Called to Serve: The Bush School of Government and Public Service

Called to Serve: The Bush School of Government and Public Service

Called to Serve: The Bush School of Government and Public Service

Called to Serve: The Bush School of Government and Public Service


In Called to Serve, founding director Charles F. Hermann and writer Sally Dee Wade chronicle the twenty-year history of the George Bush School of Government and Public Service, which has rapidly evolved into one of the nation's major professional graduate schools of public and international affairs. The story traces the progress of the Bush School from its initial challenges to secure funding, students, and professors to its departure from the College of Liberal Arts as an independent unit with its own dean and faculty, and through the creation of its current curricula and policy-oriented research institutes. Insider stories and candid photographs illustrate how President Bush's focused personal interest and involvement with the school and its students have contributed to the many developments and successes that the Bush School has enjoyed. With carefully researched narrative and absorbing, behind-the-scenes details, Called to Serve documents the first two decades of the Bush School's brief but significant history and looks to the promising future that awaits this widely respected academic enterprise.


I first learned of the Bush School of Government and Public Service while watching a televised interview of former president George H. W. Bush in the early 2000s. Two things president Bush said in that interview about the Bush School stuck with me. the first was the phrase “our school,” which he used multiple times to refer to the college. the second was his reference to “public service as a noble calling,” which he eloquently described as the founding principle of “our school.” Roughly fifteen years later I found myself standing in front of the statue of President Bush in the courtyard as the newly appointed dean of the Bush School. I thought about those two phrases and realized how lucky I was to serve as a guardian of those ideas.

Still only twenty years old, our school is already a remarkable success story. This book tells the story of its formative years. It introduces the people and events that shaped its growth from a bold idea into an institution of higher learning that has taken its place among the very best in the world.

Chuck Hermann and Sally Dee Wade give us the insider view of the early discussions on possible locations for President Bush 41’s presidential library, including the brilliant idea of sweetening the Texas A&M proposal by adding a namesake college to the deal. They introduce us to the visionaries who crafted that proposal, sold it, and then made it reality.

They also introduce us to the brilliant men and women who shaped the direction of the college—politicians, community leaders, scholars, administrators, and staff—people who shared a dream of what the Bush School could become and were willing to put their own skin in the game to make it happen.

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