A View from our Neighbors to the North

The first paragraph of this Canadian report made me wince — SMU students are neither as wealthy nor as homogenous as this description implies — but it’s a decent take on some of the debate and the wider context of Presidential libraries. The subtitle plays up the fact that this controversy is happening in Texas, though mercifully the body does not really pursue this point. Is it really surprising that the most prominent university in a city with an openly gay sheriff named Lupe Valdez should not greet the Bush Library and Institute with considerable dissent?

All the President’s papers
Alan Freeman
The Globe and Mail
January 27, 2007

WASHINGTON — Southern Methodist University is an island of privilege near the centre of Dallas, a place where SUVs are de rigueur in the student parking lot and young women go to class sporting Louis Vuitton handbags adorned with sorority pins.

The student body, according to The Princeton Review, which ranks U.S. colleges, is overwhelmingly southern, white, upper-class and “very conservative.” Laura Bush is on the university’s board, as was Dick Cheney before he became Vice-President.

There’s even a Laura Bush Promenade, thanks to a $250,000 gift from her husband.

It’s the kind of place where the Bushes, who are Methodists, should feel perfectly at home.



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