Former Peace Corps Director Honored

July 26, 2001

WASHINGTON, D.C., July 26, 2001—Legislation honoring former Peace Corps Director and the late Senator Paul D. Coverdell was signed by President George W. Bush during a ceremony at the White House this morning. In remarks during the ceremony, the President stated about Senator Coverdell, “He had a great heart and compassion for others, and that could be seen in his imaginative and strong leadership of the Peace Corps. As the Corps' first post-Cold War director, he had a vision for a new era, and the leadership to bring those dreams into being.”

Senator Zell Miller (D-GA), the spokesman for the Georgia delegation, opened the ceremony, recognized Nancy Coverdell and was followed by Senator Trent Lott, who made remarks and introduced the President.

photo of Bush seated, signing bill, with others standing behind

President George W. Bush signs legislation in the Indian Treaty Room of the White House. Standing with the president are Sen. Phil Gramm, Senate Minority Leader Trent Lott, Sen. Zell Miller and Coverdell's widow, Nancy Coverdell.
The President noted the bipartisan committee made up of Miller, Lott and Senator Phil Gramm (R-TX), Senator Mike DeWine (R-OH), Senator Harry Reid (D-NV), along with Nancy Coverdell, to determine appropriate memorials for the late Senator Coverdell in Georgia and Washington.

Senate Bill 360 names the Peace Corps Headquarters Building in Washington, D. C., as well as the Peace Corps World Wise Schools Program after the late Senator Paul D. Coverdell. The bill also appropriates $10 million for fiscal year 2002 under the Secretary of Education to help support the construction of the Paul D. Coverdell Building at the Institute of Biomedical and Health Sciences at the University of Georgia in Athens.

Senate Bill 1190 renames the Education Individual Retirement Accounts the Coverdell Education Savings Accounts after its original author, the late Senator Coverdell. The legislation allows parents to invest $2,000 tax free for their children’s education and passed as part of the President’s tax package.

Attending the ceremony were former Peace Corps Directors Mark Gearan (1995-1999), the Honorable Elaine Chao (1991-1992), Nicholas W. Craw (1973-1974), and Joseph H. Blatchford (1969-1971) as well as Acting Director Charles Baquet, and Betsi Shays, Director of the World Wise Schools Program, and other members of the senior staff.

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