University of Wisconsin-Madison

Text of 1990 speech by Barbara Bush

Barbara Bush gave the commencement address at the all-women Wellesley College in Wellesley, Massachusetts, on June 1, 1990.

The speech was ranked No. 47 on a list of the top speeches of the century in 1999. The list, compiled by researchers at the University of Wisconsin and Texas A&M University, was based on a survey of scholars who ranked speeches by social and political impact and rhetorical artistry.

Edward McNally, a White House speechwriter for George H.W. and Barbara Bush who wrote the speech draft, recalled Tuesday how the first lady "memorably, with perfect timing" wrapped up the speech at the college and closed with this line: