NCEA Seton Award Honoree Barbara Bush Is Remembered for Her Impact on Education

Former first lady Barbara Bush was among the first NCEA Seton Award honorees.

Arlington, VA — The National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA) and Catholic school communities across the nation offer prayers for the passing of Barbara Bush and give thanks for her lasting legacy to education. The former first lady Barbara Bush was one of the first recipients of the NCEA Elizabeth Ann Seton Awards established in 1991. The Seton Awards were founded 27 years ago to honor exemplary individuals whose support and service impacts Catholic education and the well-being of our nation's youth.

Often described as feisty and outspoken, Mrs. Bush was a staunch supporter of education, specifically literacy. While serving as first lady, she was selected as a Seton Award honoree because of her outstanding public leadership and enduring work on behalf of the American family, children and literacy. Mrs. Bush started her own literacy organization, the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy, which supports organizations across the United States teaching reading skills to both parents and children. She authored Millie's Book: As Dictated to Barbara Bush, a portrait of the White House as seen from her springer spaniel Millie’s point of view that raised nearly $1 million for literacy programs. Today, millions of people across all 50 states have benefited from the Foundation’s family literacy programs.


In service of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the National Educational Association (NCEA) strengthens Catholic school communities by providing professional development, formation, leadership and advocacy. For more information, visit the NCEA website.