One of The University of Texas’ most famous young alumni is coming into her own on the national stage she’s stood along for so long.
Jenna Bush Hager, BA ’04, studied English, not journalism, at UT. But since graduating, she’s pursued a range of interests: interning for UNICEF, working as a teacher’s aide, and writing a book. After co-authoring another book with her mother, Laura Bush, MLS ’73, Distinguished Alumna, Hager is now working as a special correspondent for the Today show.
Her interviewing skills and TV presence are only growing, as she showed this week in a thoughtful, deeply reflective interview with her grandfather, George H.W. Bush. The occasion: the former president’s 88th birthday.
Bush teared up, as did Hager—they are, after all, “the family criers,” Hager said. They got most emotional when he read out loud a letter he had recently written his children.
Tears came when Bush 41 shared a letter he had written to the family reflecting on aging. Last week, son Jeb revealed that his father can no longer walk unassisted, relying instead on a stroller and wheelchair.
“As the summers finish out, and the seas get a little higher, winds a little colder, I’ll be making some notes, writing it down lest I forget so I can add to the report on getting older,” Bush read. “Who knows, maybe they will come out with a new drug that makes legs bend easier, joints hurt less, drives go farther, memory come roaring back, and all fears about falling off fishing rafts go away. Remember the old song, ‘I’ll be there ready when you are’? Well, I’ll be there, ready when you are, because there’s so much excitement ahead, so many grandkids to watch grow. If you need me, I’m here. Devotedly, Dad.”
Read Hager’s reflections on the interview here.