George Washington’s Mount Vernon has awarded former President George H.W. Bush a new honor, the Cyrus A. Ansary Prize for Courage and Character.
The award was presented to President Bush at a ceremony in Houston on March 28. The Ansary Prize recognizes a modern-day “Washington”—a leader whose record of service calls to mind the qualities of the first president: patriotism, integrity, and thoughtful leadership.
Bush is the first recipient of the Prize. The Ansary Prize’s panel of judges, chaired by Condoleezza Rice and including Dr. David Abshire, Lee H. Hamilton, Dr. Steven Knapp, John Warner, and Lady Susan Westmacott, unanimously recommended Bush for the honor.
“No American could ever hope to match the grace, guile and grit of President Washington and the way he led both to our independence and to the birth of our young Republic,” said President H. W. Bush.
“To have one’s name associated with him and this award is certainly one of the highest honors I have received. Rather than question the committee’s very kind and overly generous decision, I will simply thank them for it.”
In recognition, Bush receives a $50,000 cash award, which he has designated to The George Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University.
He also has designated an additional $25,000 to fund a special Mount Vernon project – an animation about the Siege of Yorktown that will be available to school children, teachers, and lifelong learners everywhere.
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In addition to these elements of the prize, the president received a bust of Washington mounted on a pedestal made of the mahogany wood used to construct the interior of the rare book vault at the new Fred W. Smith Library for the Study of George Washington at Mount Vernon.
In the picture above: From left to right: Cyrus A. Ansary; Mount Vernon Regent Barbara Lucas; Ambassador Ryan C. Crocker, Dean, The George Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University; President H.W. Bush; Former First Lady Barbara Bush; Mount Vernon President Curt Viebranz.