CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) — Late former First Lady Barbara Bush spent considerable time in Charleston, South Carolina as a teen.
A native of Manhattan in New York, Bush attended and was a graduate of Ashley Hall School, a prestigious all-girls academy in Charleston.
Bush came to Charleston and Ashley Hall in 1940 as a boarding student, and graduated in 1943, the school says.
“The entire Ashley Hall community is saddened to learn of the passing of one of its most esteemed and beloved alumnae, Barbara Pierce Bush,"Jill Muti, Head of School for Ashley Hall, said in a statement. "Our thoughts and prayers are with the entire Bush family during this difficult time."
"Barbara Bush will forever hold a special place in the history and ethos of our school, and we take much pride in the fact that she was an Ashley Hall graduate," Muti added. "Through her character, resilience, and integrity, Barbara Bush will always be an inspiration to us all.”
While at Ashley Hall, Mrs. Bush served as team captain for various campus sporting events and activities and performed the role of an angel in the school’s Christmas Play, according to Muti.
Mrs. Bush was the wife of former president George H.W. Bush, and mother of former president George W. Bush.
She and President Bush met while she was still a student Ashley Hall, at home for Christmas break. They were engaged by summer 1943, and married in 1945.
Mrs. Bush spoke at Ashley Hall’s 75th graduation in 1984, and welcomed several Ashley Hall classes to the White House during President Bush’s term in office, Muti says.
The former First Lady made a notable return trip to Charleston in February 2016 to campaign for her son, Jeb Bush, as he, too, ran for the presidency.
While speaking with students, Mrs. Bush said, “I have lots of great memories of my time here. Particularly receiving letters from a young man named George Bush!,” according to Muti.
Ashley Hall honored Mrs. Bush with its Distinguished Alumnae Award during her 2016 visit.
Several South Carolina politicians have tweeted their condolences in response to the news of Mrs. Bush's death.