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Former First Lady Mrs. Laura W. Bush to Speak At FHU’s Annual Benefit Dinner

Former First Lady Mrs. Laura Bush will be the featured speaker at Freed-Hardeman University’s 49th Annual Benefit Dinner on Dec. 6, 2013, according to FHU President Joe Wiley. Other members of the Bush family including Barbara Bush and former presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush have 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. Today, as the chair of the Woman’s Initiative at the George W. Bush Institute, Mrs. Bush continues her work on global healthcare innovations, empowering women in emerging democracies, education reform and supporting the men and women who have served in America’s military.

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.

“Mrs. Bush’s concern for literacy and her background in education make her a very good fit for much of the work we do here at Freed-Hardeman,” Wiley said.

Vice President for University Advancement Dave Clouse said, “We are absolutely delighted to announce Mrs. Bush’s coming to Freed-Hardeman. Her compassion and warm personality have made her one of America’s most admired women.”

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.

Sponsorships for the Benefit Dinner, beginning at $600 for the silver level, are available from the FHU advancement office. General admission tickets are $150. All tickets include the dinner and the address by Mrs. Bush. Sponsorships come with additional perks. For additional information regarding sponsorships and tickets, call 731-989-6017 or 1-800-FHU-FHU1. Tickets may be purchased at All profits from the dinner are used to fund student scholarships at FHU.

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