TYLER, TX (KLTV) -It was November 5 of 1990, when a big political figure stepped foot on the then small Tyler Junior College Campus. Inside the doors of the Wagstaff Gymnasium a photo was captured of former President George H.W. Bush’s visit.
“A junior college having the president of the United States was an extremely important thing for the campus," says theater professor David Crawford. “It was exciting.”
It’s a moment Crawford vividly remembers.
“Our technical people in the theater department were asked to become involved and prepare the lighting and the sound and the platforming which was rather extensive,” says Crawford.
Today, as the former commander in chief was laid to rest, Crawford and others who were there that day are reflecting.
“What impressed me more than anything else is that he was so at ease,” says Crawford. “He came across as just any other guy but he had this ability to just reach through all of the noise of the world and touch you.”
Government professor Jan McCauley wasn’t at TJC for that notable visit but says when Bush came into office there was a notable shift in policy.
“I think he was trying to reset in some ways our perception of the world after an era where we had gone through this very difficult cold war and came out on top,” says McCauley. “No short measure because of what he and President Regan had done.”
She says the recognition Bush is receiving this week is in part response to that.
“It’s a recognition in our nation who doesn’t have queens and doesn’t have kings that says well done and we appreciate your service,” says McCauley.