FHU Expects Benefit Dinner Featuring Mrs. Laura Bush to Top $1 Million Dollar Mark

DECEMBER 2, 2013

Freed-Hardeman University expects to raise approximately $1.4 million Dec. 6 at its annual benefit dinner, according to Dave Clouse, FHU vice president of advancement. This will mark the 13th consecutive year the event has raised in excess of $1 million for student scholarships.


Former First Lady Mrs. Laura Bush will be the featured speaker. Other members of the Bush family including former First Lady Barbara Bush and former presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush have also spoken at the school’s annual fundraiser.

One of the country’s most admired first ladies, Mrs. Bush has championed key issues in the fields of education, health care and human rights. She has traveled to more than 76 countries, including two historic solo trips to Afghanistan, and has launched groundbreaking education and healthcare programs in the U.S. and abroad. The author of the bestselling memoir, “Spoken from the Heart,” Mrs. Bush also founded both the Texas Book Festival and the National Book Festival in Washington D.C. As the chair of the Woman’s Initiative at the George W. Bush Institute, Mrs. Bush works on global healthcare innovations, empowerment of women in emerging democracies, education reform and support of America’s veterans.

Born in Midland, Texas, to Jenna and Harold Welch, the former first lady holds a bachelor’s degree in education and a master’s degree in library science. She taught in public schools in Dallas, Houston and Austin, and worked as a public school librarian. The Bushes are the parents of twin daughters, Barbara and Jenna, and a granddaughter born this spring.

In addition to her address in Loyd Auditorium, Mrs. Bush has agreed to participate in a question and answer session with 50 students selected from the student body.
The Benefit Dinner is typically the state’s largest one-night fundraiser. The 2010 dinner featuring former president George W. Bush holds the record for most funds raised by the FHU dinner.

The Danberrys, from Nashville, will entertain prior to the address by Mrs. Bush. The group’s primary genre is Americana, drawing from folk, old-time country, blues and soul/funk traditions for inspiration.

At the heart of The Danberrys are Dorothy Daniel and Ben DeBerry. Both FHU alumni, the two married in 2006. Daniel performs vocals, guitar and percussion. DeBerry performs vocals and plays the guitar.

General admission tickets to the dinner are $150. All tickets include the dinner and the address by Mrs. Bush. Dinner service at the various venues will begin at 6 p.m. For additional information one may call 731-989-6017 or 1-800-FHU-FHU1. Tickets may be purchased at fhu.edu/bush. All profits from the dinner are used to fund student scholarships at FHU.