By Taylor Hall MPSA ’14

Flash mob 2Students of the Bush School of Government and Public Service came together to honor the school’s name sake on Friday, March 1, 2013. The special event took place during the International Affairs Program Interview Conference Weekend.

The event was the brain child of President George H. W. Bush’s Chief of Staff, Jean Becker. She wanted the students to honor the President with a flash mob. Becker came up with the idea after the President told her that he had never seen a flash mob in person and thought it would be fun to witness.When Becker presented the idea to Dean Card, he fell in love. Dean Card was not the only one thrilled about the idea. The students shared his enthusiasm.

“As the graduating class of 2013, it is our honor to do this for the President,” said Warren Chalklen, MPSA Class of 2013. “He always surprises us and it is our turn to surprise him. We’ve had a great time bonding as a group and we hope he enjoys it as much as we enjoyed putting it together.”

The special presentation for President Bush has been in the works since fall of 2012. The official planning began after the President was released from the hospital and confirmed once it was established that he would be visiting the school in March. The country’s premiere flash mob producer, Flash Mob America, was hired to choreograph the presentation. The company has produced flash mob events for many special occasions, television shows, tributes, and celebrities including Janet Jackson, Rachel Ray, and Cee Lo Green.flashmob 1

Barbara Bush was in on the event too. Becker showed her some flash mob videos before the event so she would know what a flash mob was. She was so excited, she asked if she needed to learn the dance too!

In order to give the flash mob a unique spin, Dean Card, along with student planners, decided to make it Texas country themed. This decision was made to honor the President’s deep love for the state and its culture. In addition, to make the event more special, Dean Card and a few students rewrote the famous Brooks & Dunn song “Boot Scootin’ Boogie” and transformed it into the “Bushwhacker Boogie.” The song was rerecorded by country western singer Brett Tyler from Nashville, TN.

Barbara Bush, granddaughter Jenna Bush Hagar and the Bush Library Advisory Council members were also present for the flash mob. Jenna Bush Hager attended the event, bringing her TODAY show crew to cover it. The flash mob was nationally televised on Tuesday, March 12. The event was truly be unforgettable for the students of the Bush School and hopefully for the President himself.

The President’s reaction was just as all of those involved had hoped. At first, not quite sure of what was going on, Jenna Bush Hager leaned over to tell her grandfather that he was watching a flash mob performed by Bush School students. From that moment on, the President was all smiles as he watched the performance unfold. He loved the lyrics and asked for an encore at the end.

Afterwards, when students had the privilege of shaking hands with the President, an MPSA student asked the President what he thought of the event.

“It was great – no, it was really great,” said Former President George H. W. Bush.

Robin Elliot, MPSA Class of 2014, joked that she wants to tell her future children about how she was a part of a flash mob performance for President George H.W. Bush.

“It was an amazing opportunity that I’ll never forget,” Elliot said.

This event is definitely one that will go down in Bushwhacker history as a moment of epic proportions!