LHHS grad Michelle Smith with President and Barbara Bush at Chi Omega Songfest

When LHHS grads Mollie Dean and Michelle Smith took on leadership roles for the Aggie charity fundraiser Songfest, they knew there would be a full house of distinguished guests. They just didn’t know that would include George and Barbara Bush and a gaggle of Secret Service agents as well.

The girls invited the Bushes to serve as judges for the student organization variety show hosted by their sorority (the Bush Presidential Library is located at Texas A&M), but health concerns keep them from making commitments months in advance. “When the Secret Service called and said President and Mrs. Bush would like to come see the show and they needed to workout the details to get them in and out safely, we jumped up and down for fifteen minutes,” Michelle told me.

They couldn’t tell anyone, and it was a difficult secret to keep. “Right before the show, the Secret Service escorted them in and everyone got quiet. Then a few people started to clap, then it was a standing ovation of more than 2,000 people.”

At intermission, Michelle got to go and chat with the couple. “I said, ‘Mr. President, thank you so much for coming.’ He said, ‘Oh, darling, we just loved it!’”

During the second act, Michelle sat with Mr. Bush and told him about the student organizations singing and dancing, and explained which charities their participation was supporting. “He was genuinely interested in the students and what agencies they were benefitting,” Michelle said. “It made it even more rewarding for us after putting in long hours to organize the event.”

Chi Omega Songfest raised more than $70,000 that weekend, with proceeds going to Make-A-Wish Foundation and a host of other charities. And a bunch of singin’ dancin’ Aggies have some memories to last a lifetime.