Written by: Cole Edwards
It’s slightly more rare than an agreement in Congress: A former U.S. president will be on campus today as part of a visit to a city he once called home.
On Wednesday, former President George W. Bush arrived in Valdosta for a speaking engagement tonight at Georgia Christian School’s annual benefit dinner, which will be held in the Student Union.
With over 400 tickets sold, the dinner sold out months ago.
“We’re really excited that Georgia Christian School is celebrating its centennial this year and part of that process has been using our benefit dinner to market what the school is to our community,” Brad Lawson, Georgia Christian School president, said to WALB in February when the announcement was made. “We knew that when we got to (100 years), we really wanted to do something really big.”
Bush will visit Moody Air Force Base today for a signing of his new book, “41: A Portrait of My Father.” It’s for active-duty and retired military personnel only.
According to the Lowndes County Historical Society, Bush was stationed at Moody AFB for several weeks while training with the Air National Guard, and dated a VSU student.
Organizers for the event alluded to VSU president Dr. William McKinney meeting Bush. However, because VSU isn’t participating in the event, a meeting isn’t scheduled, according to Thressea Boyd, VSU’s director of communications.
GCS is a small, private institution in Dasher, Georgia that has a couple hundred students from grades pre-kindergarten to 12th, according to Private School Review’s website.
Past keynote speakers for GCS have included Laura Bush (2012), FOX News host Mike Huckabee (2011) and actor/former NFL player Terry Bradshaw (2013).
Bush has been paid an average of $100,000-$150,000 for each speech since leaving the White House in 2009, according to iWatch News.