When Jenna Bush graduates from the University of Texas Saturday, her father will miss the pomp and circumstance.
President Bush and first lady Laura Bush have decided to skip their 22-year-old twin daughters’ graduations because their presence and that of White House security would be disruptive, aides say.
Jenna Bush will get a degree in English from the University of Texas at Austin. Her twin sister, Barbara, will pick up a degree in humanities Monday from Yale, her father’s Alma Mater.
The family will celebrate with private dinners.
Giving a commencement speech at Louisiana State University on Friday, Bush said it feels “really good” to be writing the last tuition check. But he added: “It also feels like the last 20 years or so went by awfully fast.”
The sisters have mostly stayed out of the limelight while in college, except for a highly publicized incident in May 2001, when authorities accused the then-19-year-old sisters of having drinks at a Mexican restaurant in Austin.
Barbara pleaded no contest to underage possession of alcohol and was ordered to perform eight hours of community service and attend alcohol-awareness class.
Jenna was fined $600 for trying to use a false ID, her second alcohol-related offense. She lost her driver’s license for 30 days, had to do more community service and attend an alcohol-awareness class.
After graduation, the sisters plan to travel with friends, then help with their father’s re-election campaign, said Gordon Johndroe, a spokesman for Laura Bush.
A visit to Africa has inspired Barbara to work with AIDS sufferers, he said, while Jenna is interested in following her mother’s career in education.