Rice President David Leebron on President George H.W. Bush

Rice University President David Leebron reflects on the passing of former President George H.W. Bush:

George H.W. Bush giving the Rice University commencement address in 2000.

George H.W. Bush giving the Rice University commencement address in 2000.

“President Bush was a quintessential Houstonian and a remarkable American: generous, hard-working, driven to lead and determined to serve a purpose greater than himself. He was a gentleman whose kindness and decency were fundamental to his extraordinary character. He served our country and the world in a unique set of roles: as ambassador to the United Nations, U.S. liaison to China, director of the CIA, vice president and ultimately president of the United States. We will always remember and be grateful for the leadership and service of George H.W. Bush.

“The president and his wife, Barbara, were dear friends of Rice University. It was President Bush who bestowed upon the university its proudest moment on the world’s stage: hosting the G-7 Economic Summit in 1990.

Bush hosted the G-7 Economic Summit at Rice in 1990.

“Students who attended Rice in the late 1970s had the honor of taking classes from the future president at what is now Rice’s Jones Graduate School of Business, where he held the title of adjunct professor of administrative science. A generation later, our graduates of the class of 2000 listened as former President Bush delivered a commencement address in which he reminded students that ‘actions speak louder than words. Words are important, and speaking can be an important part of leading — of rallying the troops. But leading by example, in my mind, is the best way to get things done whether it’s in politics, business, you name it.’

“On behalf of my wife, Y. Ping Sun, and the entire Rice community, I extend our deepest sympathy to the Bush family, including his grandson, George P. Bush, whom we are proud to call an alumnus of the university.”


About Jeff Falk

Jeff Falk is director of national media relations in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.