Bush Raises More Than $500 Million For Library

Former President George W. Bush achieved his goal of raising $500 million for his new library, museum and institute.

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Jason Reed / Reuters

Former President George W. Bush and former first lady Laura Bush in the East Room of the White House in Washington May 31, 2012.

Former President George W. Bush has raised more than $500 million for his presidential library, museum and institute according to multiple sources close to Bush and confirmed by the George W. Bush Center.

“It was our goal to raise $500 million by the time the George W. Bush Presidential Center was dedicated, and we reached that goal,” said Mark Langdale, President of the George W. Bush Center. The sum is more than Bush took in for either of his presidential bids, where he had to wrestle with limitations on his fundraising from any one source.

The milestone makes Bush, who left office four years ago, the most successful fundraiser among former presidents at this stage in his post-White House life. Former President Bill Clinton’s fundraising got off to a slower pace once he left the White House but has significantly surpassed the Bush total largely due to his foundation’s humanitarian efforts.

Bush’s library and museum will be dedicated on April 25 in Dallas in a ceremony featuring all five living tenants of the White House and their spouses.

“Half of the money was spent to build the Bush Center itself, a portion of the funds go to a mandatory endowment to the Federal Government, which will be paid when we gift the George W. Bush Presidential Museum and Library to the American people on April 25th, and another portion of the funds will go to Southern Methodist University for a endowment that is intended to strengthen our relationship with their programs,” Langdale said in a statement to TIME. “The remainder of the funds, most of which is paid for over time in long term pledges, provides a strong financial foundation to build the George W. Bush Institute as a long standing contributor to advancing freedom and the principles that have guided President and Mrs. Bush in their service to their country.”

The foundation’s last publicly available financial report from 2011 shows the foundation raised upwards of $415 million. The precise audited sum will be reported when Bush’s foundation releases its 2012 report to the Internal Revenue Service in the coming months. The foundation has pledged to make the names of nearly all its donors available for review at the library — only the names of those who requested anonymity will be withheld.