Contact: Lynn Stewart, Centenary News Service

Barbara Bush to Speak at Centenary's Commencement May 6;
Complimentary Tickets Now Available

Barbara P. Bush Barbara P. Bush, Centenary Commencement 2000 Speaker

SHREVEPORT, LA -- Former first lady Barbara Bush will bring Centenary College's 175th anniversary to a close on May 6 with her remarks to the graduating class of the Year 2000.

Mrs. Bush, often described as a "sensible, down-to-earth person," jokes that her successful life is a result of marrying well. Her husband's service as vice president and president of the United States offered her a unique opportunity to make a difference in the public eye. Since leaving the White House in 1993, she continues to serve others with the energy, goodwill and good humor that has endeared her to millions around the world.

Born Barbara Pierce, she grew up in Rye, N.Y., where she met and later married George Herbert Walker Bush in 1945. The Bushs' first daughter, Robin, died in 1953 after fighting leukemia. Today the family includes four sons (George W., Jeb, Marvin and Neil); one daughter (Dorothy); four daughters-in-law; one son-in-law; and 14 grandchildren.

Throughout her years in public life, Mrs. Bush has volunteered in and supported hundreds of charitable and humanitarian causes, and she continues to support various organizations. Her No. 1 cause, however, is family literacy. In 1990, she helped develop the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy, whose mission is to support the development of family literacy programs, break the intergenerational cycle of illiteracy, and establish literacy as a value in every American family.

She authored C. Fred's Story and the best-selling Millie's Book, whose profits benefited the literacy cause, and most recently wrote Barbara Bush: A Memoir, her best-selling autobiography emphasizing the importance of family, faith and friends.

Because of the interest in Mrs. Bush, Centenary's 175th anniversary, and this year's large graduating class, the College has moved commencement exercises from the Gold Dome to the Hirsch Coliseum. This will allow members of the Centenary community and the interested public to attend along with the friends and families of the Class of 2000. The commencement and baccalaureate ceremony will begin at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, May 6.

Although the event is free and open to the public, tickets will be required for admission. Graduating seniors and Centenary students will pick up tickets at the Centenary Student Life Office in the Moore Student Union Building. All others will get their tickets from the Centenary Alumni Office, Room 227 in Hamilton Hall or by calling 318-869-5028 or emailing . Both offices are open from 8 a.m. until noon and 1 to 4:30 p.m. on weekdays.

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