This year’s Power of Literacy Luncheon program featured former First Lady Mrs. Laura Bush in a “fireside chat” moderated by her nephew and CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters Lone Star, Pierce Bush. Their conversation spanned a variety of topics, including the recent, private wedding of daughter Barbara Pierce Bush to Craig Coyne at the Bush family’s Kennebunkport residence; life serving as a First Lady, a school teacher and librarian and as an author; and her relationship with her mother-in-law, Mrs. Barbara Bush. Mrs. Laura Bush kept the crowd engaged with her humor, warmth, and commitment to literacy.
One of the most beloved and admired American First Ladies, for decades Laura Bush has championed key issues in the fields of education, health care, and human rights. She has traveled to more than 75 countries, including two historic solo trips to Afghanistan, and has launched groundbreaking education and healthcare programs in the U.S. and abroad. The author of the bestselling memoir, Spoken from the Heart, and co-author of children’s book, Our Great Big Backyard, Mrs. Bush also founded both the Texas Book Festival and the National Book Festival in Washington D.C. Today, as the Chair of the Women’s Initiative at the George W. Bush Institute, Mrs. Bush continues her work on global healthcare innovations, empowering women in emerging democracies, education reform, and supporting men and women who have served in America’s military.
Born in Midland, Texas to Jenna and Harold Welch, Mrs. Bush holds a degree in education from SMU and a master’s degree in library science from University of Texas. She taught in public schools in Dallas, Houston, and Austin, and worked as a public school librarian. In 1977, she married George W. Bush. President and Mrs. Bush are the parents of twin daughters, Barbara and Jenna, sons-in-law Henry Hagar and Craig Coyne, and proud grandparents to Margaret Laura “Mila” and Poppy Louise Hager.