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‘I am still old and still in love’ — Barbara Bush updates Smith classmates

Barbara Bush’s dispatch to the alumnae magazine for Smith College led the “Alumnae Lives Update” section for the Class of 1947. Robert F. Bukaty/Associated Press

Even former first ladies like to keep up with their college girlfriends.

“I am still old and still in love with the man I married 72 years ago,” Barbara Bush wrote in the March edition of the alumnae magazine for Smith College, a women’s school in Northampton.

Her dispatch leads the “Alumnae Lives Update” section for the Class of 1947, and she is among 10 class members who provided updates for the Smith Alumnae Quarterly’s latest edition. The magazine identifies her as Barbara Pierce Bush.

She dropped out of the college in 1944 and married George H.W. Bush two weeks later, according to a White House biography. Smith claims her as a member of the Class of 1947 and awarded her an honorary degree in 1989, the school said.


A full-page photograph of Bush, 92, sitting in a garden in Kennebunkport, Maine, also appears in the publication, with a quote from the matriarch of the American political dynasty.

“I have had great medical care and more operations than you would believe. I’m not sure God will recognize me; I have so many new body parts! Also, George Bush has given me the world. He is the best — thoughtful and loving,” she says.

Her note says she is “very active” in the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy. Her husband, the former president, keeps busy with his foundation, Points of Light, she writes.

“All of our children are working and serving others in their own way, along with my 17 grandchildren. I am very proud of them,” she writes.

Bush didn’t name any of her famous children or grandchildren or mention that her husband and son, George W. Bush, once occupied the White House.

Barbara and George H.W. Bush spend most of their time in Houston, Texas. Last fall, she said her children and grandchildren helped with hurricane relief and cheered for the Houston Astros, who clinched their first World Series win.


This isn’t the first time Bush has written a class note.

The Smith Alumnae Quarterly archives include periodic updates from Bush going back to August 1953 when the magazine published a birth notice for her second son, Jeb. The publication lists him as John.

The August 1968 edition has an update about George W. Bush, but doesn’t name him.

“Barbara (Pierce) Bush’s son graduated from Yale and joins the AF Reserve in July,” the note says.

The November 1972 edition provides insight into Bush’s life in New York City, where she lived while her husband served as US ambassador to the United Nations.

“The family of 5 children find living at the Waldorf rather formal after their life in Texas but they enjoy taking other embassy children to the ball games, have “Americanized” the apt. by hanging only US artists, serving local wines and buying only American-made clothing,” the note says.

Three years ago, she wrote to the magazine about her husband’s medical troubles and aging.

“My precious George has been in the hospital and out, thank God. We have the best five children in the world — all giving and caring individuals,” she wrote. “Being almost 90 is tough, as many of you know, but with a loving, close family, almost anything can be survived.”

Bush is among two first ladies to attend Smith. The other, Nancy Reagan, graduated in 1943.


A page from Smith College's Alumnae quarterly magazine featuring an update from Barbara Bush.Keith Bedford/Globe Staff
A page from Smith College's Alumnae quarterly magazine featuring an update from Barbara Bush.Keith Bedford/Globe Staff

Laura Crimaldi can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @lauracrimaldi.