April 18, 2008

First Lady Laura Bush receives the Robert S. Folsom Leadership Award
Event features entertainment by SMU students

First Lady Laura Bush recently was presented the Robert S. Folsom Leadership Award during ceremonies that raised more than $1.3 million for the Methodist Health System Foundation. SMU Board of Trustees member Ray Hunt served as emcee and entertainment was provided by students in SMU's Meadows School of the Arts and José Bowen, dean of Meadows.


Bowen and the students performed "American Anthem" by Gene Scheer and "Varsity," the SMU school song, at the April 10 event. The students are members of "The Singing Mustangs," a group of undergraduate, graduate and artist certificate voice majors.

The Robert S. Folsom Leadership Award is presented annually by Methodist Health System Foundation to recognize individuals who have demonstrated a commitment to community leadership for their accomplishments in making a lasting, positive change in the Dallas community while inspiring others to follow in their paths.

Mrs. Bush, a 1968 graduate of SMU, was praised for her involvement in education, health care and human rights. As Honorary Ambassador for the U.N. Literacy Decade, she hosted the first-ever White House conference on Global Literacy in 2006 to encourage international cooperation to build free societies through literacy. In 2001, she joined the Library of Congress in launching the National Book Festival in Washington, D.C. She also supports campaigns for breast cancer and heart disease awareness by educating women about their risks and emphasizing the importance of healthy eating, exercise and preventive screenings.

Mrs. Bush accepted the award and received a standing ovation. "I'm thrilled to be here. I want to thank everyone for such a very lovely tribute. There are few people in Dallas who don't know the name Bob Folsom or haven't been touched in some way by his life. This annual honor is a well-deserved tribute to his community leadership…Thank you to everyone here for supporting this good work (of Methodist Health System). Thanks most of all to the Methodist leaders, doctors, nurses and hard-working staff. Tonight, the true honor goes to each one of you for working to keep Dallas a place 'where life shines bright.'"

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