Former first daughter to visit GV’s campus

Coutesy Photo /
Barbara Bush

Courtesy photo

Coutesy Photo / Barbara Bush

Rachel Melke

Barbara Pierce Bush, daughter of former President George W. Bush, will speak at Grand Valley State University on Monday.

Bush’s talk, “One Person Can Make a Difference Confronting Today’s Global Health Challenges,” is part of the Frederik Meijer Lecture Series. The free event begins at 7 p.m. in the Grand River Room of Kirkhof Center and will be followed by a reception.

Presented with a variety of speaker choices, members of the Frederik Meijer Honors College, which hosts the lecture series, thought Bush was a great choice to present to students, said Jeffrey Chamberlain, director of the Frederik Meijer Honors College.

“We decided (Bush) would fit the bill very nicely,” Chamberlain said. “She is relatively recently out of college.”

Bush graduated from Yale University with a Humanities degree, and she was also a legacy member of Kappa Alpha Theta. Since college, she has co-founded Global Health Corps, a nonprofit organization aiming “to mobilize a global community of emerging leaders to build the movement for health equity,” according to their website, where she also serves as CEO.

When choosing the speaker, Chamberlain said the Honors College makes sure they can impart wisdom on the undergraduate listeners.

“It (the event) has already created such a buzz,” Chamberlain said.

Despite Bush’s multiple connections in the U.S. government, Chamberlain said one thing he enjoys about her is that she does not take advantage of those connections.

“She is trying to do things on her own,” he said. “(Global Health Corps) was completely her own idea, which she took and ran with.”

Chamberlain added that Bush pitched her business idea to Google, which accepted her plans and monetarily contributed to Global Health Corps for its conception.

The Frederik Meijer Lecture Series was established last year to provide the GVSU community local and national presentations focusing on leadership, innovation and entrepreneurship. When the Meijer Foundation endowed the college, some of the money was dedicated specifically to the lecture series.

The event is LIB 100-approved.

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