Today, former First Lady Laura W. Bush and John L. Nau, III, Chairman of the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, received the prestigious John H. Chafee Trustees Award for Outstanding Achievement in Public Policy from the National Trust for Historic Preservation for their leadership in developing and promoting the Preserve America program. The National Trust bestowed the award at its 2009 National Preservation Conference in Nashville, Tennessee.
In 2003, Mrs. Bush’s expansive vision for the federal preservation program was instrumental in the creation of Preserve America, one of the most far-reaching preservation initiatives ever launched. The program has officially designated more than 700 Preserve America communities, established a $7.5 million grant program and convened a White House-sponsored summit in a sweeping effort to save our nation’s heritage. As honorary chair of Preserve America, Mrs. Bush crisscrossed the country, publicly and personally reaffirming the importance of saving historic places.
The former longtime chairman of the Texas Historical Commission, John L. Nau, III, was appointed chairman of the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation by President George W. Bush in 2001. Nau’s leadership was essential to the implementation of Preserve America and, together with Mrs. Bush, Nau is credited with guiding the widespread and influential preservation initiative.
“Laura Bush and John Nau have given preservation broader visibility through their exemplary leadership and vision for historic preservation and Preserve America, one of the most extensive preservation initiatives ever.” said Richard Moe, president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. “These two leaders have earned our commendation for their passion for preservation and their inspiring leadership in putting together a nationwide program that empowers communities to preserve the places that matter to them.”
The award presented to Mrs. Bush and John Nau is named in honor of John H. Chafee, former governor of Rhode Island, Secretary of the Navy and United States Senator. Chafee was a dedicated champion of preservation and contributed significantly to advancing public policy on preservation issues.