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Bush Foundation presidents
The Foundation's presidents: Jen Ford Reedy, Peter C. Hutchinson, Anita M. Pampusch and Humphrey Doermann (Photo: Bruce Silcox)


Connect

By Laura Billings Coleman

Here’s a little of what’s been going on at the Bush Foundation.

Celebrating 60 Years
Bush Foundation Board Chair Pamela Moret acts as emcee for the event.

A lot has changed since 1953. Archie and Edyth Bush could never have imagined that the Foundation they created would be funding innovations in online education or supporting community engagement with immigrants from Somalia. There was no Internet in 1953. Independence from colonialism was still in the Somali people's future.

While much has changed in 60 years, some things stay the same. At the core of the Bush Foundation is the drive to do the most possible good with the resources the Bushes left to the community.

The Board and staff of the Foundation spent much of 2013 looking back on its 60 years of investing in great ideas and the people who power them. We’ve produced a series of videos and a written history to highlight some of the Foundation’s work through the years which you can find at bfdn.org/BF60.

The 60th anniversary celebration culminated in November 2013 with a “family reunion.” Nearly 700 current and former Foundation staff, Board members, Fellows and Rebuilders gathered to reminisce and to celebrate the impact of the nearly $1 billion the Foundation has granted to the community since 1953.

In recognition of its 60th anniversary, the Foundation has also made three “tribute grants” to honor its founders.

  • In Archie’s hometown of Granite Falls, Minnesota, we’re helping to build an applied sciences lab at the Yellow Medicine East High School.
  • Cover of Bush Foundation @ 60In Saint Paul, Minnesota, where the Bushes made their home, we contributed to the Arts Partnership, a model of just the kind of collaborative, pragmatic, civic leadership we imagine Archie would be involved in, if he were alive today.
  • We partnered with the Edyth Bush Charitable Foundation in Winter Park, Florida, to honor Edyth’s passion for the arts by refurbishing the green room and dressing room of a place where she was personally involved—the Orlando Repertory Theatre. 

To read stories from the Bush Foundation’s 60-year legacy, visit download this a special anniversary publication Bush Foundation @ 60 and watch these films about the great ideas and people we’ve invested in since 1953.

Archie & Edyth: The Beginnings of the Bush Foundation

Archie & Edyth: The Beginnings of the Bush Foundation
VidTiger

We invest in GREAT IDEAS

We invest in GREAT IDEAS.
VidTiger

We invest in PEOPLE

We invest in PEOPLE.
VidTiger

Bush family reunion

What happens when nearly 700 members of the “Bush family” gather to celebrate 60 years of investing in great ideas and the people who power them? Lots of smiles and hugs, renewed connections and the beginning of countless new collaborations to come. See more photos from the November 2013 event at bfdn.org/BF60photo.

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David Odahowski (center), president, Edyth Bush Charitable Trust and (over his right shoulder) John Archabal, Bush Foundation senior program officer and director of the Bush Fellowship Program (1973-2009)
David Odahowski (center), president, Edyth Bush Charitable Trust and (over his right shoulder) John Archabal, Bush Foundation senior program officer and director of the Bush Fellowship Program (1973-2009)
Bruce Silcox

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Lee-Hoon Benson, Foundation program officer (1998-2009) and Dee Thomas, Foundation Board member
Lee-Hoon Benson, Foundation program officer (1998-2009) and Dee Thomas, Foundation Board member
Bruce Silcox

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Bush Fellow Theartrice Williams (’70) and Bush Educator Bernadeia Johnson (’97)
Bush Fellow Theartrice Williams (’70) and Bush Educator Bernadeia Johnson (’97)
Bruce Silcox

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Foundation Board member Tom Holloran (1982-2000) and Patty Holloran
Foundation Board member Tom Holloran (1982-2000) and Patty Holloran
Bruce Silcox

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Bush Fellow Joi Lewis (’06) and guest Joan Ostrove
Bush Fellow Joi Lewis (’06) and guest Joan Ostrove
Bruce Silcox

