Dallas Morning News | Bush Center starts off 2018 with pair of $10 million gifts from Highland Capital, Boeing

The new year is off to a prosperous start at the George W. Bush Presidential Center and connected George W. Bush Institute in Dallas.

Highland Capital Management has endowed the center with $10 million to back a public program series called Engage at the Bush Center, and Boeing Corp. made a $10 million commitment to support the institute’s Military Service Initiative to help post-9/11 veterans.

Highland Capital Management is a founding benefactor of the Bush Center, having contributed more than $5 million since 2012.

“We are impressed by the Bush Center’s national influence and impact in our community,” said Highland Capital co-founder and president Jim Dondero. “Events like the Engage series foster important dialogue regarding pressing policy issues. Highland Capital Management is proud to support this work and be part of the center’s long-term vision.”

Dondero will join the executive advisory council of Bush Center president and CEO Kenneth Hersh.

The first Engage event sponsored by Highland Capital Management is a two-part program that was created with the National Constitution Center and is set for 6:30 p.m. Feb. 5.

Admission to “Constitutional Conversations: Justice Scalia’s Memorable Speeches/James Madison & Today’s Media” is free, but guests must register at bushcenter.org.

The evening begins with a conversation with Christopher Scalia, son of late U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia and author of Scalia Speaks: Reflections on Law, Faith, and Life Well Lived. The book is a collection of his father’s favorite speeches.

Afterward, a panel of experts will discuss today’s media landscape and what First Amendment author James Madison might have thought of it.

Participating will be Jeffrey Rosen, president and CEO of the National Constitution Center and an expert on Madison; Amy Mitchell, a media researcher and co-author of the Pew Research Center’s annual “State of the News Media” report; and Dallas Morning News Editor Mike Wilson. It will be moderated by Bush Institute Director of Global Initiatives Amanda Schnetzer.

Separately, Boeing’s gift supports Bush Institute efforts to help post 9/11 veterans transition successfully to civilian life.

“Laura and I have dedicated the rest of our lives to supporting our veterans and their families,” noted former President George W. Bush. “At the Bush Institute, we are focused on addressing the invisible wounds of war, removing the stigma that surrounds them, and ensuring veterans and caregivers seek and receive comprehensive, effective care. I’m grateful to Boeing for helping to make this important work possible.”

Boeing chairman, president and CEO Dennis Muilenburg said the aerospace giant is proud to “support our nation’s military beyond the battlefield. That includes a commitment to hiring veterans and investing in their families and communities.”

Boeing’s gift is part of a $30 million, three-year investment aimed at veterans’ recovery, rehabilitation and transition services worldwide.

In addition, the company last year awarded $50 million in grants for 2018 programs targeting science, technology, engineering and math education and workforce development, veterans’ recovery and transition, and civic and environmental needs in communities where it operates, according to a spokesman.

Local veterans charities supported by the Chicago-based company are NPower, which offers training in digital careers to veterans and their spouses, and the American Airlines Sky Ball to aid military families.

Last year, Boeing established its new Global Services Division in Plano.

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