The National Trust for Historic Preservation is proud to announce that Mrs. Laura W. Bush—one of America’s outstanding leaders in the field of historic preservation—has agreed to serve on the National Trust’s Board of Trustees. Mrs. Bush, who worked tirelessly on preservation initiatives during her time as First Lady of Texas and First Lady of the United States, was officially voted onto the board during the National Trust’s recent National Preservation Conference in Buffalo, NY.
“It is an honor to welcome Mrs. Bush to the National Trust family,” said Stephanie Meeks, president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. “Mrs. Bush’s passion for preservation and her inspiring leadership have helped to save thousands of important places in Texas and all across the country. All of us at the National Trust are looking forward to working even more closely with Mrs. Bush as we continue the essential work of preserving the historic places that tell our nation’s story.”
As First Lady of the State of Texas, Mrs. Bush was a leader in the establishment of an innovative statewide program focused on the preservation of Texas’ stunning collection of courthouses, and was also actively involved in the state’s Main Streets program. As an active participant in both of these programs, Mrs. Bush traveled extensively throughout the state, leading efforts to restore hundreds of buildings across Texas.
The Texas Historic Courthouse Preservation Program was established in 1999 as a statewide partnership of counties and local citizens working to restore and revitalize these historic courthouses to their former glory. Since then, dozens of these iconic local landmarks have been restored. The program, which received a Preservation Honor Award from the National Trust in 2004, has not only restored the original character of community centers across Texas, it has also generated a resurgence of economic development, jobs and heritage tourism in surrounding areas.
In 2003, while serving as First Lady of the United States, Mrs. Bush's leadership and vision were instrumental in the creation of Preserve America, one of the most far-reaching preservation initiatives ever launched. The program officially designated more than 700 Preserve America communities, established a $7.5 million grant program and convened a White House-sponsored summit in a sweeping effort to save our nation's heritage.
She also served as honorary co-chair of Save America’s Treasures, the nation’s only federal bricks-and-mortar preservation program. Over the life of the program, SAT leveraged millions of dollars in private investment dollars, generated thousands of jobs, and saved some of our nation’s most cherished icons, from the Wright Brothers' plane to the bus on which Rosa Parks was arrested to the flag that inspired Francis Scott Key to write the “Star Spangled Banner.” More recently, she has been active in the protection of cultural resources at the nation’s National Parks.
Mrs. Bush is one of four new additions to the National Trust’s Board of Trustees. The others are: Charles M. Royce, President of Royce & Associates, LLC and The Royce Funds; Fernando Lloveras San Miguel, Esq., Executive Director of the Conservation Trust of Puerto Rico; and Susan E. Chapman, Senior Vice President, Global Real Estate and Workplace Enablement for American Express.
The National Trust for Historic Preservation, a privately-funded nonprofit organization, works to save America’s historic places to enrich our future. http://www.PreservationNation.org
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