Statement by CEO Barbara Stewart on Honoring President Bush's Legacy of Service

Dec 3, 2018


President George H.W. Bush often said that, “Any definition of a successful life includes service to others,” and he lived out those words to the fullest. From enlisting in the Navy at age 18, to serving as a decorated World War II naval pilot, as ambassador to China and the United Nations, as CIA director, vice president, and the nation’s 41st president, he devoted his entire life to public service. 

One of President Bush’s most enduring contributions was to national service and volunteering.  From his first day in office, President Bush advanced citizen service as a way to address our nation’s challenges. By launching the Points of Light movement and signing the 1990 National Service Act, he ushered in the modern era of national service, setting the stage for the creation of AmeriCorps and the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), which I am honored to lead today.

President Bush understood that service is an enduring American value, that our nation is stronger when people serve, and that service is the hallmark of a successful life. He recognized the vital role of service in improving our social and economic well-being and expanded opportunities for Americans to serve.

As the federal agency for service and volunteering, we are grateful for President Bush’s leadership and contributions, and honored to carry his legacy forward by engaging millions of Americans in serving their communities through AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, and other programs. 

The national service and volunteering community will deeply miss President Bush, but will always be inspired by his love of country, his commitment to service, and his tireless spirit of compassion and generosity.  I have no doubt that President Bush would want us to honor his legacy by engaging in service to others and to our great country.  As we celebrate his extraordinary life, let us honor him not just with our words, but with acts of service to improve the lives of others.

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