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Foundation Board members Dwight Gourneau (2004-12 & BF’90) and Eric Jolly
Foundation Board members Dwight Gourneau (2004-12 & BF’90) and Eric Jolly
Bruce Silcox

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Bush Fellows Shannon Gibney (’05) and Shalini Gupta (’08)

Rebuilders Reunite

In June 2013, the first four cohorts of Native Nation Rebuilders came together for a reunion. Nearly half of the more than 60 Rebuilders named between 2010 and 2013 attended the first-ever event. Over two days, they were able to strengthen ties within and across cohorts, with some meeting each other for the first time.  A Rebuilder said about the reunion, “There’s so much passion for tribal nations—inspiring to see the talent and innovation throughout the region.” Another appreciated the opportunity to “see what other cohorts are up to.”

Native Nation Rebuilders complete a two-year program focused on strengthening their leadership skills and nation-building knowledge so they may be instrumental in moving their nations, in cooperation with elected leadership, toward realization of their tribes’ unique goals. The Foundation announced a fifth Rebuilders cohort in March 2014 (meet them at bfdn.org/C5Reb) and will open applications for Cohort 6 on July 15, 2014. Learn more about the Native Nation Rebuilders Program at bfdn.org/Reb.

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Rebuilders Reunion June 2013 (Cohorts 1-4)
Rebuilders Reunion June 2013 (Cohorts 1-4)

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Rebuilder Ryman LeBeau (Cohort 3)
Rebuilder Ryman LeBeau (Cohort 3)

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Rebuilders J.R. LaPlante (Cohort 1) and Julie Garreau (Cohort 3)
Rebuilders J.R. LaPlante (Cohort 1) and Julie Garreau (Cohort 3)

We've Moved!
The Bush Foundation and Minnesota Philanthropy Partners share office space.

After nearly 60 years in Saint Paul’s First National Bank Building, the Bush Foundation moved in August 2013, packing 36 staff members and 60 years of paperwork into our new location on the 25th floor of the U.S. Bank Center on East Fifth Street. While the actual distance traveled was across just one skyway, the moving process had begun more than three years earlier when Bush and MN Partners began discussing co-locating to a space that could meet the needs of both organizations moving forward.

“Like many nonprofits, we were interested in finding ways to make the best use of our resources through partnerships in our community,” says Greg Keane, the Foundation’s CFO, who oversaw the project.

   Portraits of Archie and Edyth Bush by 1984 Bush Fellows Frank Gaard.

Visitors to the Bush Foundation now arrive at a 24th-floor reception area shared with MN Partners. The modern and airy floor includes a cafeteria, conference rooms and other collaborative spaces designed by HGA Architects. One floor up, all Bush Foundation staff now work with smaller offices, larger conference rooms and better technology—all aimed at increasing staff collaboration and productivity. A communal kitchen space connects to a small “living room” for collaboration and conversations, overseen by new portraits of Archie and Edyth Bush by Bush Fellow Frank Gaard (’84).

Keane says the space may look like a serious upgrade to visitors, but “everyone is surprised to learn that we’re actually saving money with this move—nearly $46,000 a year that we can put back into the community.” (Read what the Foundation learned from the move in our new “Learning Papers” series at bfdn.org/learn.)

Trending in 2013…

@schufman
Processing #nsnp2013 Day 1 with a glass of wine, and I keep coming back to this piece of paper from @BushFoundation

Facebook/Twitter
  6.4 million impressions - up 677% from 2012
  4,004 likes/follows - up 48%

BushFoundation.org
  168,458 visits - up 62%
  100,482 unique visitors - up 59%

@Alliempls
Read the profiles of the @BushFoundation #BFP2014. And use that anytime someone doubts change can happen. Wow.
(See bfdn.org/2014BFP.)

@Paiger33
Thanks to a @BushFoundation grant the Brookings Supports Breastfeeding group is talking all things babies & mamas.
http://bit.ly/1kYhdXZ

@Ktandrea
Still noodling on the conversation from #workredux this AM. Thanks to @jjmillard, @cloudcarvings and @BushFoundation for doing the good.