” Hermann said. “I’m standing in for all my colleagues, for the generations of students past and present that were so important to him.”