Bush raises more than $500 million for presidential library

Former President George W. Bush’s presidential library is scheduled to open later this month in Dallas.

Already, more than $500 million has been raised for the George W. Bush Presidential Library, the George W. Bush Center has reportedly has confirmed.

"It was our goal to raise $500 million by the time the George W. Bush Presidential Center was dedicated, and we reached that goal," center president Mark Langdale told Time.

"The milestone makes Bush, who left office four years ago, the most successful fundraiser among former presidents at this stage in his post-White House life," the report further noted.

Bush and former first lady Laura Bush will dedicate the library at Southern Methodist University on April 25. The library opens to the public May 1.

When asked where the money will go, Langdale told Time that half will cover construction costs, another portion will be donated to SMU for a program endowment and the remainder will function as "a strong financial foundation" over time.

The 23-acre presidential center, which includes the library, a museum and a policy institute, has been under construction for two years. It will house more than 43,000 artifacts from Bush's presidency and more than 200 million emails.

Officials from the University of Chicago and the University of Hawaii have both traveled to Dallas to meet with officials at Bush's fledgling library as they prepare a bid to host President Barack Obama's presidential library.

Obama and former Presidents Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton also are planning to gather at SMU for the younger Bush's event.

The rare gathering will be a powerful symbol of American democracy, but it also brings together what can best be described as strange bedfellows.


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