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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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One step away
June 8, 2024

Student led vigil honors former first lady

Students+organized+a+vigil+at+the+George+H.W.+Bush+Library+in+memory+of+Barbara+Bush.
Photo by Courtesy of Texas A&M University/Mark Guerrero

Students organized a vigil at the George H.W. Bush Library in memory of Barbara Bush.

Tuesday night, at the Presidential Pond beside the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum, a vigil was held to honor the memory of the late Barbara Bush.
Students from the Bush School were the primary organizers of this event, and decided to plan this vigil upon hearing about the passing of Barbara Bush. The vigil brought over 100 students and community members together with the lighting of candles, singing of hymns and a moment of silence to honor the legacy of the former first lady.
Morgan Gray, public service and administration graduate student, was one of the primary organizers of the event. She spoke of the significant impact the late Barbara Bush had on students.
“I think I speak not only for myself but for the rest of the Bush School student population when I say that we very much admire the Bush family in general, and in all that we do we strive to replicate their devotion and public service,” Gray said.
Gray said students are grateful for the time and selfless dedication Barbara Bush committed to the school.
“We all owe a lot to Mrs. Bush, especially she has embodied what it means to be a true public servant for her entire life,” Gray said. “We all very much admire her, and she herself has left a lasting legacy that all Bush students strive to embody in some way.”
A moment of prayer and reflection was offered to attendees of the vigil, which Gray said was an important aspect of the event.
“We felt it was not only necessary, but it would be quite wrong if we didn’t come together and pray for the family,” Gray said.
Elizabeth Thomas, public service and administration graduate student, said she came to the vigil to pay her respects to the Bush family.
“She’s done a lot for the Bush School,” Thomas said. “Just being by her side and representing her legacy to carry out her name in everything we try to do.”
Amanda Sumner, public service and administration graduate student, said she was shocked after hearing the news about the passing of Barbara Bush.
“It was kind of a shock to me, we all knew that she was not getting treatment [any] more,” Sumner said. “But my mom called me and said, ‘Did you see the news?’ and what I was doing — I just kind of stopped.”
Thomas said she also was shocked after hearing the news, which was why she attended the vigil.
“She’s such a strong and powerful figure, she’s the matriarch of that house,” Thomas said. “Seeing it, you feel for their whole family.”
According to Gray, members of her Capstone group were in the middle of a meeting when they heard the news about Barbara Bush, which caused them to immediately drop what they were doing to plan the vigil.
“We were heartbroken,” Gray said. “We felt that this was a much more pressing matter to attend to, and we knew that we would find support not only from other students but faculty and staff here as well.”
According to Gray, the turnout from the vigil was more than had been anticipated.
“The news only broke a couple of hours ago, so we would’ve been satisfied with just a few people coming,” Gray said. “We’re very grateful that people took the time to honor Mrs. Bush’s legacy.”

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