BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) – After more than 30 years of public service to the Bryan-College Station and Texas A&M communities Warren Finch will hang up his hat as the director of the George HW Bush Presidential Library and Museum.
Finch was named director of the library in 2004 but was a vital member of the library team long before its existence.
Finch came to College Station in 1993 as a member of the library project team and played a vital role in the library and museum’s development, construction, and opening in 1997.
Prior to moving to College Station, Finch served as an archivist with the National Archives and Records Administration in the Office of Presidential Libraries in Washington DC He later served briefly with the Ronald Reagan Library in California.
Finch also served in the Bush White House in 1992, assisting with the move of presidential materials and records to Texas, and has been in College Station ever since.
Finch earned an MA in history from Auburn University and a BA from the University of South Alabama. He says his love of history has been the driving force behind his longevity with the museum.
Since his time as leader of the museum Finch has held a front seat to history that many could only dream of. From his time sorting records and materials in an old bowling alley in College Station, to the groundbreaking and upgrades of the library and museum in 1997 and 2007, Finch has seen it all. He’s had a hand in overseeing many if not all of the community projects like the annual Easter Egg Hunt, Christmas tree lighting ceremonies, to the George & Barbara Bush Day of Service.
“I started off in the Chimney Hill Bowling Alley where the records were stored until the building opened in November ’97. I was an archivist and then supervisor archivist, deputy director, and then I’ve been director of this great place since December of 2008,” Finch said.
Finch also played a vital role in the museum’s preparations for the final rites and burial of former President George HW & Barbara Bush and also navigated the museum through the COVID-19 pandemic which halted operations at the museum and library several times over the last two years .
Finch says he’s had a great career and has enjoyed his time at the museum. He says one of the most rewarding parts of the job was serving and working with the Bush family.
“I was privileged the whole time I was here to work with both President and Mrs. Bush. They were here at the library and museum all the time beginning in September or October until they left for Kennebunkport in April or May they were always here,” said Finch. “We had a lot of great events, a lot of great people but working with President and Mrs. Bush was, they were never demanding, they always let us do our jobs and they were just a delightful couple to work with.”
As Finch inches closer to his retirement date of December 3, he says he will miss working with the staff and greeting the visitors of the museum and library.
“I’ll mostly miss is the interaction with the staff, visitors, and the good work that we’re doing but I’ve done it for 30 years and I’m happy with the decision that I’ve made,” said Finch .
While Finch’s retirement is well deserved it’s still bittersweet for library staff that not only consider him a great boss but a wonderful friend as well.
“His easy-going personality,” said Bush Library & Museum Deputy Director Robert Holzweiss said was one thing he really appreciated. “When you look around the exhibits or you visit the research room or you attend a public program, you’ll notice that Warren has been a player in all of that. Either the structure of it or the specifics that you’re enjoying. He has had a positive effect on it”
“He was hands-on from the very beginning as he was as director. He would make sure to walk around the building and make sure that everybody was appreciated,” said Bush Library & Museum longtime volunteer Ann Hays. “He’s made it pretty much like a family.”
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