Ministers to SMU: Don't pursue Bush library
Ministers to SMU: Don't pursue Bush library (11:05
By ANGELA K. BROWN / Assciated Press
Article Launched: 01/18/2007 11:06:17 AM MST
DALLAS - A group of Methodist ministers from across
the nation launched a petition drive Thursday urging
Southern Methodist University to stop trying to land
George W. Bush's presidential library.
The petition on a newly created Web site,
www.protectsmu.org, says that "as United Methodists,
we believe that the linking of his presidency with a
university bearing the Methodist name is utterly
inappropriate." The petition has so far been signed by
18 people, including 10 Methodist bishops.
"Methodists have a long history of social conscience,
so questions about the conduct of this president are
very concerning," said one of the petition's
organizers, the Rev. Andrew J. Weaver of Brooklyn,
N.Y., who graduated from SMU's Perkins School of
Brad Cheves, SMU's vice president for external affairs
and development, said Thursday that the Methodist
church is diverse in its membership and opinions and
that those involved with the petition reflect only one
"We believe the vast majority of the Methodist
membership, university and community support the
library and that it will benefit the faculty, students
and community for generations to come," Cheves said.
SMU became the apparent winner in the library
competition last month when the site selection
committee said it was entering into further talks with
the 11,000-student, private university, which is first
lady Laura Bush's alma mater.
Some faculty members also have complained that the
library complex's think tank dedicated to the
philosophy of the Bush administration would hurt the
But at a faculty meeting Wednesday, SMU President R.
Gerald Turner said those fears were unfounded because
the think tank would be run by an independent
foundation. He said among the library's benefits were
increasing the school's visibility nationwide and
spurring economic development in the city.
A final decision is expected in a few months. The
other two finalists are Baylor University in Waco,
near the Bushes' Crawford ranch, and the University of Dallas.