George W. Bush raises more than $500 million for library, emerges as most successful post-presidency fundraiser
"It was our goal to raise $500 million by the time the George W. Bush Presidential Center was dedicated and we reached that goal," Mark Langdale, President of the George W. Bush Center tells Time Magazine.
To compare, when former President Bill Clinton opened his presidential library in Little Rock in 2004, he had barely raised the $165 million needed to cover the cost. (Though it should be noted that he has gone on to raise hundreds of millions due to the humanitarian efforts of his foundation.)
Bush's library and museum will be dedicated on April 25 in a ceremony that will include all four living former presidents, President Barack Obama, and all of their spouses. It will open to the public on May 1.
But just where will all of the funds raised go?
"Half of the money was spent to build the Bush Center itself, a portion of the funds will go to a mandatory endowment to the Federal Government, which will be paid when we gift the George W. Bush Presidential Museum and Library to the American people on April 25, and another portion of the funds will go to Souther Methodist University for a endowment that is intended to strengthen our relationship with their programs," Langdale says. "The remainder of the funds, most of which is paid over time in long term pledges, provides a strong financial foundation to build the George W. Bush Institute as a long standing contributor to advancing freedom and the principles that have guided President and Mrs. Bush in their service to their country."