Former President George W. Bush’s presidential library will have a hefty endowment when it opens in May. According to an article in Time magazine, Bush raised more than $500 million on behalf of the library.
This is a fairly impressive post-presidency fundraising feat. Former President Bill Clinton only barely raised the $165 million necessary to open his library in Little Rock, Ark. by the time it opened in 2004. In contrast, Bush has zoomed past the estimated $250 million it cost to build his library in Dallas, on the campus of Southern Methodist University. After covering construction and operating costs, any remainder from what Bush raised will go to his public policy foundation, the George W. Bush Institute.
Bush’s library and museum will be dedicated on April 25, and all five living presidents will be present for the ceremony.
One interesting question floating around is whether or not Bush will disclose the names of those donating to his library, and how much they gave. The foundation behind the library and the institute has promised to make available at the library the names of all donors who have not requested anonymity. At President George H.W. Bush’s library in College Station, Texas, some of the donors’ names can be seen at the entrance, but not the amount of their gifts. Clinton eventually made a full list of his donors available when his wife, Hillary Clinton, was about to be named Secretary of State.
— Benjamin Nanamaker, InvestorPolitics Editor
The opinions contained in this column are solely those of the writer.
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