Former first lady Laura Bush to speak at Harding University

The American Studies Institute at Harding University will host former first lady of the United States (2001-09) Laura Bush for the fourth presentation of its 2017-18 Distinguished Lecture Series at 7:30 p.m. Monday, April 16 in Benson Auditorium.

“I am thrilled that Laura Bush, an impressive and beloved public servant, is coming to Harding University,” said University President Bruce McLarty. “She championed causes almost everyone could support, such as literacy and the treatment of AIDS in Africa. Some of her most memorable and impressive work took place following the 9/11 attacks as she comforted the children of the United States and assured them that they were safe in their homes and in their schools.”

For decades, Bush fought for key issues in the fields of literacy, education, health care and women’s rights. After leaving the White House, she and President George W. Bush founded the George W. Bush Presidential Center in Dallas, which is home to the Bush Presidential Museum and Library and the George W. Bush Institute, a public policy center established to solve today’s most pressing challenges by developing leaders, advancing policy and taking action.

She founded the Texas Book Festival and the National Book Festival in Washington D.C. As chair of the Women’s Initiative at the George W. Bush Institute, she continues her work on global health care innovations, empowering women in emerging democracies, education reform and supporting America’s military veterans.

In her New York Times No. 1 bestselling memoir, Spoken From the Heart, Bush writes about joining one of America’s most prominent political families, life with her husband and twin daughters, and the post-9/11 period that transformed her role as first lady.

“Having a former first lady share insights from the time she spent in the White House will be a memorable evening,” said Kim Kirkman, executive director of ASI. “All first ladies have important roles in our American story, I look forward to hearing her tell her story.”

Admission to ASI lectures is free, and all events are open to the public. For more information, visit or call 501-279-4497. For other Harding events and free and low cost services available to the public, visit

Harding University is a private Christian, liberal arts university located in Searcy, Arkansas. Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, it is the largest private university in the state. Harding’s student body represents all 50 states and 54 nations and territories. The University offers more than 100 undergraduate majors; graduate and professional degrees at the master’s, specialist and doctoral levels; as well as numerous study abroad opportunities including locations in Australia, Chile, England, France, Greece, Italy and Zambia. For more information, visit