NEW YORK, June 7 —Barbara Bush’s longtime publisher Scribner will publish a commemorative edition of the former First Lady’s historic June 1, 1990 commencement address at Wellesley College, a rousing speech considered to be one of the “Best Commencement Speeches, Ever” (National Public Radio). Titled Your Own True Colors: Timeless Wisdom from America’s Grandmother and to be published on June 12, the 64-page book will impart the advice she offered to Wellesley graduates that day – words that are as wise and relevant to the class of 2018 as they were to the class of 1990.
Simon & Schuster Audio will simultaneously release a digital download edition of Your Own True Colors, which will include the original audio recording of Barbara Bush’s 1990 Wellesley College commencement address.
In her speech, Barbara Bush talked about the importance of diversity: “to learn about and respect difference, to cherish our own identity. . . and to accept unconditionally the same in all others.” She encouraged the graduates “to get involved in some of the big ideals of your time,” to seek joy in life, and to “cherish your human connection: your relationships with friends and family.” Most of all, she told them to search for their own true colors. As she said, “In the world that awaits you beyond the shores of Lake Waban, no one can say what your true colors will be.”
Yet, besides the guidance Barbara Bush offered that day, history will remember the controversy surrounding her presence at Wellesley, too – some members of Wellesley’s class of 1990 protested her role as the commencement speaker after their first choice, Alice Walker, declined. Mrs. Bush heightened the apprehension surrounding the occasion by inviting her friend Raisa Gorbachev to deliver her own remarks to Wellesley’s graduating class. While the text of both addresses can also be found in appendices of Barbara Bush’s memoir Barbara Bush (Scribner, 1994), Your Own True Colors offers her famous Wellesley College speech for the first time on its own in book form.
Barbara Bush (1925—2018) was born in Rye, New York, and married George H.W. Bush in 1945. She served as First Lady of the United States from 1989 to 1993. She had six children, including President George W. Bush and Florida Governor Jeb Bush, seventeen grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren. She founded the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy. She lived in Houston, Texas, and Kennebunkport, Maine.
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Contact: Brian Belfiglio
V.P., Director of Publicity