It is with profound sorrow that we share in the grief of losing a great hero of our generation, Houston’s First Lady, Barbara Bush. 

While Mrs. Bush has left this earth, the spirit of her work will live on through the countless lives she has forever changed. 

To our partners at the Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation, we thank you for being the champions of Mrs. Bush’s work for generations of Houstonians to come. With you, the torch will burn brightly, illuminating Mrs. Bush’s work. To President Bush and family, we are forever grateful to you for sharing Mrs. Bush with all of us. You are in our thoughts and prayers during this time.

In December of 2016, we were tasked with the great responsibility to transform a space in the heart of Houston, right across from City Hall. We knew the space between the Julia Ideson Building and the Central Library needed to be vibrant and inspiring. It was in envisionioning this enriching space for people of all ages, that we thought of Mrs. Bush and we asked to name it in her honor. While we wished she would be with us for the grand opening, the downtown Barbara Bush Literacy Plaza will be a place to commemorate her, and celebrate her cause of literacy. 

I leave you today with gratitude, hope, and with beautiful words from the great Maya Angelou:

“When great souls die, after a period peace blooms, slowly and always irregularly. Spaces fill with a kind of soothing electric vibration. Our senses, restored, never to be the same, whisper to us. They existed. They existed. We can be. Be and be better. For they existed.”

May we carry Mrs. Bush’s literacy cause forever, 

Licia A. Green-Ellis
Chairperson, Houston Library Foundation