As people from around the world pay their respects for Former President George H.W. Bush, a Northwest Vista College professor remembers the role model he lost and the legacy he left behind.
Doctor Robert Marbut Jr. worked alongside the former president for four years in the White House. His first major role was to spearhead the president’s Thousand Points of Light Foundation as the first director. The foundation helps honor community service.
"He wanted to say, 'these are the guys really doing amazing things and let's replicate it around the country,'" Marbut said.
He said after serving a year with the foundation, he became a consultant at the White House, where his bond with Bush only grew and he embraced traits he admired.
"We all learned so much from him: Duty and service are more important than self, it's never too late to do the right thing, competitors and our opponents are not our enemy,” Marbut said. “I can’t remember one time he ever used 'I,' it was always 'we.'"
He described Bush as a man with a great sense of humor. He vividly recalled the time he jokingly gifted him a tie, saying he would never get in trouble if he wore it around the White House.
Marbut said Bush knew how to make people feel like they mattered, at times going out of his way, like when his daughter was born.
"We get a delivery at our house and it's a letter to my daughter, saying 'welcome to the world,'" Marbut said.
Out of all of Marbut’s memories, one stands out above them all: the day he made sure former President Barack Obama was honored after he said Bush heard a rumor that people at Texas A&M University planned to boo him on stage.
"He says, 'I need all of you to whip up because we are not booing our president this afternoon,'” Marbut recounted. “We are going to be the cheerleaders for him because his success is our success."