The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation (ALPLF) will award its prestigious Lincoln Leadership Prize to 43rd President of the United States George W. Bush.
President Bush’s two terms in office were shaped by the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks against America. While he responded to the attacks with a comprehensive strategy to protect the American people, he remained focused on his administration’s other priorities, including public education, global health and economic growth – issues he continues to champion today through the George W. Bush Institute.
The Lincoln Leadership Prize – to be awarded April 1, 2019 in Chicago – is an annual award that recognizes outstanding individuals for a lifetime of service in the spirit of the 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln. The award honors individuals who accept the responsibilities imposed by history and demanded by conscience, who show great strength of character and exhibit unwavering commitment to the defining principles of democracy.
“Much of Abraham Lincoln’s legacy was defined by his infallible leadership during one of our country’s darkest times: the Civil War,” said Ray McCaskey, Chair of the ALPLF Board of Directors. "During the first year of his first term, President Bush was faced with, ‘the greatest challenge of any president since Abraham Lincoln,’ according to his father, 41st President of the United States George H.W. Bush. President George W. Bush’s resolute leadership in the aftermath of September 11, 2001, and throughout his presidency helped to ensure the safety and security of our country. It is in recognition of his service and with the spirit of Abraham Lincoln in mind that we are honored to bestow this year’s Lincoln Leadership Prize upon President Bush."
President Bush was sworn into office on Saturday, January 20, 2001, and again on January 20, 2005. During his administration, President Bush advocated “compassionate conservatism,” highlighting education, tax relief and volunteer efforts by faith-based and community organizations. President Bush championed a number of health care priorities, including expanded access to Medicare for seniors and billions of dollars in emergency AIDS relief. As Commander in Chief, President Bush led the effort to fight against and dismantle terror networks, and secure freedom for people living under oppressive and dictatorial regimes throughout the region.
Following his administration, President Bush returned to his home in Texas. During that time, he and former First Lady Laura Bush founded the George W. Bush Presidential Center, home to the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum and the George W. Bush Institute. Additionally, President Bush found a passion and talent for painting. His subjects have included veterans, memorialized in his book, Portraits of Courage: A Commander in Chief’s Tribute to America’s Warriors, self-portraits and world leaders. Prior to his presidency, he served as the 46th Governor of Texas from 1995-2000.
“I am honored to be recognized with the Lincoln Leadership Prize,” President Bush said. “President Lincoln’s life provides many examples of principled leadership that have often guided me, both as a Commander in Chief and as an engaged citizen. He was one of our Nation’s greatest Presidents, and I am proud to accept this award which bears his name.”
ALPLF Board member John L. Nau III will present the Lincoln Leadership Prize to President Bush. Nau, who is the president and CEO of Silver Eagle Distributors, was appointed by President Bush as chairman of the Advisory Council for Historic Preservation and chaired the Texas Historical Commission for 14 years. Nau’s passion for history started with a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Virginia and has grown to a 17,000-piece collection of historical artifacts.
“It gives me great pleasure to have the honor of presenting the Lincoln Leadership Prize to the 43rd President of the United States, George W. Bush,” said Nau. “President Bush is the epitome of the characteristics we look for in a leader: great strength of character, individual conscience and unwavering commitment to the defining principles of democracy. Through this award we celebrate President Lincoln’s legacy of leadership by recognizing President Bush for his leadership in accepting the responsibilities imposed by history and demanded by conscience.”
Since 2006, the ALPLF has awarded the Lincoln Leadership Prize to 11 prestigious individuals who serve in the Lincoln tradition. Previous honorees include Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, Historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, Civil Rights Activists The Little Rock Nine, Filmmaker Steven Spielberg, 42nd President of the United States Bill Clinton, former Polish President Lech Walesa, Journalist Tim Russert, Astronaut James Lovell, Jr., Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor.
The annual event also serves as the primary fundraiser for the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation for the benefit of the Museum and Library, which is not a part of the National Archives Records Administration’s federal system of presidential libraries. For more information about the Lincoln Leadership Prize please visit www.alplm.org. For tickets and/or table sponsorship information please call 312/553-2000.